Friends of Lake Jesup
East Branch (Oviedo) Seminole County Library
Chairman Robert King called the meeting to order at 7:10.
The group approved the February meeting minutes as presented.
Chairman King asked Ed Hayes, FFWCC, to update the group on the status of funding for the Florida Bass Conservation Center. He said the federal funds were approved but one branch of the legislature, he didn't know which, had the other $3 million in the budget.
Bill Daniel said he had spoken to Speaker Feeney's office to make sure that the $5 million in the budget earmarked for the dredging project wasn't to be confused with the support for the fish hatchery. He said there might be a perception in Tallahassee that the group approved of "trading" money – FFWCC getting the $3 million it needs for the FBCC from the funds earmarked for Lake Jesup and then the FFWCC would replace the deficit from general funds, to continue the dredging project.
Chairman King said no one had contacted him with a formal request for support of this idea.
Mr. Hayes said Ed Moyer, FFWCC, said there is a current bill in the House and Senate and the Governor's Office to give FFWCC and annual infusion of $5.7 million from Florida Forever Funds. He said Mr. Moyer wanted the Friends to know that if the FFWCC continues to receive that infusion, the agency is committed to the restoration of Lake Jesup with that money.
Chairman King asked the group how they wanted to move forward with the concept of "creative financing" for the FBCC.
Cecilia Height, Sierra Club, said she could support it but wanted to make sure that the group's goal in this support was very clear, that it didn't set a precedent for future "raiding" of funds.
Mr. Daniel said he thinks the group should deal directly with Feeney's office.
Charles Collins, FDEP, asked a question regarding the netting of shad on Lake Jesup. Mr. Hayes said the FFWCC is supporting the SJRWMD in this effort in Lake Griffin on a trial basis but is not interested in expanding into other lakes.
Scott Bear, CH2MHill, gave a report of meeting held between FDOT, SJRWMD and USACOE, initiated due to concerns that funding in the work program for the State Road 46 Bridge might disappear if the project was delayed for the year while USACOE completes its study. Mr. Bear said the Corps was asked in the meeting whether its study would deal with anything outside of the six alternatives that came out of the SJRWMD study. He said the second concern was if the Corps was going to look at closing Government Cut, because this would affect the vertical clearance of the bridge, from 25 feet to 46 feet.
Mr. Bear said the outcome was that the Corps is going to stay within the six alternatives but go up and downstream of the causeway, and that the Corps does not believe the closing of Government Cut will change the flows in and out of the lake. He said with these assurances, FDOT has reinitiated some of its work toward a goal of completion for approval by the FHA.
Chairman King said he had not been noticed for the meeting, but he didn't think that would happen again. He said his discussion with Pete Milam, USACOE, was a little different from what Mr. Bear reported, but essentially that FDOT should accommodate the proposed Bridge Design 6, a tree_line-to-tree_line bridge, without a navigable Channel C and a hydrological connection at Channel B.
Mr. Bear said he wanted to make sure that the Corps alternatives would be in line with the direction FDOT was already headed, and not incorporate any new changes "outside of the causeway." He said he thinks FDOT can meet anything the Corps proposes "inside of the causeway."
Chairman King asked Carla Palmer, SJRWMD, if he could at least like to be noticed of all meetings of this type.
Ms. Palmer presented a report on and 10 copies of the approved St. Johns River Middle Basin SWIM Plan. She announced that there would be a public meeting in Orlando on March 20, 6:30 p.m. with stakeholders for FDEP's Middle Basin Watershed Initiative. She said they would address the impaired waters listed in the SWIM plan and kicks off the five-year program.
Ms. Palmer said the stormwater treatment site study has been completed and the number 1 site, in Maitland, should be purchased next week. She said the funds for the purchase of the Maitland site have to be used by the City for lake and stormwater improvements. Ms. Palmer reported that the Governing Board has been supportive of the land purchase program for the other sites.
Mr. Daniel gave a report on the progress of the ongoing investigation by the state Bureau of Submerged Lands.
Chairman King said that he had received requests from the city of Winter Springs and from Seminole County to give them updates on the status of Lake Jesup. He asked Ms. Palmer if there was a PowerPoint program available for use should he need it. She said the District would support him with necessary materials.
Chairman King gave a brief review of the water conference sponsored by the University of Central Florida. He said former SJRWMD head Henry Dean was on of the speakers. He summed up the outcome as one that did not promise a "growth management" approach to resolving the drinking water problem.
Cecilia Height, Sierra Club, gave a report on legislation that might have an in direct affect on Lake Jesup. The group discussed whether to address the legislation formally or individually. Ms. Height said she would send a brief description of the bills to everyone on the FLJ list and would update the group at the next meeting.
Lothian Ager, FFWCC, asked about the status of Seminole County's request to use a portion of the Cameron Ranch property for a stormwater treatment system. Mr. Ager said his agency had concerns about this because of its plan to use a portion of the property for the dredging project. Ms. Palmer said she was aware of the request but had few details. Chairman King asked Ms. Palmer to follow up on this as well as on a prior request made to the County by the group for information on a silt bank building on the north shore of the lake near the Cameron property and the Baker's Crossings new residential development.
Chairman King said the last thing on the agenda was to work on a list of projects for using the remaining $100,000 from the berm project. He asked any agency with and idea to be ready to make a proposal at the next meeting. Mr. Collins had a preliminary list prepared and distributed copies to the group.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.