Saturday, March 28, 2020

Minutes BCD Supervisors meeting March 3, 2020

Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Conference Room
78 Center Street, Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201


Minutes


  1. Call to order at 5:02pm, and Determination of Quorum
Present: 
Board members – Adam Galambos, Ron Kujawski, David Ellis, Donna Kittredge
Associates: Mike Balawender
Program Administrator: Cynthia Grippaldi
NRCS representative: Gary Blazejewski


Reports
  1. Secretary’s Report Submitted by Cynthia Grippaldi
  1. Review and approval of February 4th minutes. Move to accept by Dave, second by Ron,
all in favor
  1. Treasurer’s Report – Submitted by Cynthia
  1. Cynthia developed and presented a new Treasurer’s Report form. She will investigate
Viridian to see if it’s worth our while to link it to BCD website
b. Cynthia attended the MDAR workshop
c. Audit is still in the process
d. Dave will review the last two years of BCD budgets and begin to form a budget for 2020.
Motion by Adam for Dave to begin budget process, second by Donna, all in favor.
  1. NRCS District Conservationist Gary Blazejewski introduced himself and talked about the NRCS
mission which provides technical assistance for private landowners regarding farmland or forest
issues. Gary (or other NRCS rep) will attend monthly BCD meetings to keep abreast of local issues
and to collaborate with us when appropriate.


Old Business
  1. District Supervisors
  1. Regarding recruitment to the Board of Supervisors, Ron suggested we might want to
recruit 2 additional members — someone in farming, ag and/or nursery businesses.
All attendees will ask around. It would be good to get more people from North county
involved. We would also like additional associates to join us.
b. Designation of committees will take place when needed.
c. State Commission Member — they would like a rep from BCD to attend their meetings.
Adam will look into the details. 


  1. Program Status
  1. No-Till Update: Promotion, scheduling rentals, and management
200 No-Till cards were printed. On 2/24, Cynthia mailed 86 cards to addresses procured from
the Berkshire Grown booklet and list of interested farmers from our proposal. We have 3 to 5
farmers inquiring and one commitment with a 50-acre parcel. Cynthia will do the scheduling.
Mike gave more details on how the no-till machine works. Mike will communicate to the farmers
exactly what type of heavy machinery is required to haul the no-till seeder in order to keep it in
the best shape. Mike has offered to haul the no-till machine to farmers who do not have the
ability to do it, he will ask his insurance company if he is covered for this. BCD’s equipment and
liability insurance is up to date.
  1. Nutrient Management — Ned signed the paperwork and as soon as the audit is done, funds
will become available to us. 
c. Developing resources — Discussion took place on how we could collaborate with other
organizations to support each other regarding programs, education, etc. Adam suggested that
colleges might appreciate a relationship with us. Ron suggested that Umass Extension might be
available to give us advice.

7. Program Administrator Update —
  • Cynthia sent EEA the quarterly report on what we have done.
  • On 2/12, Cynthia and Donna got a tutorial from Marita Carroll (who provided updated website design) on how to navigate Wordpress so we can make editorial changes in-house.
  • Cynthia attended the MDAR workshop on 2/13 and the presenter described grant funding
available to farms. She suggested two grants that would be appropriate for BCD to apply for.
The Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (ACRE) Program and the Agricultural
Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP).
  • On 2/17, she spoke with Audrey Irvine-Broque from the Northeast Grassroots Environmental
Fund regarding the pollinator grant and how to best apply for it again. Audrey suggested
applying for the total grant of $3,500.
  • On 2/24, Cynthia submitted $4,378.50 to the EEA  for reimbursement.
  • Cynthia contacted Jane Obaggy to ask how many years of meeting minutes need to be present
on the website. Only one year is required as long as previous minutes are kept in binders which
Cynthia has organized.
  • Cynthia will be out of the office from March 16th to the 29th.
New Business
  1. No-Till Practices Workshop with Berkshire Grown March 11, 2020, 3pm to 6pm, Stockbridge Town Hall.
Mike will give the No-till  presentation
9. WMMGA Symposium at LMMHS March 28, 2020 — Ron and Donna will attend and bring items to sell at the table. Will give away seeds in exchange for email addresses to build our email base. Will reach
out to home gardeners with info promoting our new website, no-till program and conservation info.
10. DEP — to be reviewed
11. District Annual Work Plan — Dave suggested we consider using Nutrient Management as a template
for setting our goals. To be discussed.
12. Adjournment At 6:39pm, Adam motioned to adjourn, second by Ron, all in favor


Upcoming Events/Meetings:
  • Next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 7, at 78 Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA, Conference Room

