Meeting Minutes

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES April 11, 2019 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: July 12th, 2019

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

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Ed Kane

Barry LaRoy

Excused:          Isaac Owens

Absent:            Bonnie Finzel-Doster

Guests:            Melanie Foose, MDNR (OGL), Dan Stefanski-COTE Commissioner (via phone), Katie Goplerud-Smith, RR Watershed Coordinator

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

Approval of minutes from March 14, 2019 meeting – Motion by Felder, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed.

Noxious Weed Ordinance: Commissioner Felder reviewed the City Attorney recommended edits to the proposed noxious weed ordinance (chapter 712 of City ordinances). After discussing various elements of the recommended changes COTE will consider alternatives and will table these proposed amendments until the May 2019 meeting due to name changes forthcoming from the state departments and agencies.

2019 River Cleanup (MDEQ Volunteer River, Stream, & Creek Cleanup Program Grant):  Briefly went over the grant application scope and map, will reach out to the GLC on the grant application status. Discussed potential dates including the potential Saturday of the Jazz festival (8-10-19) if it occurs.  Per DPS this date is a good date.

2018 PAC Support Grant: The 4th amendment to the grant was submitted and approved with the amendment being executed.  The amendment is for a short Social Media/Movie Trailer ~30 to 90 second video of the mini-documentary as a lead in for a viewer to watch the entire video and the an extension to June 30, 2019.  Discussed all grant tasks:

  • Portable Banners-reviewed final version of banner 1 & 2 (Restoration & Remediation). Banner 3 wording is finalized and is currently being developed for review (Revitalization).  Wording at the bottom of the banners will be revised to meet the grant requirements, but will wait until guidance is received with the anticipated state department / agency name changes.
  • Media Outreach-Will use portable banners for media outreach series (Restoration, Remediation, & Revitalization – 3R principles) and promote the 2019 River cleanup event (if we obtain the grant), and will also include other ideas: projects completed, activities, water trails, story map, legacy website, recreation, fishing, biking, MS4 stormwater, etc. With the extension to June 30, 2019 using the series can be used to promote the cleanup.
  • Website-ongoing maintenance & updating. Mini-documentary video link is now on the website front page.
  • Documentary Short Style PSA-Done. Added task with grant amendment #4 is to provide a Social Media movie trailer to communicate the documentary, it will be a call to action to watch the full video.

MDNR Items:

  • Shared mini-documentary with a group (Quality of Life Leadership Academy).
  • EGLE will be the new state department MDNR moves into on 4-22-2019.
  • 4th grant amendment is being executed by the state currently.

Members Time:

Beaudry – Will be at Monroe County Earth Day event, Field Guides provided for him to hand out.

Micka – Appeared before Congress a month ago to testify.  While there resolution being developed for by House & Senate combining 103 bills into 1, PA 116-9.  Discussed Dr Hartig link on IAGLR website listing the Raisin AOC as the 1st case study.  Chairman Egen to send an email/thank you.

Felder-Send him a copy of the older Homeowner’s Guide developed previously.

Kane-None

LaRoy – Had 2019 CISMA meeting for flowering rush spray.  Compared 2015 treated areas to 2018 treated areas & it is clear the treatments are aiding in reducing the FR areas/density.

Egen-2 bills from House & Senate-Historic Preservation tax credits-drafted a support letter.  Mentioned the control burn at Sterling Park was done on a high windy day-didn’t appear safe & surprised by the timing, further discussion revealed this practice may have had safety protocol built into it.

Stefanski – none, see you all at the May meeting in Monroe.

Citizen Comments: Katie Goplerud-Smith: Free chainsaw training class on 5-20-19 & 5-21-19 at the Lenawee County Drain Commission Office; Adopt-A-Stream Macroinvertebrate stream search to occur at Adrian College on 4-27-19; Earth Day Cleanup at Tecumseh on 4-22-19.

Adjournment: 8:39 pm a motion made by Felder, Seconded by Kane to officially end the meeting.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES March 14, 2019 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: May 3rd, 2019

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.

Isaac Owens

Richard Micka

Dan Stefanski (via phone)

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Barry LaRoy

Excused:          Bonnie Finzel-Doster

Absent:            Ed Kane

Guests:            Melanie Foose, MDNR (OGL), Butch Uhl-Citizen, Megan LaRoy-Citizen

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

Approval of minutes from January 17, 2019 meeting – Motion by Owens, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed.

City of Monroe Call-In Policy: Chairman Egen went over the current City policy for calling into a meeting.  Due to lack of guidance from the State Attorney General Office, the City Attorney recommends calling into a meeting be allowed, however the person calling in can’t count toward a quorum nor be able to vote on motions.  This policy is to remain until the City decides how further to address the state’s position on this issue.  After a lengthy discussion, several commissioners indicated they would follow the policy.  Commissioner Stefanski indicated when he calls in he will follow the policy until the City determines their policy and will abstain from voting and not be counted toward the quorum.

