The City of Monroe Commission on Environment and Water Quality MINUTES March 14, 2019 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.

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.