Monday, March 9, 2020

Minutes BCD Supervisor meeting February 4th, 2020


Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, February 4th, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Conference Room
78 Center Street, Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Minutes
1. Call to Order at 5:00 pm and Determination of Quorum
Present:
Board members - Ned Kirchner (interim chair), Donna Kittredge, David Ellis & Adam Galambos with Ron Kujawski (via phone).
Staff - Cynthia Grippaldi
 New Business
Motion to make Ned an interim chair for today.  Moved by Adam, seconded by Ron all in favor. 
2. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Cynthia Grippaldi, Program Administrator
a. Review and Approval of January 7th Minutes.  Moved to accept by Ron, second by Donna, all in favor.
3. Treasurer’s Report for January
Add a period of performance - when money needs to be used by (June 30, 2019) and roll over if needed. Add Nutrient Management to report and find out about any outstanding grant funds.  If Quicken keeps crashing when generating reports, upgrade to a newer version before the next board meeting.  Purchase from Staples to get the CD as backup.  Motion to buy Quicken basic upgrade up to $75 by Adam seconded by David.  All in favor. 
a. Updated treasurer’s report format with grant info presented by Cynthia.
b. Monthly/Yearly Budget.  Voted on at the annual meeting. Look at line items from previous budgets to create yearly expenses and when due (insurance, etc.).  Add to Quicken as future expense. Expected vs. actual expense.  Do we need to vote on internet expenses for a period of time? Or is that part of the approved budget?    
c. Treasurer’s report and management.  Add an update on the audit to the next meeting agenda. 
 Old Business
4. District Supervisors
a. Board of Supervisor Recruitment.  We have a good number of supervisors but would like to add a full-time farmer, perhaps north county, and we need more ethnic diversity.  We could also use someone with policy making experience.  Molly Comstock is interested in joining as an associate, and may attend the March meeting.
b. Designation of Titles and Committees.  Chair - Adam, Vice Chair - Ron, Secretary- Donna & Treasurer - David. Ned declined to be chair.  Motion to approve this slate of officers Ron, seconded by David.  Approved by all! Committees will be discussed at a later date.
            c. State Commission Member put off until next month.
d. Re-visit BCD relationship with NRCS.  How do we work best together?  How can we reinvent ourselves?  Develop strategy to generate feedback from the community - farmers, conservation commissions, academics (MCLA, Williams, BCC), non-profits.  We can be the conduit to connect community with experts.  Social media is a great tool to get information from us.  Adam will help with this. Promo ideas to get folks to join BCD email list through our website.  Use nutrient management grant outline to help identify our outreach and education going forward.  Gary Blazejewski, NRCS District Conservationist, will attend the March meeting.
5. Program Status
a.    No-Till (FY2019)
1. Promotion - Workshop with Berkshire Grown March 11 in Stockbridge, add another one in Cheshire so participants can see the no-till seeder.  Cynthia will coordinate with Mike on this. Donna will have 150 copies of promotional postcards printed this month.
                        2. Scheduling rentals - Mike and Cynthia will work together on this.
                        3.  Management
b.    Basic Grant
c.     Innovative Grant
 6. Program Administrator Update
a.    Board to review Administrator’s hours
b.    Administrator’s report:  Motion to accept the new website, replace the old one and get Marita’s invoice.  Moved by Adam, seconded by David.  All in favor.
c.     Ned suggested Cynthia attend the Feb. 13 Berkshire Grown workshop to promote BCD programs to farmers and find out about any grants from MDAR that BCD can apply for. 
 7. New Business
a.  Audit - Cynthia is gathering the information they need to compile the audit. Motion to accept the McMahon & Vigeant proposal for an audit. Donna made motion Adam seconded.  All in favor.
b. Spring Plant/Tree Sale.  Skip the sale for 2020, and focus on 2021.  Need time to decide the most cost-effective way to have one going forward. Option to offer it this fall instead of bulb sale, to be discussed at next meeting Donna will call Amy Anicharico and Amy Burdick regarding plant sale.  Also, Bill Pike.
c. Fall Bulb sale.  Revisit possibility at a future meeting.
d. Computer files backup.  Saved on flash drive! Research the purchase of an additional flash drive(s).
e. District Annual Work Plan - goals, objectives, activities.  Tabled for the next Board meeting.
8.  Comments and Announcements.  None
9. Adjournment.  Moved Donna second Adam.  All approved. Meeting adjourned at 6:57pm
 Upcoming Events/Meetings:
Berkshire Conservation District Supervisor meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday
of each month.  The next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 3rd at 5pm at 78 Center St.,
Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201, Conference Room.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Agenda BCD Supervisor Meeting March 3, 2020

Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Conference Room
78 Center Street, Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Agenda

1.Call to Order and Determination of Quorum

 New Business
2. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Cynthia Grippaldi, Program Administrator
           a. Review and Approval of February 4th Minutes


3. Treasurer’s Report for January
            a.  February treasurer’s report 
            b. Audit status

            c. Monthly/Yearly Budget


4. NRCS District Conservationist - Gary Blazejewski


 Old Business
5. District Supervisors
            a. Board of Supervisor Recruitment
            b. Designation of Committees

            c. State Commission Member


 6. Program Status
a. No-Till (FY2020)    
                        1. Promotion - cards mailed, workshop March 11
                        2. Scheduling rentals

                        3. Management

             b. Nutrient Management (FY 2020)

 7. Program Administrator Update
             a. EEA Reimbursement
             b. Cynthia vacation

   
 New Business
8.  WMMGA Symposium March 28, LMMHS
9.  DEP Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant RFR

10. District Annual Work Plan - goals, objectives, activities
11. Comments and Announcements
12. Adjournment

 Upcoming Events/Meetings:

No-Till Practices workshop with Berkshire Grown March 11, 2020, 3:00-6:00pm, Stockbridge Town Hall.

