Meeting Minutes

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES April 9, 2020 7:00 pm, Zoom Call (see info below) due to COVID-19

published: June 3rd, 2020

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Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm

Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.

Richard Micka

Dan Stefanski (via phone)

Brian Egen

Ed Kane

Butch Uhl

Catharine Calder

Barry LaRoy

Excused:          Milward Beaudry

Absent:            Andrew Felder

Guests:            Melanie Foose-EGLE AOC Coordinator, Paula Whitman-Councilwomen, Jake Perry-County IT

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Kane, motion passed.

Approval of minutes from February 13, 2020 meeting – Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Micka, motion passed. Calder abstained-not at meeting.

2020-2022 PAC Support Grant: PAC Support Grant received from EGLE, being reviewed by City Administration, will attempt to put on 4-20-20 City Council agenda for acceptance/execution via electronic signatures.  Briefly touched on items included.

2020 River Cleanup Grant: Briefly went over the grant proposal submitted to the Monroe County Environmental Fund (Solid Waste) for the 2020 River Cleanup.  Currently waiting to hear back on whether the proposal has been funded, likely due to COVID-19 closures.

Future Topics: Reoccurring Items

Life After Delisting: Environmental Issues, Information on monitoring, ongoing work by U of M students, River Raisin PAC establishment/evolution, GLRI funding, partnerships, outlining future AOC – lake – river – Port of Monroe goals/activities, NPDES Phase 3-invasive species, and background details discussed by Egen, Micka, Melanie Foose, Stefanski

Non-PAC Support Grant Projects: Discussed partnerships, due to COVID-19 plans have been delayed for outreach-incorporate with cleanup efforts, ongoing work, DDA efforts, include other groups via Zoom calls, hosting an event to update COTE ideas to build coalitions/partnerships

EGLE Items:

  • MDNR plans for sampling fish in 2020 (last sampling 2016 in 3 spots, great lakes fish found and successful, getting upstream of fish passage structures). Resample in 2020 focusing on smallmouth bass at Raisinville Rd bridge.  Data on past fish sampling to be provided & will be distributed to COTE.
  • Ford site upland cleanup-completed, narrative report coming out, Mannik & Smith provided sampling.
  • 4 – U of M students to be contacting COTE this summer via Zoom about AOC, efforts, etc as a follow-up to past work, Dr Seelbach students.
  • AOC conference to be in May 2021, Muskegon, MI
  • Discussed Ford monitoring in depth, COTE to provide comments to EGLE ASAP based on studies completed, report to be sent to COTE.

Members Time:

Calder-welcome to COTE, 1st meeting

Micka-Discussed topics of Western Lake Erie Adaptive Management Plan, Recreational Water Guidelines & limits for microcystin and cylinderspermopsin, and reef balls

Kane-Played song by his friend (Paul Gerweck) that includes the Riverwalk

Uhl-Asked EGLE questions about fish sampling (2013, 2016, and proposed 2020)

LaRoy –stay safe by staying home

Stefanski–stay safe by staying home

Citizen Comments: Councilwomen Whitman commented that this was her first meeting and has a lot to learn.

Adjournment: 8:53 pm a motion made by Micka, Seconded by Stefanski to officially end the meeting.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES February 13, 2020 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: June 3rd, 2020

Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm
Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.
Richard Micka
Dan Stefanski (via phone)
Milward Beaudry
Brian Egen
Andrew Felder
Ed Kane
Butch Uhl
Barry LaRoy
Absent: Catharine Calder
Guests: Melanie Foose, EGLE AOC Coordinator
Approval of Agenda – Motion by Beaudry, Seconded by Felder, motion passed. Stefanski abstained.
Approval of minutes from January 9, 2020 meeting – Motion by Felder, Seconded by Kane, motion passed. Stefanski abstained.
2019-2020 PAC Support Grant: Prices for several tasks were developed and discussed for the PAC Support Grant with EGLE input, the tasks fit within the PAC grant budget limits. Items discussed and that are being considered include:
• Interpretative Sign Maintenance-Redesign & replace panels all 7 signs, City staff to redesign, DPS remove & replace the signs
• Longer Format (Approx 30 Minutes) RR Expanded Documentary Film-3 phases (beginning, middle, end), suggest ½ hr with grant on 1st film, history & community, last ½ hour (future grant) on where we are and future outlook, consultant to complete with COTE.
• River Raisin Posters-describe current AOC monitoring, identify goals, work done/projects, talk to peers, suggest having one geared toward peers & one for public, City staff and print costs.
• Homeowner’s Guide & Field Guide-mesh the two documents into a new document with updates, revisions, new info, City staff to redesign time & print costs.
• Sticker Program/Static Clings-Stickers, outdoor clings & decals considered with RR and facts, City staff and print costs.
• Waterproof lanyards/phone/wallet bags-examples shown, put RR Legacy logo & fun facts on them, City staff and purchase costs, smartphone size emphasized.
• Maintain RR Legacy website-ongoing maintenance cost for site, consultant cost.
• Riverwalk Fishing Post Mounts-on posts at existing benches for fishing-to be evaluated
with City Administration in relation to Riverwalk Masterplan Concept Plan.
• Kayak Crawl / Race / Fun Day-Possible task-Fun day, outreach, kayak race Veteran’s to
FP1, food, joint grant funding MCEF & PAC Grant, promote water trail, advertising,
giveaways, have COTE educate racers before going to next segment, scavenger hunt, have
COTE punch their ticket, plaques/trophies, partner with Battlefield (30), helments &
lifejackets required; Butch & Milward Research, must have qualified watercraft / Possible
Ducky Dash at the end, Andrew to contact Chip DTBN.
Discussion occurred on these tasks and funding for including with PAC grant, corporate partners,
& other grant options (MCEF). The PAC grant max awarded is $75,000 through February 28,
2022, max per year is $35,000, $5000 is the minimum award. A PAC support letter with COTE
motion / approval is required such that a Motion by Micka for the PAC to issue a support letter
and developing a proposal once all items are finalized, Seconded by Kane, motion passed.
Stefanski abstained.
Future Topics:
Life After Delisting-Discussion on partnering, forge with existing grant opportunities, establish
now for outreach and stewardship, build infrastructure, put mechanisms in place, other sources
of funding, keep up with long term contacts to stay current on AOC/EGLE related items including
sampling. Keep conduit in place, will need to determine most important items to stay
current/focused on, importance on what to maintain after delisting. Consider a dashboard with
BUIs status or scorecard, partner with RRWC and RRI more.
Non-PAC Support Projects-discussed 2020 River Cleanup, no funding from GLC, alternative
funding via MCEF, discussed details of grant, Motion by Felder, Seconded by Kane to move
forward with developing a grant to submit to MCEF for 2020 River Cleanup, potentially linking
grant work with PAC grant task for fun day depending on what is determined.
EGLE Items:
• Bird / Animal Deformity Report, updated: discussed bald eagle reproduction, healthy
population, production good, but high level of PCB in blood. Handout provided. Genetic
study being proposed, on babies to determine are they dying too early, are clean inland
birds coming in & having dirty babies or are eagles becoming PCB resistant? Trying to get
funding, working with John Riley, EPA is interested. Successful breeding typically doesn’t
equal high PCB in blood which doesn’t equal high productivity levels. Annual AOC testing
/ assessing to be maintained.
• Fact Sheet Example handout provided-St Clair general info, discussed
• Mink trapper @ Ford Warehouse along the river being sought, must have Ford access,
discussed several alternative ways to accomplish, TBD. RR AOC has eagles, tree swallows,
mink & forage fish as species to track on recovery. Detroit River AOC has only forage fish
& eagles. Consideration of Tom Peters (MSG-Ford) & Jason Morgan (DNR-SSP) for
contacts to complete work. Deformities BUI, will study & compare forage fish 2016 &
2020, consumption 2013 & 2020. Fish consumption comparison, RR AOC 2013
consumption study 7.54, Huron River 0.84, will check in 2020.
• Fact Sheet for Dick Micka, can use for posters and website, discussed CAP sampling;
Review/comments on draft sheet send to Melanie Foose, can brand fact sheet & use for
COTE.
• SSP-High water levels, erosion problem, Hunt Club dike failing, DNR/EPA funding being
sought for stabilizing, make GLRI projects sustainable.
• SPAC Mtg-no date officially set, tentative March 24-26.
Members Time:
Uhl-none
Felder-none
Micka-Need to monitor fish passage @ Veteran’s Park for fish going upstream, Melanie explained
fish studies by DNR revealed great lake species are making it upstream, will contact Sarah Thomas
of DNR about a new study/info.
Milward-will COTE be part of Earth Day 2020, 50th anniversary @ MCCC, contact Dan Rock,
forwarded email on event, sent to all COTE members for consideration.
LaRoy –Mentioned eagle scout interview related to COTE work, Monroe County Collaborative for
invasive species consideration.
Egen-Stefanski & Micka were celebrities at the Thunderbay International Film Festival, Alpena,
MI on 1-25-2020, best edited / narrative
Stefanski–talk to you next month
Citizen Comments: None
Adjournment: 9:32 pm a motion made by Felder, Seconded by Kane to officially end the meeting.
Stefanski abstained.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES January 9, 2020 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: June 3rd, 2020

Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm

Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.

Richard Micka

Dan Stefanski (via phone)

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Butch Uhl

Barry LaRoy

Excused:          Ed Kane

Guests:            Melanie Foose, EGLE AOC Coordinator

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Micka, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed.  Stefanski abstained.

Approval of minutes from December 12, 2019 meeting – Motion by Micka, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed. Stefanski abstained.

2019-2020 PAC Support Grant: Discussed PAC Support Grant potential tasks with EGLE input.  Items discussed are:

  • Adopt-A-River-as a fundraising effort, use to clean sections of the river
  • Interpretative Sign Maintenance-redesign & replace panels
  • Boat / Overlay-either purchase or receive a donated boat & overlay with RR Legacy logo, use for parades, cleanups, etc for outreach
  • 1 Hour RR Film on PBS-3 phases (beginning, middle, end), suggest ½ hr with grant on 1st film, history & community, last ½ hour (future grant) on where we are and future outlook
  • River Raisin posters-describe current AOC monitoring, identify goals, work done/projects, talk to peers, suggest having one geared toward peers & one for public
  • Homeowner’s Guide & Field Guide-mesh the two documents into a new document with updates, revisions, new info, plan on City staff time & print
  • Speaker Event / Podcasts-Speaker panel, podcast, experts speak on podcast program (like Youtube with Audio onlyJ), distribute to different interfaces, consider an honorarium approach (i.e. $500) to have speaker/expert on board, possible speakers include EGLE, academia, EPA, MPS personnel.
  • Sticker Program-Oval examples provided, suggest using RR and toting facts such as “crookest river”, put RR Legacy website on them, using features with old State Map with City of Monroe as a star on the map, other suggested wording includes “I Support RR (i.e. downtown business windows) & “Remember the Raisin”, use clings instead of stickers for removal & reuse ease.
  • Riverwalk fencing-DDA Partnership using Riverwalk Concept plan, retrofit sections as a demonstration project with a design fence to meet all partner & grant needs, fencing is a barrier to the river such that EGLE will not approve this option.
  • Waterproof lanyards/phone/wallet bags-put RR Legacy logo & fun facts on them, develop them toward a fisherman use, put history of AOC & facts on them
  • Historic Marker-long duration to develop, longer grant is good option to complete, need to wait until delisted before developing the marker, however PAC grant funds won’t be available once delisted.
  • Fun Day with River Cleanup-consider a combined or separate event, suggest a kayak race with a reward, record event, food later in day so as to premiere the RR film, possible food trucks, NPS use of kayaks, have a full day event
  • Stairway from Riverwalk into the river-needed for aiding in gaining access to river
  • Save-the-Date-post cards mailed for events/river cleanup, define audience or area to send to, costs include City staff to develop, print, postage
  • Maintain RR Legacy website-ongoing maintenance cost for site
  • Sturgeon or Fish Festival-consider bringing students to river and catching a fish, consider talking to Monroe Public School Lake Erie outreach center for this effort one day & next day have the festival
  • From Ed Kane via Email: Riverwalk permanent fishing pole mounts on posts, additional benches for fishing.

Discussion occurred on these tasks on funding options including PAC grant, corporate partners, & other grant options.  COTE will attempt to review / define these tasks further & price them so as to submit an application.  The PAC grant max awarded is $75,000 through February 28, 2022, max per year is $35,000, $5000 is the minimum award.  A PAC support letter with COTE motion / approval is required as well.

