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Minutes of the Union /Virgil Ditches & East Branch of the Kishwaukee Watershed Steering Committee
March 13, 2013
3:30 p.m.





The Union /Virgil Ditches & East Branch of the Kishwaukee River Watershed Steering Committee (WSC) met on March 13, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. in the DeKalb County Administrative Building, Conference Room East, in Sycamore, Illinois. In attendance were Committee members Paul Miller, Anita Zurbrugg, Donna Prain, Dean Johnson, Karen Miller, Jeremy Lin, Roger Steimel, and Adam Orton (for Committee member Brian Gregory). Also in attendance were Rebecca Von Drasek, Deanna Doohaluk, and Dan Gibble.

1. Roll Call -- Jeremy Lin, Donna Prain, and Nathan Schwartz were absent

2. Approval of Agenda -- Mr. Miller moved to approve the agenda, seconded by Ms. Zurbrugg, and the motion carried unanimously.

3. Approval of Minutes -- Ms. Zurbrugg moved to approve the minutes from February 13, 2013, seconded by Ms. Karen Miller, and the motion carried unanimously.

Jeremy Lin arrived 3:40 pm


4. Sycamore Park District Input

Mr. Johnson introduced Mr. Gibble from the Sycamore Park District. The Park District representatives were unable to attend the March 7, 2013 workshop and asked to have a time to meet with the Steering Committee to discuss the watershed plan.


Mr. Gibble provided the Committee members with a packet of materials and made a brief presentation detailing the current and future development of Park District properties. He highlighted the willingness of the District to partner with local entities to complete projects. He also pointed out what resources the Park District could offer. He concluded with the observation that the District could not complete the projects alone and looked forward to finding projects that would address watershed issues.


Ms. Zurbrugg asked if the Park District was aware of the Live Healthy Initiative, specifically its emphasis on hiking/biking trail projects. Mr. Gibble said he was not aware of the Initiative. Mr. Miller added that the Park District is a member of DeKalb Sycamore Area Transportation Study (DSATS) so the Initiative is aware of the MPO’s proposed and existing trail network.


Mr. Gibble explained that the District had recently created pond maintenance regulations. He explained that the District was working to convert five of the eight ponds under its jurisdiction to include more native species. He explained that naturalizing the ponds reduces maintenance costs, deters geese, and contributes to better water quality. Finally, he pointed out that the District owned a property between Airport Road and the East Branch that might be a good location for a future wetland project. He highlighted photographs from the packet of a similar project which he had completed in Urbana, IL. He stated that the constructed wetland project may also include foot trails and soccer fields.


Ms. Doohaluk agreed to include the site as a possible wetland within the modeling component of the watershed plan. She noted that this would be a great target project for consideration for including in the final watershed plan.


Mr. Miller asked if the project might reduce flooding in the golf course. Mr. Gibble stated that the District was hopeful for that result.

Donna Prain arrived at 4 p.m.


Mr. Miller encouraged Mr. Gibble to attend the Steering Committee meetings in the future.

5. March 7th Workshop Review


The Steering Committee had originally scheduled two workshops. Due to bad weather the March 5th workshop was cancelled. The Committee hosted a workshop on March 7th at the DeKalb County Community Foundation building.


Mr. Johnson opined that the workshop had accomplished the goal of gathering stakeholder input. He asked the Committee members for their thoughts about the workshop.


Ms. Prain observed that people in attendance where generally positive and provided quality input.


Ms. Zurbrugg stated that initially she was concerned that attendance was too low but after observing the workshop she stated that the attendance was the right number for the venue.


Ms. Miller thanked Ms. Zurbrugg for offering the venue.


Mr. Miller expressed interest in seeing all of the comments tallied, and in comparing findings of future workshops.


Ms. Miller stated she hoped that more municipalities could be encouraged to attend future workshops.


Mr. Miller asked the Committee if another workshop was needed. Following a brief discussion the Committee decided that more information would be better than too little and they concluded a second workshop should be held. The Committee chose April 10, 2013 at the 7 pm at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau building.

6. Goal Prioritization -- Ms. Doohaluk said she is generating Goals and Objectives based on the tally of Committee Members and workshop attendees comments.


7. Project Timeline

The Committee noted staff’s timeline spreadsheet and asked that it be distributed and posted on the web page.

Ms. Doohaluk also explained that she had not received a response regarding her request to the IEPA for an extension for the Water Resources Inventory Report. The Committee discussed the timeline briefly and Mr. Miller agreed to re-forward Ms. Doohaluk’s request to the IEPA.


8. Miscellaneous: web page, logo, information distribution

The Committee discussed future informational meetings. Ms. Zurbrugg suggested the creation of a sub-committee to plan and organize these events. Follow a brief discussion, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Prain, and Ms. Zurbrugg volunteered for the sub-committee.


Ms. Zurbrugg noted that her office was working on a logo for the watershed plan.


Staff informed the Committee that the web page had the general information posted on a page on the County web site.


The Committee also briefly discussed information distribution to the “Working Group” members. The Committee directed staff to send out a monthly reminder (a week prior to the Committee meeting) which would include the upcoming agenda and direct the “Working Group” members to the Watershed web page for review of the minutes. Ms. Prain also suggested adding an “unsubscribe” option to the e-mails.


9. Next Meeting

The Committee rescheduled their April 10, 2013 meeting to 6:00 pm prior to the planned workshop both meetings will be held at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau.


10. Adjournment -- Mr. Miller motioned to adjourn, seconded by Ms. Zurbrugg, and the motion carried unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,


Dean Johnson
Chairman, DeKalb County Union Ditch/Virgil Ditch Watershed Steering Committee