As recorded by John Bunch, Secretary
Jeff Turner opened the meeting by announcing that Otto Wachsmann has turned in his resignation. Jeff then went on to give a presentation to the meeting participants on a historical perspective of the formation of the group and the duties of the program’s BOD and officers. That presentation went as follows:
I wanted to do what’s right for the rivers, so back in 2000, along with a core group of friends, decided to put together a program. This group would need money to operate, so the decision was made to become a 501 3c organization. That meant there would have to be a Board of Directors, which is what that core of friends became. It also meant having to come up with bylaws to satisfy the 501 3c directives. We looked at what other organizations had as their bylaws and came up with a set that would fit what this organization would stand for. These bylaws are basically general and have stood fairly constant through the years with only a few changes. Due to this, it as allowed me to be able to run the program with expediency and plans are to continue to run it in the same manner in the future.
The duties of the BOD and officers goes as follows:
BOD – their main responsibility lies in aiding and providing support to the Riverkeeper to accomplish things on the agenda. They also have control over who should hold the Riverkeeper position and whether he continues or not on his job and role.
Chairman of the BOD – primarily runs the business meetings and manages the BOD. The Chairman does not run the program.
Vice Chairman – provides the same role as the Chairman in the Chairman’s absence.
Treasurer – primary duties are to pay the debts of the Program and to run the Budget.
Secretary – responsible for precisely recording and documenting the minutes of the business meetings.
Membership Manager & Coordinator – keeps the membership database up-to-date.
Riverkeeper & Executive Director – Currently due to the fact that BNRP founder Jeff Turner holds both of these positions he primarily oversees the involvement of activities promoting being a steward of the Blackwater and Nottoway Rivers and their watersheds.
Special Note: There are other programs that operate this way also, however in most of the larger KEEPER organizations the positions are separate.
Jeff then introduced Mark Smith to the group and noted that Mark, in the past had asked Jeff how he could help, so he was asked to serve on the BOD. Mark accepted Jeff’s invitation to participate. That nomination was made by Curtis Newsome, seconded by Nancy Scott and passed by voting.
With Otto’s resignation, by default, the position of Chairman fell to Curtis, but it was decided to go through the nomination process. Jeff made the motion that Curtis be made Chairman and Sherri Woodard be made Vice Chairman. It was seconded by Nancy and passed by voting.
Cutis then asked for the reading of the minutes by John Bunch. Jeff made the motion to accept, seconded by Sherri, and passed by voting with no changes.
Bobby Turner then reported out that at the previous meeting the membership was overstated by one due to a duplicate entry in the database. That correct number was 126. Since the May meeting, two additional members were gained, bringing the total to 128.
Nancy Scott, reported May expenses to be $1474.09, revenues of $25,273.12. The bulk of the influx was from the Volvo-for-Life award money and the bulk of the expenses was for salary.
The meeting had 9 in attendance and the BOD members present were Nancy Scott, Sherri Woodard, Jeff Turner, Curtis Newsome, and newly added Mark Smith.
The Riverkeeper Report
As presented by Jeff Turner
On 5/16 – The $25,000 that was won from the Volvo-for-Life Awards was handed over to Treasurer Nancy Scott and placed into the BNRP funds.
On 5/17 – Participated in the Franklin Jr. Woman’s Club annual “Day in the Park” that was held at Barrett’s Landing. Was there from 9am – 2pm except during lunch when I was relieved by Bobby Turner and Nancy Scott. The BNRP information booth was set up by Bobby and the breaking down of the booth was done with help from both Bobby and Nancy. The BNRP participates each year, and other groups that also had booths included 4-H and the Soil and Water Conservation District.
On 5/27 – Took a group 9 from the Drewryville Woman’s Club on a 2 hour Eco-Cruise on the Blackwater. Also took a 2nd group of 11 children and adults of the 4-H Cloverbuds. Taking two groups in the same day is a more economical use of the pontoon boat due to the time it takes to launch and trailer.
On 5/31 – The Tag-a-Drain Program finally became implemented after a year long attempt. Boy Scouts from the Carrsville Troop 37 met at the Franklin Boat Ramp in the morning and were split up into two teams. One team set to work installing the drain markers on 80 city stormwater inlets, while the other team went for a two-hour eco-cruise. The team that installed the drain tags were then taken on a cruise and as they had done such an outstanding job of installing all of the drain tags there were none left for the other team to do. Also checked to see how secure some of the tags were and they were holding well.
On 6/2 – Wrote a required letter to the Camp Family Foundations explaining how the group is utilizing the funds received from them. Some of the items mentioned were the Eco-Cruises, Kids College, water testing, the truck purchase, and the regular regimen of events, programs and talks that I give.
On 6/5 – Had a meeting with the Southampton County Stormwater Committee of which I am a stakeholder. The final draft is getting close to completion and will soon go to public comment. I believe that Southampton Co. has done well to develop a stormwater plan and it certainly will help keep future development in compliance with the stormwater requirements.
On 6/9 – Chairman of the Board of Directors Otto Wachsmann resigns from that position.
On 6/11 – The Community Action Coalition (CAC) held a meeting at Joes in Franklin. International Paper sponsored the meeting and introduced its Safety and Industrial Hygiene Manager, Michele Blair, as a speaker. She gave a presentation of the safety plans and measures that the Hazardous Emergency Action Team (HEAT) have available to them at the mill. The CAC meetings are a gathering of community leaders to discuss issues involving the community and the paper mill.
I have not been on river patrol since May 8th. The business of Riverkeeper has been very demanding this month along with the weather playing a major role. Dangerous storms and the recent extreme temperatures knocked off my only opportunities to go out. I hope to return to patrol very soon.
This concluded the Riverkeeper Report
The group now has BNRP tattoos to distribute to kids when schools and other children oriented events are visited. These long lasting tattoos have to be scrubbed to remove. Mark Smith inquired if patches could be made with the BNRP logo on them. They can be made locally if the patches aren’t too large.
The Eco-Cruise season is off to a great start. There have already been as many taken this year in as in an entire year in the past. The idea for the cruises came from other organizations holding them for their areas and this has finally taking off for us. This is becoming worthwhile and repeated requests are now coming in.
The new E. coli test kits are in and may be picked up by water testing teams.
The group had run out of the river atlases, but have now been able to acquire an additional 39 from the Trouts. 35 of those remain and we haven’t been given any indication of payment for them.
The new BNRP truck will be purchased from a dealer in Winston-Salem. Five dealers were canvassed to make this decision and Volvo additionally added the X-Plan to the $25,000 to help make purchase price lower. Motion was made by Curtis to spend $26,566.70 for the truck, seconded by Sherri and passed by voting.
This is the first meeting at the new location at the Workforce Development Center. It’s a very nice meeting room, with an available media setup for use and the agreement is that the meetings can last no longer than 9pm.