Monday, May 11, 2020

Minutes BCD Supervisor meeting April 9, 2020

Berkshire Conservation District Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, April 9, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Remote Meeting
The call-in number is 1(646) 876-9923. Meeting ID 132436088 #


  1. Call to order at 5:09pm, and Determination of Quorum
Board members: Adam Galambos, Ron Kujawski, David Ellis, Donna Kittredge, Ned Kirchner
Program Administrator: Cynthia Grippaldi
NRCS representative: Gary Blazejewski

  1. Secretary’s Report – Submitted by Donna Kittredge
Review and approval of March 3rd minutes. Move to accept by Ron, second by David, all in favor

  1. Treasurer’s Report – Submitted by David Ellis
a.       David took pages 13 and 14 out of the Nutrient Management Grant to use as a template for the budget. He will add another column to use for month ahead projections. David will show No-Till income in a separate category using Quicken.
b.       The audit has been completed. The auditor recommended that whenever we make a deposit we make a note describing what it was for.
c.       Cynthia will ask Tom if we can roll money over from the Nutrient Management Grant for 2021.
Move by Adam to accept Treasurer’s Report, second by Ron. All in favor.

  1. NRCS District Conservationist comments from Gary Blazejewski
Gary continues to look into suggestions for new BCD supervisors/associates. He attended the Franklin Conservation District meeting to learn that many farmers are selling to schools. People in the community intend to start or are starting Victory Gardens which he hopes will garner more local interest. NRCS is still doing field business and practicing social distancing. Gary is spending more time with new hires in Hadley and Greenfield.

5.       District Supervisors
Ron will email Tom for more information on the quarterly meetings regarding the location and need for BCD representation.

  1. Program Status
·         Cynthia reported that the No-Till presentation on March 11 partnered with Berkshire Grown was well-received. Mike Balawender gave a great explanation of how the machine works. Dan Tighe (NRCS) was there to talk about how his agency can help with no-till practices, as well. We need to figure out how to compensate Mike for storing the no-till seeder as he is integral to this program and needs our support. It was suggested that Mike give us an idea of what he needs for compensation.
·         The first rental of the No-Till seeder by a farmer with 72-acres was a success.
·         We received a letter of non-renewal from Hartford Insurance stating coverage of rental equipment for farmland use is not acceptable. May 15, 2020 is the date of expiration. Cynthia will call Farm Family Agency in Williamstown and other insurance companies to inquire as to their coverage of farm equipment rentals.
·         EEA Grant — the initial proposal is due May 29. If chosen for funding, the full proposal is due July 24. This is for Phase II of Nutrient Management Proposal.
·         After making many calls, Cynthia was able to reach someone with the Viridian program. The program has ended, however we will still receive compensation from individuals who had signed on.

7.       Program Administrator Update —Submitted by Cynthia Grippaldi
·         Cynthia sent the quarterly report to Tom
·         BCD will give the annual $250 scholarship to BCC
·         Cynthia will ask Gary about his perspective on MOUs

New Business

  1. District Annual Work Plan — Cynthia will look for a plan from the past to be used as a template that can be used hand-in-hand with the new budget. Adam recommended that as a new board, we need to have a vision for moving forward. We need to continue discussion about our mission.
  2. DEP Pollution Grant — MCAD and HVA are applying for it. Adam recommended that we focus on making our our existing programs successful and not spread ourselves too thin this season by applying for it.
  3. Comments/Announcements — Cynthia expressed her appreciation for the new board.
  4. Adjournment — At 6:48pm Adam motioned to adjourn, second by Ron. All in favor.

Upcoming Events/Meetings:
Berkshire Conservation District Supervisor meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Meetings are usually held at 78 Center St., Suite 206, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Until restrictions are lifted for social isolation due to COVID-19, the next meeting will be held remotely on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 by dialing in at 1(646) 876-9923 Meeting ID 132436088 #.

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