The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES June, 2020 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 7:09 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

Ed Kane

Butch Uhl

Catharine Calder

Barry LaRoy

Guests:            Melanie Foose-EGLE AOC Coordinator, Meaghan Kern, USEPA Task Force Lead

Approval of Agenda – Motion by LaRoy to amend the agenda to add item 6d “2020 Invasive Species Treatment” and amend item 5 to read “River Raisin AOC PAC Chairman Nominations and Election”, Seconded by Felder, motion passed.

Approval of minutes from May 14, 2020 meeting – Motion by Stefanski, Seconded by Felder, motion passed.

River Raisin AOC PAC Chairman Nominations and Election: Dan Stefanski announced he is stepping down as the PAC Chairman but desires to stay on as a COTE commissioner due to various reasons.  He has been the PAC Chairman since its inception of the PAC being formed in 1993.  He nominated Barry LaRoy as PAC Chairman, seconded by Dick Micka, motion passed.  Barry LaRoy accepted the nomination.

AOC Program Implementation Interviews: The U of M students had completed 3 interviews with COTE members (Stefanski, Micka & LaRoy) so far, one other will be scheduled soon (Egen).  The interviews are very well executed, professionally done, and allow the ability to provide input and thoughts on implementing the proposed recommendations.  The students are driven, ambitious and want to help the AOC coordinate the implementation.  Melanie Foose was also interviewed.  The COTE members each shared some specific details from their interviews.  A followup meeting on the implementation will occur in August/September 2020.

2020-2022 PAC Support Grant: Zoom call was held with a few COTE members back in April but due to COVID 19 tasks have not been worked on much or completed due to lack of access to equipment, scheduling and vendors not being available.  Will work on task ASAP so as to get back on schedule.

Meaghan Kern, USEPA was introduced and her background as Task Force Lead was provided.

2020 River Cleanup Grant: Monroe City Council approved a resolution outlining the cancellation of all recreational programming/activities for the rest of the 2020 season on 6-8-20 such that the River Raisin Cleanup falls into that category as a City related function.  Therefore a request to the County will be made to hold the grant funds until 2021 for scheduling a cleanup event.

2020 Invasive Species Treatment: Due to grant applications/funds on hold for the Detroit River Western Lake Erie CWMA, funds for the River Raisin 2020 invasive species treatment are not available.  A smaller grant application was made to the Monroe County Environmental Fund such that the City was awarded a $3000 grant to apply a smaller treatment in the river and a new section along the Mason Run Drain adjacent to the River Raisin National Battlefield Headquarters along N Dixie Hwy.

Future Topics: Discussion occurred on past events and activities regarding the AOC, discussed promoting revamping / restarting the Monroe Public Schools program on LaPlaisance Rd.

EGLE Items:

  • Contacted by Ray Falsing about high water damage to Heritage Trail at Sterling State Park (SSP), funds approved from DNR for $600,000 for repairs to trail. Detroit AOC are redesigning their projects due to high water levels, using contingencies.
  • Last benthos study was in 2016, monitoring annually, 2019 results coming soon, no monitoring in 2020 due to COVID, Will forward results once received, Lee will be coming down in Sept about future monitoring. Monitoring is for BUI degradation of bethos.
  • Deformities to birds BUI-bald eagles, herring gulls @ DTE, tree swallows, forge fish, pre2019 results not available yet, 2020 samples not going to be obtained, tree swallow and bald eagle samples are ongoing but not in 2020. USFWS genetics study approved, working on, USGS tree swallow study funded for boxes and eggs.
  • SPAC mtg on July 23, 2020 virtual, 1 day only.
  • Discussed Dick Micka request on Port dredging, is it funded for 2020, plans being finalized, Sept start, finish by Nov, July bid, public notice TBD. Spoils testing TBD.  Past test results of turning basin shared.
  • Discussed River Raisin AOC Report Card, will be updated regularly and provided with each agenda.

Members Time:

Beaudry-none

LaRoy –none, thanks for PAC Chair nomination.

Stefanski–none, thanks for allowing him to be PAC Chairman.

Uhl-none

Felder-Thanks to Dan for PAC Chair & congrats to Barry, asked if all COTE members are PAC members, clarification was provided.

Kane-had hip replacement-recovering, thanks to Dan.

Micka-discussed U of M student interview – GLRI spending & watershed.

Calder-left meeting at 7:45pm

Citizen Comments: none.

Adjournment: 8:28 pm a motion made by Stefanski, Seconded by Micka to officially end the meeting.