Berkshire Conservation District Supervisor meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month.  The next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 7th at 5pm at 78 Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201, Conference Room.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Minutes BCD Supervisor meeting Jan. 7, 2020

Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Conference Room
78 Center Street, Suite 206,  Pittsfield, MA 01201

Minutes
1. Call to Order at 5:11 pm, and Determination of Quorum
Present: 
Board members - Ned Kirchner with Holly Aragi & Ron Kujawski (via phone).
Staff - Cynthia Grippaldi
Guests - Mike Balawender (associate), Donna Kittredge, David Ellis &
Adam Galambos
 2. New Business
Ned suggested that Ned is acting chair tonight and going forward the board will decide who
will be acting chair at each meeting until a chair is appointed. Moved by Ron, Holly
seconded, all approved.
Introductions: Mike, Donna, Adam, David, Cynthia, Ned, Holly and Ron.
a. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Cynthia Grippaldi, Program Administrator
a. Review and Approval of December 16th Minutes. Holly moved, Ron seconded,
all approved.
b. Treasurer’s Report for November and December
1. Bills Due. none
2. Reimbursement sent to EEA on 12/27 for November & December expenses,
total $3,398.26
3. Monthly/Yearly Budget planning TBD
4.  Ned suggested including a breakdown of grant dollars left and period of
performance in treasurer's report.  Holly moved, Ron seconded, all approved.
5. Mileage for Cynthia reimbursement $113,68. Ron moved, Holly seconded,
all approved.
6. Saturday Jan. 11 at 9am Mary will transfer GFCU check signing to Holly and Ned. 
Ned to allocate money to the debit card account. $500 motion to move to debit
card limit. Ron moved,  Holly seconded, all approved.

 3. Old Business
A. District Supervisors
            1. Board of Supervisor Recruitment.  The Board of Supervisors voted to approve
Donna, Adam and David as new Supervisors.  Commission meeting is on Jan. 8 to appoint
them. Cynthia sent their bios & letters of interest to Tom Anderson. Vote to approve was
moved by Holly, Ron seconded, all approved.
         2. Designation of Titles and Committees. Interim Chair: Ned Kirschner, Vice Chair:
Ron Kujawski, Treasurer: ?  Secretary: ? Tabled for next meeting.
         3. State Commission Member? Tabled for the next meeting.
 B. No-Till Program Updates
            1. Promotion.  Public presentation late Feb, early March. Mid-day during the week,
Thursday or Friday in the Pittsfield area. Serve refreshments. Adam has data on small farms
in Berkshire County.
            2. Scheduling rentals: procedure.  Mike agrees to train farmers in the use of no-till
and deliver and pick up equipment to farmers. Make rental agreement available on web site.
3. Promo card. Donna’s layout. Small run to start, 150. Donna will get a quote from
QualPrint for a postcard sized mailer. Get it out to farmers by February.  Cynthia promote
the early discount incentive on our Facebook page. Donna will check with the post office
regarding size, postage etc. 
  C. Program Administrator Update. 
Website update.  Marita needs content.  Find Berkshire photographers to provide images. 
Adam is an amateur photographer and a commercial drone operator and is willing to help.
Also Cynthia will check with Dan again. 
Possibility of a Supervisor retreat to plan our year goals and budget, and to brainstorm new
initiatives. Check that we don’t interfere with open meeting laws.


 D. Basic & Innovation Grant Update for FY 2020 
Nutrient Management phase 1 is for researching and understanding existing regulations.
Phase 2 is to reach out to farmers.  Clarify grant amounts with Tom Anderson.


 4. New Business
A.  Audit - Cynthia reached out on Dec. 18, 2019 to McMahon and Vigeant in Dalton who
did a compilation for the year ending June 30, 2018 for  BCD and asked that they perform
another one for us. 
B. Spring Plant/Tree Sale. 8 yrs ago netted approx $10K, then profit margin began to slip,
and there was a lack of volunteers. Donna will contact Amy Burdick and Amy A.  Adam and
Donna want to be involved in the sale. 
C. Computer files backup from Google Drive to a flash drive.  Adam is willing to help with this!
D. District Annual Work Plan - goals, objectives, activities. Postpone to the next board meeting.


5.  Comments and Announcements
6. Adjournment 6:50 Ron moved to adjourn, Holly second.  All approved.
 Upcoming Events/Meetings:

 Berkshire Conservation District monthly Supervisor meetings are scheduled for the first
Tuesday of each month.  The next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 4th at 5pm at
78 Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201, Conference Room.