Minutes of the

76th Quarterly Meeting

of the

Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

 

November 15, 2000

St. Louis, Missouri

 

 

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m. by Chair Don Vonnahme.  The following State Representatives and Federal Liaison Representatives were present:

 

Don Vonnahme

Illinois Representative (IL DNR)

Gary Clark

Illinois Alternate (IL DNR)

Kevin Szcodronski

Iowa Representative (IA DNR)

Tom Jackson

Iowa Representative (IA DOT)

Steve Morse

Minnesota Alternate (MN DNR)

Steve Johnson

Minnesota Alternate (MN DNR)

Jerry Vineyard

Missouri Alternate (MO DNR)

Terry Moe

Wisconsin Alternate (WI DNR)

 

Gary Loss

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Charlie Wooley

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Region 3)

Dave Carvey

U.S. Department of Agriculture (NRCS, Midwest Office)

Bill Franz

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 5)

Bob Goodwin

U.S. Maritime Administration

Leslie Holland-Bartels

U.S. Geological Survey (UMESC)

 

Others in attendance:

 

Dave Galat

U.S. Geological Survey (BRD)

Greg Ruff

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVD)

Steve Cobb

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVD)

William Bayles

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Denny Lundberg

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Dave Tipple

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Teresa Kincaid

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Ken Barr

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Jack Carr

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Jim Blanchar

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVR)

Richard Astrack

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (MVS)

David Grier

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (IWR)

David Dornbusch

U.S. Department of Agriculture (NRCS, IL)

Jon Duyvejonck

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Rick Nelson

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

(Continued)

Attendance (continued):

 

Dan Stinnett

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Larry Shepard

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 7)

Albert Schulz

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Jim Harrison

Minnesota-Wisconsin Boundary Area Commission

Rick Moore

Izaak Walton League

Allen Hance

Northeast-Midwest Institute

Mark Boerkrem

Mississippi River Basin Alliance/Sierra Club

Barry Drazkowski

St. Mary’s University

Lynn Muench

MARC 2000

Chris Holleyman

Jack Faucett Associates

Dan McGuiness

National Audubon Society

Jeff Stein

American Rivers

David Haudrich

Private Citizen

Paul Werner

American Waterways Operators

Barb Naramore

Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

Holly Stoerker

Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

 

 

Meeting Minutes

 

Kevin Szcodronski requested that page 2 of the August 9, 2000 meeting minutes be changed to reflect that he announced Jim Hall’s retirement rather than Jim Harrison’s retirement. 

 

Referring to the page 6 summary of the discussion of dam modifications to address invasive species, Terry Moe asked if there was any further information about the prospects of such modifications on the Illinois River.  Gary Loss indicated that Colonel Bayles would provide an update later in the meeting.

 

Moe also inquired about the status of the funding proposal for water quality coordination, described on page 8 of the August minutes.  Holly Stoerker indicated that she would address that issue as part of the Executive Director’s report.

 

Kevin Szcodronski moved and Terry Moe seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the August 9, 2000 meeting as revised.  The motion was approved unanimously.

 

Executive Director’s Report

 

Holly Stoerker reported that the UMRBA Water Quality Task Force met on September 12 to discuss the draft Water Quality Coordination Framework.  Based on that discussion, UMRBA revised the draft and included an outline of the first year’s work effort.  The Year 1 work plan includes three items: a) identification and evaluation of differences in state assessments, standards, and listings; b) development of an interstate memorandum of agreement; and c) development of a future work plan.  The revised draft Framework is currently being reviewed by the Water Quality Task Force, which will meet via conference call on December 7 to discuss it.  In response to Moe’s previous question Stoerker indicated that a grant proposal had not yet been developed, but that the revised Framework would serve as a basis for such a proposal. 