2019 River Cleanup (MDEQ Volunteer River, Stream, & Creek Cleanup Program Grant):  Briefly went over the grant application scope and map, will likely hear in April of grant awards.

Noxious Weed Ordinance: Commissioner Felder went through the proposed noxious weed ordinance suggested changes (chapter 712 of City ordinances).  After discussion and suggested amendments a Motion was made by Micka, Seconded by Owens, motion passed, Stefanski abastained.

2018 PAC Support Grant: A revised FSR was received, executed, and approved to amend the grant budget allocations (#3).  Discussed all grant tasks:

  • Portable Banners-discussed banner 1 (done) & will be Restoration themed, draft language proposed by Egen for banner 2 (Remediation themed). Mock up of banner 2 discussed/proposed ideas.  Banner 3 will be recreation themed (Revitalization).  The banners will reflect the 3R principles and will be used as a base for the media outreach series.  Email ideas for banner 2 & 3 to Commissioner Egen ASAP, desired to complete the banners by end of March, so as to finalize purchasing the banners before the end of the grant (April 30, 2019).
  • Media Outreach-Will use portable banners for media outreach series. Series ideas  outreach task discussed (Restoration, Remediation, & Revitalization – 3R principles), will use 3 pages with different subject themes, will promote cleanup event if obtain cleanup grant, and will also include other ideas: projects completed, activities, water trails, story map, legacy website, recreation, fishing, biking, MS4 stormwater, etc.
  • Website-ongoing maintenance & updating. Mini-documentary video link is now on the website front page.
  • Documentary Short Style PSA-Done, viewed by City Council on 3-4-19, excellent feedback, outreach plan being developed with OGL, Monroe County museum will be looping the video at the museum, suggested to enter the video in a competition, several emails/comments affirming the video.

MDNR Items:

  • Jon Allan last day 3-8-19.
  • New governor moving OGL to new agency (Dept of EGLE), executive order by governor issued regarding environmental panels being modified with the new agency proposed.
  • Lesil Clark new director of DEGLE, OGL is abolished. James Clift is the Great Lakes Advisor to Lesil Clark.
  • PAC Support grant opportunities are still available – can add additional tasks & funding, must be done before June 30, 2019, 1 amendment opportunity remaining.
  • State EPA grant for MDNR/OGL is USEPA, covers wages, monitoring, PAC Grants.
  • No new PAC grants to be issued until new State EPA grant issued.
  • EPA Task Force Lead (TFL) -Megan Kern replacing interim John Perricone (retired) & Scott Cieniawski. Will like be invited to attend a COTE mtg when Mike Alexander (MDEQ) comes down to present year 2 monitoring results from the NAPL testing.
  • NOAA grant submitted with OGL/MDNR support for Friends of the Detroit River / River Raisin AOC regional partnership project grant submittal.

Members Time:

Beaudry – None.

Owens-Bypass channel at Veteran’s is clogged with debris, needs to be cleaned out, possibly dug deeper, however concern with flow velocity of the channel may be compromised, cleaning it is suggested.

Micka-Don’t tilt at a windmill~ Don Quixote reference.  River Raisin Institute seems to be more hypothetical than COTE, COTE is grounded and operates to obtain results, hence know what you can change and are capable of.  Goals must be attainable.

Felder-for PI Day brought in pie for the COTE, discussed MSU pre-proposal for Raisin watershed study.

Egen-none.

LaRoy – none.

Stefanski – none, see you all at the next meeting in Monroe.

Citizen Comments: none.

Adjournment: 8:41 pm a motion made by Micka, Seconded by Felder to officially end the meeting, Stefanski abstained.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES January 17, 2019 7:00 pm, 1st Floor Conference Room

published: May 3rd, 2019

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.

Isaac Owens

Richard Micka

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Ed Kane

Barry LaRoy

Excused:          Dan Stefanski, Bonnie Finzel-Doster

Guests:            Melanie Foose, MDNR (OGL), Butch Uhl-Citizen, Megan Kane-Citizen, Mayor Robert Clark

Approval of Agenda with an Agenda Amendment – Add 3.1 Public Comments, Motion by Owens, Seconded by Kane, motion passed.

Public Comments – Mayor Robert Clark attended the meeting to discuss Citizen Planning Commission member changes from 9 to 7, 1 member from each precinct and 1 member (if interested) from another commission.  Anyone interested can contact the Mayor by Feb 1, 2019.  Discussed recognition dinner planned for boards & commissions coming up during Michigan Week in May 2019 to say thanks.

Approval of minutes from November 8, 2018 meeting – Motion by Felder, Seconded by Micka, motion passed.

