December 9, 2009 Meeting Minutes

16 Dec
December 16, 2009

As recorded by John Bunch, Secretary
Curtis Newsome opened the meeting and asked that John Bunch read the minutes from the previous monthly meeting. The minutes were read. Jeff Turner made a motion to adopt, seconded by Nancy Turner, and passed with no changes. The minutes correction made from previous meeting’s report-out was read to show how the correction had been taken care of.

Curtis asked Nancy Turner for the treasurer’s report for November. She reported that revenues were $235.00 (dues for new memberships, contributions, and atlas sales), expenses were $1294.47. Large expense for the month was for Internet hosting and repair to the website.
Bobby then gave the Membership Report which now has the group membership count at 138, a gain of three members of which two are local organizations.
The meeting had 9 in attendance and the BOD members present were Sherri Woodard, Nancy Turner, Jeff Turner, and Curtis Newsome.

The Riverkeeper Report
As presented by Jeff Turner

On 11/15 – From the Nor’easter, the Blackwater crested at 13.59 with the Nottoway having it’s crest three days later at 18.99. Today (12/9) the Nottoway is at 17.49 and showing falling at Sebrell. However, the curve on all other gauges were straight up. This means I disagree with NOAA that the river will continue to fall through the week. The Blackwater was 10.94 at Burdette. That gauge and the one in Dendron are on the upswing, all of this resulting from the recent heavy rains.
On 11/20 – Sent a letter to the Surry Planning Commission concerning the proposed coal fired power plant in Dendron. The letter was an appeal to push for an alternative fuel other than coal.
On 11/25 – Sent letters to the USACE and the City of Franklin concerning the impact of dam/dike failures on river levels during hurricane and other large rain events. Have been working on this since the flooding occurred in Franklin. (Curtis brought up a gravel pit dike close to his house that has failed more than once)
On 11/27 – Spent four days on the Blackwater River below Franklin. Water level was at 7.6 and the trash was very bad. Met up with DEQ personnel monitoring the river and talked with them. This meeting occurred on my 4th day out. We discussed IP’s holding ponds and what may become of them in the future. On the same day, I also saw the IP water testing contractors going through their routine.
– Unblocked the N&S RR trestle of a log jam so as to allow boating access upriver.
On 12/1 – On the Ashland-Hercules VPDES Permit modification, there are stricter limits on TSS and BOD. According to DEQ’s Mark Sauer, “Ashland-Hercules really stepped up to the plate on this one and did not object to the conditions and limits we put in the permit, but instead accepted them and accepted their responsibility to clean up the site. As long as they can avoid spills in the future, I think we have an improvement in this section of the river.”
On 12/3 – International Paper begins their annual winter release of their wastewater holding pond.
On 12/8 – New Suzuki 2.5 Hp outboard motor has finally arrived. It’s a small motor weighing ~30# and runs very quietly. This should do a good job getting me upriver during low water level times.
On 12/9 – Gave a presentation to Ashland-Hercules at their safety day held at the PDCCC. Showed the BNRP 3 movie to an attendance of 38 people. (Based on audience evaluations at the end, this presentation was very well received)

This concluded the Riverkeeper Report

Other Items:

– Officers – Discussion centering on people agreeing to hold the Officers and Board positions. Everyone with the exception of Mark Smith will continue in their present roles. Anne Parker will fill the position on the Board that Mark held. For the record, Jeff Turner will continue as Executive Director, Riverkeeper, and Board member, Curtis Newsome as Chairman and Board member, Sherri Woodard as Vice Chairman and Board member, Nancy Turner as Treasurer and Board member, Bobby Turner as the Membership co-ordinator, Anne Parker as Board member, and John Bunch as Secretary. The motion for this continuation was made by Nancy, seconded by Jeff, and passed. Curtis then thanked everyone for agreeing to continue on for another year.

– Annual Banquet – It was discussed and agreed upon that the annual banquet will be held on February 17th.

– Conservationist of the Year Award – One idea thrown out is for Eric Brittle as he has given a lot of his own time towards the conservation of the river and its wildlife. Sherri asked about the criteria that was used on the decision making process. Jeff’s response was that there has been a wide gamut of the choices made through the years, not any one strict set of requirements being followed.

– Sean Maconaghy reported for Ashland that they are awaiting public comments on their VPDES permit mod and also waiting on their air permit modification.

– John Bunch reported for IP that we are figuring out as we go along on how to proceed with the mill closure issues. Also, mentioned that there would be an end-of-the-year 2010 release season.

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