 

Terry Moe asked if both EPA Regions 5 and 7 had been involved in development of the Coordination Framework.  Bill Franz explained that he and Larry Shepard had been involved in development of the first draft and that joint comments on the second draft would be forwarded to UMRBA staff shortly.  In response to a question from Don Vonnahme, Franz explained that it was unlikely that uniform standards for the Mississippi River would result from the increased coordination efforts.

 

With regard to the Upper Mississippi River Basin Conservation Act (H.R. 4013), Stoerker reported that UMRBA staff had been invited to testify at a September 13 hearing of the House Agriculture subcommittee.  Congressmen Kind and Gutknecht and representatives of USGS and NRCS also testified.  It is unlikely that the legislation will advance this session, but the sponsors have indicated their intent to reintroduce it next year.

 

Stoerker also reported on provisions in the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (WRDA) authorizing a sediment and nutrient study in the basin.  The language in the House version reflected some of the comments offered by the UMRBA in its August 24 letter.  In particular, the House deleted the cost-sharing provision.  However, the final conference version more closely resembles the Senate language.  Specifically, a 50 percent nonfederal cost-share is required; the study is authorized for 5 years rather than 3 years; and the authorized funding is $20 million, rather than $10 million as provided by the House or $25 million as provided by the Senate.  Noting that the likelihood of securing federal funding for the study will depend on whether the nonfederal share is provided, Stoerker asked if the states had considered funding the effort. 

 

Terry Moe suggested that the UMRBA Water Quality Task Force discuss the cost-share issue during its December conference call.  Don Vonnahme noted that there is no funding for the study in the current Illinois budget.  Steve Morse suggested that the states might want to consider pursuing a change to the WRDA authorization, making the study 100 percent federally funded.  Stoerker noted that such a change would not likely be considered until 2002 when the next WRDA is formulated.

 

Stoerker then distributed materials describing the National Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership (CWRP).  She reported that Owen Dutt, the Navigator for the Upper Mississippi River American Heritage River designation, had organized an informal meeting in late August to discuss the potential applicability of the CWRP to this region.  CWRP is the mechanism by which corporations invest in trust funds established by a nonprofit foundation or a state for use in matching federal funds for wetlands projects.  The program currently operates in some coastal areas and is linked directly to the Coastal America Program, whose government agencies approve the CWRP projects.  The question now under consideration is whether there is a way that the CWRP and the parallel Coastal America process could be replicated in this region. Stoerker noted that she has been involved in some of these discussions and that there may be two potential roles for the UMRBA, i.e., helping bring states into the discussion of these questions or potentially serving, at some future point in time, as the structure that parallels the Coastal America function.  Stoerker also noted that the Midwest Natural Resources Group (MNRG), which is a coordinating body of senior federal officials, will be meeting in February to discuss the CWRP.  Coastal America staff and a representative from the national CWRP will be attending to provide background information.  Stoerker suggested that the UMRBA and MNRG might want to consider coordinating their February meetings so that both organizations could benefit from these presentations.

 

Kevin Szcodronski noted that states are heavily involved in wetlands restoration and regulation and have their own decision-making structure for wetlands investments.  He urged the involvement of state wetlands staff in future CWRP discussions.  In particular he cited the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture and the Mississippi Flyway Council as examples of existing groups that should be consulted.  Jerry Vineyard questioned why the program focuses only on wetlands restoration, citing blufflands and floodplain habitat as other areas of need on the UMR.  Terry Moe expressed support for using the February meetings to learn more about the CWRP and to discuss the program’s potential application to this region with federal representatives.  He offered to involve Wisconsin wetland staff.  Dave Carvey said that he and Owen Dutt had agreed to explore what would be required to bring the CWRP to the Midwest.  He urged other federal agencies to participate.  Bill Franz said that EPA supports the effort and sees it as related to the Clean Water Action Plan.  Charlie Wooley said that the Fish and Wildlife Service has been involved in many Coastal America projects including wetlands restoration, dam removal, and fish passage projects and that corporate involvement in these projects has been very positive. 

