February 10, 2010 Meeting Minutes

15 Feb
February 15, 2010

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, Anne Parker commented that a correction needed to be made to change the name of Va Conference Network to Va Conservation Network. It was agreed to make this change and Nancy Turner made the motion to adopt the minutes with that change, seconded by Anne, and passed.

Curtis asked Nancy for the treasurer’s report for January. She reported that revenues were $10,280.00 (dues for memberships and foundation grants), expenses were $2173.21. Large expenses for the month were for Waterkeeper Alliance license fee and for the Newsletter publication. Nancy then went over the proposed budget for 2010 explaining the line items in detail. Jeff agreed with the budget, Sherri Woodard had already voted yes beforehand, and the remaining board members voted yes, there-by approving the budget.

Bobby Turner then gave the Membership Report which now has the group membership count at 144, a gain of three members from last month. It should be noted that of this 144, 91 have paid for 2010, the remainder being carried over from 2009.

The meeting had 9 in attendance and BOD members present were Nancy Turner, Anne Parker, Jeff Turner and Curtis Newsome.

The Riverkeeper Report

As presented by Jeff Turner

On 1/14 – Spent Three days on the Blackwater below Franklin seeing no water quality issues.

On 1/19 – Had a radio interview with Steve Stewart for the “Our Town” radio show which went well. Following the interview I went out to spend time on the Blackwater below the Steel Bridge. Left after two days, being run out by bad weather. The water level was very high.

On 1/22 – Attended the Franklin Tourism Steering Committee meeting.

On 1/27 – Attended the USACE flood meeting in Greensville County which I found to be informative. The Stream and rain gauge money is not available yet. It turns out that there is a $200,000 cost installation with an $85,000 annual maintenance cost. The proposed Recon study is to be finished March 2011.

On 2/4 – Attended the Virginia for the Humanities meeting.

On 2/8 – Received word that the dead leaning pine on the Nottoway River upriver from Courtland that contained an eagle nest has fallen.

Reviewed and rated this year’s APNEP grants. Grants of up to $20,000 are available in our watershed for demonstration projects. Some project examples are nature trails, stormwater run-off interception, schoolyard wetland creation, Green roof designs, and rain gardens, to name a few. Schools aren’t the only ones that can submit; state and local gov’ts, community colleges, and non-profits may apply too. In this last batch, the applications from the Chowan watershed that I reviewed were: Greenville County for a nature trail, Dinwiddie Jr. High for an outdoor classroom and nature trail, Airfield 4-H for a nature trail, and Chowan University for a bio-retention stormwater treatment demonstration project. It would be nice for our local schools to participate in this or maybe the City of Franklin taking advantage of these grants. I can even see the Garden Club possibly doing a project utilizing these funds. (Nancy asked if Churches can participate in this and Anne expressed the desire for the Garden Club to get involved, especially concerning a piece of property adjacent to the recently constructed Franklin Blackwater River Bridge).

On 2/9 – Gave a presentation to the Sedley Woman’s Club and they gave a $25 donation. (This donation will get them a membership as a Club status)

Power Plant

The proposed Cypress Creek Power Plant would be located less than one mile north of the Blackwater River. As a consequence, a relatively larger amount of the power plant’s emissions would be deposited in a given area of this watershed than the other sensitive receptors. The model estimates that, over a 20 year period, the surface within the Blackwater River Watershed would receive over 100# of Mercury as a result of this plant’s emissions and Nottoway River Watershed 68#. The model estimated that the proposed power plant would add 43+ tons of sulfur, 13.5 tons of nitrogen, and 50 tons of PM10 to the Blackwater River Watershed each year. Emissions from the proposed power plant would also increase the annual deposition in the Nottoway River Watershed by 31 tons of sulfur, 11.5 tons of Nitrogen, and almost 29 tons of PM10. (The report on this study is on the BNRP website)

This concluded the Riverkeeper Report

Other Items:

–       Annual Banquet – There was general discussion concerning prizes with the conclusion being that the Program’s money would not be used for prizes.

–       Clean Rivers Day – Anne Parker is drumming up some local organizations to help with litter pickup and discussion was held on places to pick up the trash. It is preferred that people pick up the places that are meaningful to them, such as the ditch in front of their house, or a place they would like to see clean of litter, etc.

–       Sean Maconaghy reported that Ashland has begun their remediation project. Hopes to start the excavation next week and hopes to have this completed by the end of May, weather dependent.

–       Beth Lewis, Southampton Count Planner, said that the Blackwater River being included in the Scenic Rivers Program is progressing through legislation and this happens to be the 40th anniversary of that Program. More of the Nottoway will go through the study next, down to the mouth of the river. Also, mentioned that Southampton Co. will be partnering with Franklin to start a new recycling Program. There will be bins provided for the towns that already have a recycling program in place, such as Courtland and Boykins.

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