The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES February 11, 2021 7:00 pm, Zoom Call (see info below) due to COVID-19

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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 (7:12PM)

Dan Stefanski

Milward Beaudry

Brian Egen

Andrew Felder

Butch Uhl (7:05PM)

Catharine Calder

Barry LaRoy

Absent:           Ed Kane

Guests:           Melanie Foose-EGLE AOC Coordinator

Meaghan Kern-USEPA Region 5 Task Force Lead

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

Approval of minutes from January 14, 2021 meeting – Motion by Calder, Seconded by Beaudry, motion passed via roll call.

Open Meeting Act:  COTE discussed the latest information on the Open Meeting Act (OMA) information on email exchanges and virtual meeting requirements and how to not violate the OMA.  Discussed quorum requirements, stating roll call requirements (full name, via zoom, city, state, township, etc).  Emails were discussed on avoiding potential deliberation of a quorum of COTE members (5 members), deliberations must be public.  Any requests, agenda items, or questions should be sent to the Chairman or Vice-Chairman.

2020-2022 PAC Support Grant: Discussed PAC grant tasks (1, 2, 5 & 6).  Task 1 (documentary) is ongoing and are planning to film this weekend for winter footage.  Discussed task 6 draft poster with revised wording (thanks Melanie Foose), the draft will be emailed to members for review & comments-send to Egen or LaRoy.  Task 2 will start after task 6 with task 5 to follow later in 2021.  Discussed updated website logo (thanks Jake Perry and Jody Egen).  A Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Beaudry for LaRoy to discover / investigate / recommend ideas and alternatives to migrate the existing RR Legacy website to either the City of Monroe website or alternate website vendor, motion passed via roll call.  The quarterly report was submitted to EGLE and the reimbursement has been processed.

River Raisin PAC Implementation Plan Revisions from U of M Students: Melanie Foose, EGLE mentioned the COTE member comments were provided to the U of M students and the they were integrated into report.  Stefanski was asked to review the revised draft in which a few comments were provided.  These comment will be built into the final report and analysis which is scheduled to be available in April 2021.

Future Topic Items: Stefanski requested revisiting working with the RR Watershed Council (RRWC) on the Stream Monitoring and Bug ID work that is through the Adopt-A-Stream program.  Work could be through COTE, schools, & volunteers, revive local participation if possible, he will reach out to the RRWC and bring information back to COTE.

Egen mentioned an education opportunity and exploring the option of developing a short curriculum, stewardship and possibly creating a subcommittee to put it together.  Recommended Calder to assist with helping on program and advise where to go to provide to teachers in Monroe County.  Topics could be Michigan history, RR history, watch RR documentary, use field guides, participate in environmental outreach (i.e. Sterling State Park, cleanups, etc).

Egen requested / encouraged Beaudry and Uhl to further their brainstorming ideas for integrating programs with the river cleanup, scavenger hunts, kayaking, etc for putting into the 2021 cleanup.

EGLE Items:

  • Noted U of M student revisions to report.
  • Mentioned state of Michigan requirements to telework until May 1, 2021.
  • Discussed mink trapping at Ford Warehouse, not likely for 2021 due to required agreement. Discussed potentially having City & Ford be party to the agreement and EGLE fund the work, will investigate with City Administration & EGLE Management, possible trapping in 2022, possibly be part of amending the PAC grant.  Went through the options completed for gaining access.
  • SPAC mtg March 9, 2021-virtual so all are encouraged to attend.
  • March COTE meeting-EGLE & USEPA are planning to discuss the 2019 CAP data and workplan for 2020. Attendees will be EGLE, USEPA, and Army Corp of Engineer members, a ppt is planned.  Will likely discuss the 2020 dredging sample results from the navigational channel as well.

Members Time:

Beaudry-none.

LaRoy-none.

Stefanski–discussed older media he has including pictures, reports, items for show & tell, history, discussed river uses, tugboats, possibly using any footage for documentary, possibly having a subcommittee to review the items, discussed woody debris removal projects, and appreciated the U of M students report-paying dividends already with COTE efforts.

Felder-discussed engaging the community to be more involved with education curriculum, give to leaders, if we build infrastructure then plan on using it more, requests a call to action like having associate members, events, community engagement efforts.

Micka- discussed getting his COVID vaccine shots (moderna).

Uhl-none.

Egen-none.

Citizen Comments: none.

Adjournment: 8:29 pm a motion made by Felder, Seconded by Micka to officially end the meeting, motion passed via roll call.