2019 MDEQ Volunteer River, Stream, & Creek Cleanup Program Grant:  Discussed potential grant opportunity for COTE to submit a proposal to the Great Lakes Commission for a 2019 river cleanup event.  The proposed scope and area was discussed, partners, some elements of the cleanup timeframe as well.  Motion made to apply, pursue, and or submit a grant proposal for a 2019 cleanup event was made by Owens, Seconded by Kane, motion passed.

2018 PAC Support Grant: A revised FSR was received, executed, and approved to amend the grant budget allocations.  The quarterly report was submitted in January 2019 along with all invoices.  COTE likely will request a grant extension and small budget amendment.  Will obtain City Admin input for extension.  Discussed all grant tasks:

  • Portable Banners-discussed mock ups of 2 banners along with proposed ideas & suggested text for one of them. Banners will be used as a base for the media outreach series.  Past developed outreach materials were provided to members for reference.  Email ideas for the banners to Commissioner Egen by Feb 1, 2019 so as to finalize the banners before purchasing.
  • Media Outreach-Will use portable banners for media outreach base. Series ideas  outreach task discussed, will 2 full pages, 2 subject themes per page, promote cleanup event if obtain grant, and will also include other ideas: projects completed, activities, water trails, story map, legacy website, recreation, fishing, biking, MS4 stormwater, etc.  Will work on outreach after banners done.
  • Website-ongoing maintenance & updating.
  • Documentary Short Style PSA-Interviews & filming done, preliminary editing ongoing & will be complete on schedule. Showed pictures of interviees.

MDNR Items: State of the Great Lakes Report, Water Strategy Report discussed.  Some River Raisin pictures used.  New directors in the state (OGL, MDEQ, etc).  A new dept will likely be established – Great Lakes & Fresh Water.

Members Time:

Beaudry – None.

Kane-None.

Owens-None.

Micka-Diner at International Wildlife Refuge, April 6, 2019.  New director Susan White.

Felder-Proposed noxious weeds ordinance changes, will obtain City staff input before pursuing a recommendation to the City for suggested ordinance language changes.

Egen-Next PAC Grant-be thinking of ideas, suggest certification program (stickers), etc.

LaRoy – Water Trails recognized by the state, publicized in media outlets.

Citizen Comments: Megan Kane suggested using other forms of social media – Twitter, etc.

Adjournment: 8:41 pm a motion made by Owens, Seconded by Beaudry to officially end the meeting.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES November 8, 2018 7:00 pm, 3rd Floor Conference Room

published: May 3rd, 2019

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.

Isaac Owens

Richard Micka

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Ed Kane

Barry LaRoy

Absent:            Bonnie Finzel-Doster

Excused:          Dan Stefanski

Guests:            Melanie Foose, MDNR (OGL)

Butch Uhl-Citizen

Katie Goplerud-Smith, RR Watershed Coordinator

Approval of agenda for meeting – Motion by Felder, Seconded by Owens, motion passed.

Approval of minutes from October 11, 2018 meeting – Motion by Felder, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed.

2018 PAC Support Grant: The revised FSR is needed to complete the quarterly report from the MDNR.  Discussed the tasks:

  • Media Outreach-subcommittee formed & conference called on 10-19-18 to discuss completion of last 2 grant tasks (portable banners & media outreach). Series ideas o outreach task discussed based, will be based on field guide & other developed outreach with updated information on the Raisin AOC.  Other ideas include, projects completed, activities, water trails, story map, legacy website, recreation, fishing, biking, MS4 stormwater, etc.  Late January 2019 the series is expected to be available.  MDNR approval was granted to have the series start at the end of the grant period ( Feb 2019) and carry over for 1 month per the Monroe News schedule, as long as the cost is invoiced before the end of the grant period.
  • Website-ongoing maintenance & updating
  • Portable Banners-to be retractable & purchase up to 2. Subcommittee working to use outreach info to be developed and will incorporate into the banners.  Egen provided a mock up example to the COTE for discussion.
  • Documentary Short Style PSA-interviews went very well (Dan Stefanski, Dick Micka, Michelle Seltzer, Jon Allan & Marc Tuchman-scheduled for 11-29-18). Filming done, budget may allow for some winter footage, editing ongoing, & will be complete on schedule.  Federal, state, local & citizens interviews and input obtained with this PSA.

MDNR Items: SPAC meeting 11-28-18 ~ 11-29-18.  1 member from each PAC paid for, Micka & Egen to attend.  Multi-day meeting with EPA scheduled week of 11-12-18, will discuss monitoring, bird studies, etc.  Dr Grasman to be on sabbatical and will focus on research more.

Members Time:

Felder-None.

Owens-None.