 

In response to a question about funding levels, Stoerker indicated that, as an example, in Massachusetts, 17 corporations have invested roughly $1 million.  Bill Franz indicated that a reasonable goal for this region would be $1 million in the first year. 

 

Stoerker said that she would follow up with UMRBA representatives after the meeting to identify who in their state would be the most appropriate contact for further discussion on the CWRP.  It was suggested that the involvement of private organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy, also be sought.

 

Navigation Study Update

 

Denny Lundberg introduced himself as the new project manager for the Navigation Study and provided an update on what has happened during the last year.  He noted that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel/Department of the Army Inspector General’s investigation and the House Appropriations Committee investigation have been completed, but not yet released.  The interim report from the National Academy of Sciences review is expected to be released before the end of the year.  The Corps Headquarters’ policy review is complete and has concluded that the study has been conducted in accordance with the Principles and Guidelines.  Given the sensitivity of the study to certain parameters and assumptions, Headquarters requested additional information on the optimal timing of measures for the National Economic Development (NED) plan, industry self help assumptions, independent technical review, system mitigation justification, additional sensitivity analysis, and traffic projections.  The traffic forecasts were the most significant item, according to Lundberg.  He explained that the Corps requested that Jack Faucett Associates, the contractor which provided the original forecasts, evaluate those forecasts and revise them, as appropriate.

 

Chris Holleyman of Jack Faucett Associates explained the methodology used to review and revise the grain forecasts.  He said that the rationale for revisiting the grain forecasts was that exports of corn, which accounts for the largest volume of freight on the river system, were nearly 27 percent lower, between 1995 and 1999, than predicted in the original forecasts and that forecasts out to 2050 had predicted corn freight growth of 161 percent on the UMR.  Holleyman explained that the sources of error in grain export forecasts relate to estimates of future acreages, yield, domestic consumption, and changes in stock, with the acreage overestimates accounting for most of the error.  Reasons cited for the overestimation of corn acreage included higher than expected international competition, dampening of world demand, concerns over genetically modified grain, and changes in the U.S. crop mix as a result of the 1996 FAIR Act.  Holleyman described the way in which each of these factors was evaluated for its long-term or short-term impact and the methodology used for the revised forecasts of waterborne grain movements.  He emphasized that Faucett relied upon export forecasts provided by USDA, adjusted for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, which is assumed to take place before any new locks would be built.  As a result of the revised assumptions and methodology, the revised corn export forecasts are lower.  The revised soybean export forecasts are higher, through 2035, after which they are lower than the original forecasts.  Holleyman also explained the methodology used to allocate corn and soybean exports to U.S. ports and to construct waterway traffic forecasts by assigning export volumes to inland origins.

 

Mark Beorkrem challenged Holleyman’s assumptions about the U.S. ability to respond to increased demand for non-genetically modified products and the production costs of genetically modified corn.  Beorkrem also questioned the use of USDA projections, noting that USDA cautioned that its projections should not be used as forecasts.  Holleyman said that USDA had addressed this issue in its review of Faucett’s work and he concluded it was largely a matter of terminology.  In response to Steve Morse’s questions about what assumptions were used regarding ethanol production and permanent land set-asides, Holleyman said he would need to check directly with USDA.

 

Ken Barr provided a status report on the environmental studies, explaining that the revised traffic forecasts required a reexamination of the environmental impacts.  The decision was made to rerun the ecological models, given the decreased numbers of tows-per-day resulting from the revised traffic forecasts.  Barr said that it appears that as a result of lower projected traffic levels, backwater and side channel loadings will be reduced, but the number of affected backwaters and side channels will not likely change.  With regard to fish entrainment, Barr said he expects a 5-14 percent reduction in equivalent adult entrainment losses as a result of the lower traffic projections.  Terry Moe questioned why the decision was made not to conduct more larval fish sampling, given the additional available study time resulting from the need to review and revise the traffic projections.  Barr explained that, given the high natural variability in larval fish densities, risk assessment is preferable to additional sampling to address uncertainties. 

