March 14, 2012 Meeting Minutes

17 Mar
March 17, 2012

As recorded by Felice Hancock, Secretary

The meeting had 9 members in attendance, and the Board of Directors’ members who were present are as follows:  Jeff Turner, Nancy Turner, Anne Parker, and Sherri Woodard.

Jeff Turner opened the meeting by requesting the Minutes from the February Meeting be read by Felice Hancock.  Nancy Turner made a motion to have them adopted and it was seconded by Anne Parker.  Minutes were adopted with no changes.

Nancy Turner was then requested by Jeff Turner to give the Treasurer’s report. Nancy reported that for February, revenues were $1,140.36 from memberships; expenses were $1,731.90.   The ending balance for February 2012 being:  $37,982.83.

Bobby Turner was next called upon by Jeff Turner to provide the membership report.  A total of 148 members are now enrolled.  There are 4 new members:  Jim Kellenburger, Leslie Lilly Kellenburger, Cindy West and Ronnie West.  Welcome to all new members!

Riverkeeper Report

By Jeff Turner

2/9: Contacted Diane Geouge with Virginia Department of Transportation about getting 45 mph speed limit in front of Ashland/boat ramp.

2/10: Posted CR-D on Virginia is for Lovers web-site.

2/14: Sent letters as thank you to all Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors’ stating “no coal fired power plant” in Dendron/Surry County position.

2/15: Judged WHRO Community Impact Award for 2012.  Shirley Devan, Virginia Master Naturalist Historic Rivers Chapter, has been chosen for this year’s environmental award.

Attended Total Maximum Daily Load/ TMDL meeting for Three Creek and other tributaries of the Nottoway.

2/17: Spent two days on Nottoway River below Hercules/Ashland.  Nothing unusual.

2/20: Spent three days on the Blackwater River below Franklin.

2/23: Presentation to High Street Seniors.  30 attended and viewed the new/3rd BNRP DVD.

Attended International Paper’s Community Advisory Council/CAC meeting.  Was given a nice presentation of what was going on at the mill.  Among other news, in regards to the wood pellets which will be made of good quality Southern Pine, 85 -90% will be exported.

Also at this CAC meeting, I talked with IP’s new community liaison Julie Brennen and was told “homeless shelter” was investigated.  On 2/6 I reported the concern of finding this shelter to Russ Pace, Public Works Director for the City of Franklin.  Never heard anything back.  On 2/22, I again contacted Pace and asked if anything had been concluded.  He answered “no”; then I received an e-mail from City Attorney Taylor Williams, stating that it was not the city’s property and they would not be investigating.  Thereafter, Taylor did call the local Social Services and IP.  Result:  the family which was living there has been provided with other accommodations and the shelter has been removed.

3/1: Sent City of Franklin a funding request. 

Chee Saunders is applying for the Lower James RiverKeeper position.

3/4: Contacted Department of Game and Inland Fisheries about reports of Virginia fishermen being harassed in lower Blackwater River by North Carolina Game Officials.  There is about ½ mile of the river which is somewhat “irregular” in boundary between the states.  In the past, fishermen from Virginia and North Carolina have been permitted to fish there as long as they are licensed by either state.

3/5: Spent four days on the Nottoway River below Hercules.  Worked with VMRC/Virginia Marine Resource Committee and VDGIF on the request from a private individual for “river logging” of abandoned-submerged logs.  It was determined that there are no endangered or threatened species present.  Permission granted with some restrictions which included that logs buried in the bottom of the river at not to be removed and a finder’s fee be paid.

Received an email from Phyllis Rasnake saying the Blackwater River was blocked around Zuni from Dominion power-line being recently put in.  Called Max Bartholomew of Dominion Power to investigate. Bartholomew also said the pier project at Barrett’s Landing is a go for this April.

3/9: In Surry County, Dendron’s Town Council voted to approve ODEC application for the coal power plant, which will be the largest coal power plant in Virginia.

Received notice of permit modification for IP to Department of Environmental Quality.  The main modifications are adjusting limits to the new process and some tightening of limits on Total Suspended Solids/TSS and BOD.  IP also has to do a characterization of outfall 009 which comes from the landfill.

3/10: Contacted Justin Worrell from VMRC in regards to the river logging request about river bottom “ownership”.

This concluded the Riverkeeper Report.

Other Items:

Mill Booklet has now been completed and is at the printers.  Felice Hancock reported that the booklet is twice as large in size, and is 60 pages instead of 32 pages.  She has much data not utilized as there was so much introductory explanation regarding how mill’s worked and the importance of mills (saw mills for lumber export and local building; grist mills for “daily bread”).  The booklet was to initially write about water-powered mills and was hoped to be added to in the future by other researchers; there certainly are many more mills to report on to enhance the information already contained in this booklet.  There will be 250 copies of the booklet which will be ready on March 21 and will be presented to members attending the March 28 Riverkeeper’s Banquet.  The remaining copies will be presented free of charge to educational organizations within Western Tidewater and also given to those for provided information for the project, etc.  A final report to Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is being written and 30 requested booklet copies as per grant will be sent.  The project was also funded by the Lonnie Marks’ family in his honor.

New Business

Bobber Game to be held during March 28’s Riverkeeper Banquet, which has been held at past banquets (guess how many fishing bobbers are in a bowl).  Approved prize of $100 gift certificate to a local restaurant.

Sean M. Maconaghy, EHS Manager for Ashland Hercules Water Technologies-Franklin, reported that they are still working on boiler installation.  They are still planning on mid-May as a start-up with natural gas date (running 2 weeks behind).  There will be two-week shut for installing the new centrifuge which will provide reduced emissions.  Tentatively, to be confirmed at April’s meeting, there will be a May tour at the plant for the BNRP Board and volunteer-working members instead of a regular public meeting.

POV Camera is a point of view camera which rests on the side of one’s head and records video and sound.  Benefit is that it is not noticeable to others who you might be talking to and distract them in the conversation.  Cost about $1000.00 and motioned approved to purchase said item by Nancy turner and seconded by Anne Parker.

Clean River’s Day Ad was published last year in the Tidewater News and helped promote the event.  It included photographs of the volunteers in action picking up litter; full-page ad.  Anne Parker motioned, seconded by Nancy Turner, to again pay for an ad.

Anne Parker reported that uranium mining in Virginia was been halted, but there is still an concern for this and other conservation issues to watch the Commonwealth’s State Legislature over.  A DVD of the Symposium on Uranium Mining has been donated to Paul D. Camp Community Library, Franklin Campus, and the Science Club there will be notified of the donation.  Also, April 21 is the Historic Garden Club date for tour of several homes in Franklin, as well as a Blackwater Tour via the BNRP.

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