Kane-PFAS question, discussion occurred, Melanie Foose (MDNR) indicated it will not be an AOC related issue.

Micka-Discussed SEMCOG Water Resource Plan-web link to be sent to COTE.  Suggested having SPAC mtg at City Hall with RR tour & potential other corporation tours-TBD for possible Fall 2019.

Beaudry – None.

LaRoy – Completed a Great Lakes Coastal Assembly – Coast Wetland Ecosystem Assessment online

Egen-Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Citizen Comments: Katie Goplerud-Smith mentioned: RR Watershed Council – Discover the Raisin (3rd-7th grade) project opportunity, $200 awarded to classrooms who win, weblink to be sent to COTE.  Completed project with an Eagle Scout putting mile markers (0.5 mile increments) along the Raisin to be used for locating people with rescues, maintenance, etc.  Farmer Led Conservation Group meeting to be held at the Old Mill in Dundee on 12-6-18, 9am to 1pm.

Adjournment: 8:04 pm a motion made by Felder, Seconded by Kane to officially end the meeting.

The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES October 11, 2018 7:00 pm, 3rd Floor Conference Room

published: January 3rd, 2019

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.

Bonnie Finzel-Doster

Richard Micka

Dan Stefanski

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Ed Kane

Barry LaRoy

Absent:            Isaac Owens

Guests:            Bill Doster-Citizen

Melanie Foose, MDNR (OGL)

Butch Uhl-Citizen

Approval of agenda for meeting with amending the meeting minutes date to be September 13, 2018 – Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed.

Approval of minutes from September 13, 2018 meeting – Motion by Finzel-Doster, Seconded by Stefanski, motion passed.

2018 Flowering Rush Spray-2018 spray work is part of USFWS 2-year grant with the Detroit River-Western Lake Erie Cooperative Weed Management Area, permit amended to include river up to Cranbrook Blvd.  The 2018 spray was completed on October 3, 2018.  Waiting for a map of the spray areas from Aquaweed to give to our GIS consultant to map & provide a shapefile as part of the grant obligations.

2018 PAC Support Grant: The revised FSR is needed to complete the quarterly report from the MDNR.  Discussed the tasks:

  • Media Outreach-subcommittee to be formed along with City staff to put together a series of outreach documents on the Raisin AOC, projects completed, activities, etc. May want to offer outreach to be included in City Newsletter or Parks & Rec newsletter
  • Website-ongoing maintenance & updating
  • State Historic Marker-due to timing this task was eliminated and funding reallocated to outreach and documentary PSA. No funds were expended to date other that voluntary time by Chairman Egen
  • Portable Banners-to be retractable & purchase up to 2. City staff will be working along with subcommittee to develop the graphics/wording/purchase
  • Documentary Short Style PSA-interviews went very well (Dan Stefanski, Dick Micka, Michelle Seltzer, & Jon Allan), filming went well on river including kayaks, fisherman & using drones, one more filming of fall colors is planned, then editing, & will complete. Plan is to consider shopping the PSA to PBS and or use for extending it with a future AOC grant.  PSA may be up to 5 minutes+/-

MDNR Items: OGL audit-programmatic related held / ongoing.  Complete the survey if received, results to be shared.  November will be meeting with EPA for updates on Raisin AOC, will need to wait on Raisin AOC monitoring results to consider benthos BUI removal, Consumption BUI may be 2-4 years & deformities BUI ~4 years or so – need to wait on results, New GLRI US website, various habitat AOC projects discussed.  Discussed City of Monroe & Huron-to-Erie Corridor blue-green algae real-time equipment replacement with state grant administered via SEMCOG – showed live website to group for water operators.

Members Time:

Kane-None.

Micka-Discussed over Plum Creek Bay meeting, Port Inner Modal cargo line, I-75 corridor wetland mitigation, Port wetland work, Access to Recreation-Heritage Trail rehab work, Mill Race Park suggestion potential theme park use, and SE MI Resilience – ArcorMittal-Erb Foundation/Wilson Foundation funded projects

Felder – Discussed commission cards & commission appreciation dinners were asked of Mayor & Council, reminder to vote in November election, will review/bring a list of ordinances to review for COTE to consider recommending amendments to City Administration/Council.

Finzel-Doster-None.

Stefanski – Will be at November COTE meeting and then will be in Florida & will call in for COTE mtg/available via email & phone.

Beaudry – None.

LaRoy – discussed scuba diving of the River Raisin request, Erb Foundation RFP.

Egen-went & assisted with the Sterling State Park cleanup with RR Institute, AOC audit-all COTE members are part of the PAC-nested by the ordinance, issued COTE business cards, showed pictures of 23 egrets on FP4 near his backyard.

Citizen Comments: None.

Adjournment: 8:01 pm a motion made by Stefanski, Seconded by Felder to officially end the meeting.