COTE Ordinance: Briefly discussed the section of the COTE ordinance that may need to be recommended to City Council to be amended, decided to leave ordinance wording as is, no recommendation at this time.

Future Topics: Reoccurring Items – Life After Delisting and Non PAC Support  Projects

EGLE Items:

  • Past trapper (for mink) @ Ford Warehouse to obtain tissue samples was unsuccessful, requested to do mink trapping again, but no luck. Requested a local trapper to gain access daily.  Briefly discussed PAC Support grant. SPAC meeting tentative March 2020, need sponsors for rooms & ideas, COTE suggested Rep Bellino

Members Time:

Uhl-none

Felder-none

Micka-mentioned the Detroit River wall collapse & Army Corp of Engineers input, noted expected rain this upcoming weekend is 1”~3”, hopes City and other agencies are prepared, beach areas to be affected.

Milward-none, had to leave @ 8:48 pm

LaRoy –Mentioned 2020 Flowering Rush spray grant, forwarded IWR meeting mintues to COTE, discussed the NOAA grant opportunity-Feasibility & Design Study to establish fish habitat along RR adjacent to public properties complementing all AOC work done.

Egen-Mentioned RR Film @ Thunderbay International Film Festival, Alpena, MI on 1-25-2020, RR film will be @ 1pm for Q&A

Stefanski–Good luck with rain event

Citizen Comments: None

Adjournment: 9:02 pm a motion made by Felder, Seconded by Micka to officially end the meeting.  Stefanski abstained.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES December 12, 2019 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: January 28th, 2020

Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm.

Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.
Richard Micka
Dan Stefanski (via Phone)
Milward Beaudry
Brian Egen
Andrew Felder (7:02 PM)
Ed Kane
Butch Uhl
Barry LaRoy
Guests: Emmaline Felder

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Kane, Seconded by Felder, motion passed, Stefanski abstained.

Approval of minutes from October 10, 2019 meeting – Motion by Beaudry, Seconded by Kane, motion passed, Stefanski abstained.

2019 PAC Grant: Grant document released 12-10-19. Document is not competitive, no match required, timeframe to complete the projects is March 31, 2022, no deadline to submit. Letter of Support from PAC is required with similar project task grant proposal language in the past is fine. Funding range can’t exceed $75K over the grant timeframe, no more than $35K/year, minimum grant amount is $5K. COTE brainstormed ideas including: a boat for outreach functions, possible boat donation from Cabelas with funding to overlay it for COTE; update / print Raisin posters, update & mesh home owner guide with field guide & print; Speaker(s) event within City Council chambers for partnership building; sticker program for RR Legacy including printing them; maintaining website; develop a mascot for COTE (i.e. Richard G. Muskrat or sturgeon); State Historic Marker, placemats, citizen scientist option, discussed partnering with the DDA on potential projects including decorative guardrails. Mill Race Park discussed but determined to be more recreation related. Chairman Egen assigned a task for each member to come back with at least 1 item for discussion at the next meeting.

COTE Ordinance: Reviewed & discussed the COTE ordinance. COTE to discuss at next meeting on potential language change for recommendation to City Council on amending.

Future Topic Items: Discussed this item that will be placed on the agenda going forward. The item is for COTE members to bring items of potential

COTE input and or action, to record into the minutes, vetting and discussion for COTE to decide whether to take on as a COTE task in relation to the COTE responsibilities. Logistics on how to implement related scenarios were discussed.

EGLE Items:
Port of Monroe Landfill and Army Corp of Engineers Navigational Dredging discussed via
email from EGLE. Also discussed the old Revere Copper and Brass site seawall collapse
that occurred in November 2019.

