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

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.