LOWER HURON RIVER WATERSHED ADVISORY GROUP WAG NOTES MARCH

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					LOWER HURON RIVER
WATERSHED ADVISORY GROUP (WAG) NOTES
MARCH 30, 2006


Attendees:
   • Kelly Cave, Wayne County
   • George Ferraro, METCO Services for Sumpter Township
   • Brent Florek, Charles E. Raines Co. for Gibraltar and Flat Rock
   • Jim Gorris, City of Gibraltar
   • Tricia Huddas, MDEQ Water Bureau
   • Michael Kruse, Woodhaven
   • Michelle LaRose, OHM for Huron Township
   • Noel Mullett, Wayne County Department of Environment
   • Elizabeth Riggs, HRWC
   • Mark Gaworecki, Hennessey Engineers for Berlin Township and South
      Rockwood
   • Laura Rubin, HRWC
   • Jack Rychlicki, Woodhaven-Brownstown School District
   • Roy Schrameck, ECT for Rockwood
   • Deeda Stanczak, Huron Township
   • Dan Swallow, Van Buren Township
   • Brian Woodworth, Wade-Trim for Brownstown

Action items are identified in bold.

A. Welcome – Chair Roy Schrameck welcomed attendees and asked for introductions

B. Reading and Approval of 02/16/06 Meeting Notes

   •   The 02/16/06 meeting notes were approved as written

C. Watershed Group Facilitation and Organization

       1. Discussion on purpose and role of the Lower Huron group
          a. The following items were listed as desired roles of the group:
                       (i)    Work together to obtain grants/funding
                       (ii)   Work together on problem-solving
                       (iii)  Coordinate activities such as SWPPI and public
                              education
                       (iv)   Track progress (water quality monitoring) and synthesis
                              of information and reporting
                       (v)    Skill sharing between communities (how a problem was
                              solved, sharing ordinance language, etc.)
                       (vi)   Advocate and interface with MDEQ; work together to
                              resolve SWPPI comments
                       (vii) save money through cost-efficiencies
Lower Huron River Watershed Advisory Group
Meeting Notes, March 30, 2006
Page 2

                            Provide regular updates (approx. 4 times/yr) on status of
                         (viii)
                            permits and implementation of WMP
          b. The consensus of the group is that we should continue to meet. Quarterly
             update meetings are anticipated.

       2. Status of current group and options for future group
          a. The inter-municipality group is appropriate for planning, but not for
             implementation due to the law under which the group was formed.
          b. The current group dissolves after May 1, 2006 under the current by-laws.
          c. Kelly Cave (Wayne County) provided an explanation of the Alliance of
             Downriver Watersheds (ADW).
             • The by-laws are written such that the alliance is an umbrella over the
                 Ecorse Creek, Combined Downriver, and lower Huron River
                 watersheds
             • The alliance is a mechanism to collect funds for activities (can receive
                 gifts, grants and hire contractors)
             • The ADW allows for each group to have the facilitator of its choice --
                 each watershed group can still meet individually, or the three
                 watershed groups can meet together
             • Cost allocation is based on population-weighted area
             • A spreadsheet was provided to show the various activities/services
                 that can be selected by the alliance
             • The budget is dependent upon the activities the alliance chooses to
                 include; the budget is voted on each year by the alliance, but the
                 percentage of allocation to each community is fixed
             • The alliance would allow each community to write one check for the
                 total cost instead of writing a separate check for each watershed group
             • Each community in the alliance gets one vote
             • By-laws include explanation on how to change the by-laws and how to
                 dissolve the group
             • Wayne County volunteered to be the fiduciary for the first year;
                 however the School District could be the fiduciary (fiduciary sends bills
                 to communities, accepts checks, and hires the chosen facilitator for
                 each watershed)
          d. Laura Rubin described the group structure options as ad-hoc versus
             structured. Livingston County communities are following the ad-hoc
             approach with the Drain Office serving as coordinator and fiduciary, but no
             formal by-laws.
          e. There is some concern that the Lower Huron watershed group should not
             be a part of the ADW for the following reasons:
                         (i)    The lower Huron River is one part of the Huron River and
                                its watershed, is a higher quality system than the other
                                watersheds in the downriver area, is less densely
Lower Huron River Watershed Advisory Group
Meeting Notes, March 30, 2006
Page 3