 

Barr described the preliminary recommendations in the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act report submitted to the Corps by the Fish and Wildlife Service in late August.  He also characterized the Corps’ general response to those recommendations:

·       The Service called for the collection of systemic bathymetric data.  The Corps will do some site-specific work under the authority of the navigation study, but system-wide bathymetric surveys will be done by others.

·       The Service recommended more plant verification work.  The Corps intends to include that in the adaptive mitigation proposal.

·       The Service’s concerns about the effect of increased traffic on zebra mussel distribution will be addressed in the EIS.  In general the Corps’ position is that additional traffic will not have a significant affect, given the pre-existence of zebra mussels.

·       With regard to the Service’s concern that the impacts of increased fleeting and terminals have not been quantified, the Corps does not believe that navigation improvements will increase fleeting needs. Rather, demand for fleeting will decrease as a result of decreased delays. However, there will be a relatively small increased need for terminals.

·       Concerns expressed by the Service about identifying impacts to refuges can be addressed by using the site-specific GIS data.

·       The Service called for quantification of traffic impacts associated with the baseline (“no action”) condition, as well as impacts of incremental traffic.  The Corps considers the baseline condition to be traffic levels without improvements.  The impacts of that alternative will be presented.  However, the study will not address environmental impacts of a “no traffic” scenario.

·       The Service called for an assessment of the cumulative effects of system-wide O&M.  Although the O&M impacts on the entire system will not be addressed, there will be information on the areas most at jeopardy.  In addition, the cumulative effects of all navigation-related impacts will be addressed.

·       The Service recommended that the impacts associated with incremental traffic at Lock and Dam 26 (2nd Lock) be quantified.  Now that the environmental models and traffic forecasts have been revised, the St. Louis District will conduct this analysis.  However, it will not be part of the navigation study. 

·       With regard to mitigation, the study will address mitigation for the effects of any improvements recommended.  However, mitigation for the second lock, baseline traffic, and O&M will not be included, although recommended by the Service.  A workshop to consider issues related to using an adaptive mitigation approach is scheduled for November 28-29.

 

Terry Moe asked if a decision had yet been made about whether to recommend an adaptive mitigation approach.  Barr explained that the Service, states, and environmental groups have all expressed support for the approach.  In accordance with Corps policy, the costs of avoid and minimize measures at all potentially affected sites must be included in the first cost of the project.  Yet there is a desire for flexibility in determining how, when, and where funds can be most effectively spent.  Jon Duyvejonk noted that the Service is concerned that, with an adaptive mitigation approach, there is no guarantee that funding will be made available in the future.  Therefore, the Service is recommending that a mitigation trust fund be established.  Gary Loss explained that mitigation is usually done during construction or completed before construction starts.  Duyvejonk commented that many of the impacts are not expected until after completion of construction. Barr noted that the environmental funding stream continues beyond the construction funding in the cost estimates.

 

In response to a question about what organizational structure would be used to make decisions about adaptive mitigation, Barr said that there are a number of alternatives under consideration, including continuing NECC or rechartering the districts’ channel maintenance groups such as RRCT.  Dan McGuiness and Rick Nelson cautioned that there was not yet agreement on the objectives or cost of mitigation, even though there appeared to be general support for the adaptive mitigation approach.

 

Denny Lundberg presented the revised study schedule, which calls for Corps review of the draft report during March-August 2001 and public release in September 2001, with submittal of the Chief’s Report in July 2002.  Gary Clark urged the Corps to make the draft report available to GLC members as soon as possible, given that the states are frequently asked to comment as soon as such reports are made public.  Jeff Stein noted that the last round of public meetings was held when the study results were incomplete.  He urged the Corps to schedule the next public meetings at a more appropriate point in the process.