Members Time:
Micka-none
Felder-none
Uhl-none
Kane-question on how to go about reporting dumping in his neighborhood into rear yard
drainage structures. Discussed taking pictures and reporting to Environmental Health, Drain
Commission and Monroe Township.
Beaudry-none
Kane-Noted picture in Monroe News of a young man (Vincent Sanders) who caught a 40” salmon
while on a trip to Manistee, his favorite place to fish is in Monroe on the Riverwalk.
Stefanski–Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
LaRoy–discussed meeting at SEMCOG with Michele Selzer & Adaptive Management Approach
plan that will be sent to COTE for input in 2020.
Egen-State of OH is spending funds (appropriations) on addressing HAB in Lake Erie, OH has
changed their laws & are now appropriating funding. Suggest MI consider the same approach
for municipal action. Noted that election for Chairman of COTE is open if any COTE member is
interested. After discussion a motion was made by Micka, supported by Kane to nominate Brian
Egen to be Chairman of COTE, Stefanski abstained.
Citizen Comments: none

Adjournment: 8:30 pm a motion made by Felder, Seconded by Kane to officially end the meeting,
Stefanski abstained.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES October 10, 2019 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: January 28th, 2020

Call to Order: Chairman Egen called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.

Members Present: A roll call of members was taken and a quorum was present.

Richard Micka

Dan Stefanski

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder (7:06 PM)

Ed Kane

Barry LaRoy

Absent: Butch Uhl

Guests:            Melanie Foose, EGLE, Meaghan Kern, USEPA Region 5

Approval of Agenda – Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed.

Approval of minutes from September 19, 2019 meeting – Motion by Beaudry, Seconded by Stefanski, motion passed.

2019 Flowering Rush Spray: The 2019 spray occurred on September 30th.  Notices were mailed & each property was field marked.  Per the consultant (Aquaweed) they are pleasantly surprised at how the invasive species (flowering rush, purple loosestrife, etc) have reduced in density and area.  COTE will work with our CISMA on securing funding / opportunities to spray in 2020.  5.6 acres total sprayed in 2019, in 2018 over 12 acres were sprayed.

Great Lakes Restoration Celebration: Openings for the event on 10-18-19 are still available via the weblink provided.  Event will be at the Henry Ford in Dearborn 8am-12:45 pm.  Chairman Egen is coordinating a Model T tour/ride after the event.  River Raisin has projects included in the booklet.  A Raisin AOC update will be provided by COTE / PAC members.  Raisin AOC pull-up banners will be on display as well.

2019 PAC Grant: Funding for EGLE (pre-award and whole amount) received.  New departmental structure is slow with different requirements/reviews/etc. Not likely to receive an RFP, but guidance with limited to no timelines to accomplish PAC grant project tasks.  Project spring 2020 for guidance, not competitive.  Letter of Support from PAC is required with similar project task grant proposal language in the past is fine.  Funding range will be $20K~$30K.  COTE brainstormed some ideas including: a boat for outreach, functions, possible boat donation from Cabela’s with funding to overlay it for COTE; update / print Raisin posters, update & mesh home owner guide with field guide & print; Speaker(s) event within City Council chambers for partnership building; sticker program including printing them; maintain website; develop a mascot for COTE (i.e. Richard G. Muskrat or sturgeon); State Historic Marker-discussion on Lake Erie marker @ sterling state park.

EGLE Items:

  • Participated in PAC Support Grant above, No SPAC meeting upcoming. Discussion on upland Ford Project (PCB cleanup), handled by Mannik & Smith Group for Ford in accordance with TSCA. Some upland PCB results found were 1500 ppm.  Meghan Kern, USEPA noted that if 2020 test results are similar to past results TSCA may on their own obtain their own sampling to aid in resolving this issue.

Members Time:

Micka-Questions for Meaghan Kern (TFL) on management actions completed to remove BUIs, Ford upland investigation, Chuck Pinter (Ford).  Had general questions on bow thrusters affecting the CAP in Port, sent slide 16 from Mike Alexander’s ppt, noted Port contractor (DRM) information and a story.

Felder-none but wanted to discuss items after meeting

Beaudry-MPACT now has podcasting capabilities, RR AOC story is an option

Kane-Noted picture in Monroe News of a young man (Vincent Sanders) who caught a 40” salmon while on a trip to Manistee, his favorite place to fish is in Monroe on the Riverwalk.

Stefanski–none, will miss Nov meeting and be in Florida thereafter until spring 2020.

LaRoy–Update on PFAS info on Ford site.

Egen-noted the Great Lakes Restoration Celebration at the Henry Ford.

Citizen Comments: none

Adjournment: 8:21 pm a motion made by Stefanski, Seconded by Beaudry to officially end the meeting.