                                  populated, is bi-county, and has needs and priorities
                                  different than the other two watersheds.
                           (ii)   The lower Huron watershed and its communities may not
                                  get a fair share of resources if funds are focused on the
                                  more degraded downriver watersheds. If activities were
                                  not done in the lower Huron each year, communities
                                  would not have information to include in their annual
                                  reports.
          f.   Advantages to joining the ADW were also discussed:
                           (i)    The alliance can apply as a whole for grants instead of
                                  each community or each watershed applying separately.
                           (ii)   The alliance can choose its own procurement policies.
          g.   Specifics for each watershed can be added to the by-laws. Kelly Cave
               can use the by-laws from the Rouge as an example. Kelly suggested that
               the Alliance can give funds to each watershed group for watershed-
               specific activities.
          h.   HRWC would like the by-laws to allow the lower Huron communities along
               with HRWC to have significant input relating to the monitoring needs of the
               lower Huron River watershed.
          i.   A watershed group can pull out of the ADW at any time. No refund will be
               given to groups that pull out in mid-year.
          j.   Communities in the CDR and EC watershed groups are currently having
               their attorneys review the ADW by-laws. They are also in the process of
               completing the spreadsheet to indicate the services they would like as part
               of the alliance.
          k.   The ADW by-laws were drafted by a subcommittee. The subcommittee
               does not currently have a representative from the Lower Huron watershed
               group. Lower Huron group will draft text for addition to Alliance by-laws to
               ensure independence for watershed groups.
               • Dan Swallow will represent the Lower Huron at future subcommittee
                   meetings. Roy Schrameck will be the alternate.
               • Send comments on the by-laws to Dan via email (and cc: Roy) by
                   Monday, April 10, 2006. Kelly Cave will present Lower Huron group
                   comments to the CDR and EC groups at their next meeting. Dan’s
                   email is dswallow@vanburen-mi.org; and Roy’s is
                   rschrameck@ectinc.com.
               • Elizabeth Riggs will re-send via email the ADW materials from
                   Kelly Cave

       3. Approval of HRWC’s February 2006 proposal to provide services
          a. The communities paid the entire not-to-exceed amount under the current
             contract (~$150,000), but only ~$122,000 has been spent (awaiting exact
             numbers from fiduciary).
          b. The group voted to use the remaining money on the HRWC proposal.
Lower Huron River Watershed Advisory Group
Meeting Notes, March 30, 2006
Page 4

          c. The HRWC proposal was accepted by the group with the following
             conditions:
                       (i)  All language that includes “implementation/implementing”
                            will be changed to “planning.”
                       (ii) A “not-to-exceed” clause will be added for the amount of
                            money that is remaining in the original budget.

D. Storm Water Permit Element Development and Coordination

       1. Watershed Management Plan (WMP)
          a. The MDEQ deadline for addressing WMP comments for CMI grant
             eligibility/NPDES Phase II permit requirements was extended to May 15,
             2006. Roy will draft a letter to the MDEQ to inform them that we will
             submit revisions by May 15.
          b. The group would like to invite Bob Sweet, MDEQ Water Bureau-Lansing,
             to meet with the group at a summer or fall meeting to discuss his section
             319-related comments in more detail.
          c. Table 5.5 of the WMP (see pg. 2 of the review comments)
             • Communities should make the appropriate adjustments and send
                 to Elizabeth Riggs
          d. Permittee specific comments (see pg. 3 of the review comments)
             • Elizabeth Riggs is available to discuss these comments with the
                 individual communities
             • Communities that have permittee specific comments should meet
                 with Elizabeth or address on your own and provide comments to
                 Elizabeth by April 17, 2006
          e. All permittees are lacking actions to address the following objectives:
             reduce incidences of SSOs, improve public access to recreational
             opportunities, and expand Greenways Trails Network.
             • The objective to “improve public access” can be changed to “promote
                 public access.” Actions will include continuing to promote and
                 financially support HCMA, continue staff involvement on Downriver
                 Linked Greenways Initiative, and coordinate water-based activities
                 (educational gatherings, etc.)
             • Expanding Greenways Trails Network will be removed from the Lower
                 Huron objectives in the WMP
          f. All WMP comments should be sent to Elizabeth Riggs by April 17,
             2006.
       2. Check-in on SWPPI development
          a. The group will be requesting a 90-day extension beyond the May 1, 2006
             deadline for the submittal of the SWPPI. Roy Schrameck will draft a
             letter on behalf of the group to request the extension. Permit
             numbers for each entity should be provided in letter.
Lower Huron River Watershed Advisory Group
Meeting Notes, March 30, 2006
Page 5

          b. Elizabeth Riggs explained the development and content of the Lower
             Huron River Watershed Monitoring Strategy 2006-2009 table provided at
             the February 2006 meeting. Committee members can include the table as
             part of their SWPPI submittal to MDEQ.

E. Other Watershed News/Comments from Members

       1. A draft of an educational flyer created by HRWC was distributed for review.
          The flyer answers basic questions about the lower Huron River, explains the
          group that developed of the WMP, and identifies key findings of the WMP.
          Please provide comments to Elizabeth Riggs by April 10, 2006.
       2. The City of Belleville is interested in joining the Lower Huron watershed
          group.
             • Belleville is currently jurisdictional, but would like to become a
                 watershed-based permittee
             • There are several fee options for including Belleville:
                        • The City can pay a back assessment for the cost it would
                           have incurred thus far
                        • The WMP will have to be updated to include Belleville; the
                           City can pay for the cost of the required updates
                        • Elizabeth Riggs will rerun the cost allocation from the
                           beginning of the project to include Belleville to help the
                           group make a decision
       3. HRWC’s River Roundup will take place on April 22, 2006. Please RSVP by
          April 10, 2006.

F. Next Meeting: May 25, 2006, 9:30 am at Wade-Trim


Notes prepared by Michelle LaRose (OHM) on behalf of the City of Romulus,
with Elizabeth Riggs, HRWC