 

Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force

 

Holly Stoerker reported that the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force met in Baton Rouge on October 11 to review its draft hypoxia Action Plan.  On November 11, EPA circulated a final draft to the Task Force, seeking the members’ concurrence on the changes that were discussed at the Baton Rouge meeting.  The target for submitting the Task Force’s report to the President and Governors is November 17.

 

Stoerker described the changes to the Plan that the Task Force discussed at its Baton Rouge meeting.  Most notably, the Task Force chose a numeric goal reducing the size of the Gulf hypoxic zone, rather than a numeric goal for nutrient reduction.  The nitrogen loading goal had been of concern because of its scientific uncertainty, misunderstandings about how to apply the goal basin-wide, and the potential to misinterpret the reduction goal as applying to nitrogen applications. The Task Force also decided to include a recommendation calling for development of a budget request to implement the Plan.  The magnitude of the effort is estimated to be $5 billion over 5 years.

 

Stoerker noted that EPA has expressed interest in using existing groups, such as the UMRBA, to implement the sub-basin planning recommendations contained in the Action Plan.

 

National Research Council Study

 

Allen Hance of the Northeast Midwest Institute explained that Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind had requested that the Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB) conduct a study of nonpoint source pollution and water quality management in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.  The WSTB is part of the National Research Council, associated with the National Academies of Science.  Kind’s interest in having such a study done is related to his legislative efforts, including H.R. 4013, the Upper Mississippi River Basin Conservation Act.  Hance explained that the study proposal has been approved by the WSTB, but the effort still requires scoping.  A planning session is being scheduled for January, at which time federal and state representatives will be asked to provide input on the scope.  It is currently estimated to be a two-year study with a cost range of $500,000-$700,000.  Hance explained that WSTB studies are typically conducted by a panel of experts who analyze data and make recommendations. 

In response to a question about how the WSTB study may relate to the reintroduction of H.R. 4013, Hance speculated that Congressman Kind will not necessarily delay reintroduction until the study is complete. 

 

Invasive Species

 

Holly Stoerker reported that, following the August UMRBA meeting, a letter was transmitted to General Robert Griffin, urging prompt completion of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Dispersal Barrier.  In his response, General Griffin explained that the project should be complete by the end of the second quarter of FY 01.  Subsequent discussions with staff suggest that the completion date is March 2001. 

 

Stoerker noted that, at the August UMRBA meeting, there was interest in possibly lending UMRBA’s support to efforts already underway in the Great Lakes to address ballast water management.  She described a number of such efforts, including a Great Lakes Commission resolution, a policy statement under development by the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, a binational research strategy developed by that same panel, and a Great Lakes Governors’ resolution that is currently being circulated for signature. 

 

Don Vonnahme suggested that UMRBA take a supportive position.  In particular he noted that “no ballast on board” is a big issue and that the cost of some ballast management strategies may impact the competitiveness of Great Lakes ports.  Vonnahme suggested that the UMRBA address this issue again at its February meeting, at which time the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species may have further developed its policy statement.  Steve Morse cautioned against UMRBA becoming too heavily involved in ballast water issues, thus duplicating efforts already underway.  Stoerker suggested that the most appropriate role for UMRBA would be to voice the general concerns and perspectives of an adjoining watershed, but not to address technical issues in depth. 

 

Colonel Bayles reported that he had looked into the potential use of dams on the Illinois Waterway to address the spread of invasive species.  According to Bayles, there do not appear to be any obvious viable solutions, such as dewatering locks or lock shocks.  He also noted that the Corps’ Chicago District will be constructing the dispersal barrier this spring.

 

Natural Hydrograph

 

Jon Duyvejonk explained that the UMRCC report “A River that Works and a Working River” includes three objectives that are related to the natural hydrograph.  Therefore, Dr. David Galat of USGS was invited to provide general background information on the theory and concepts related to the natural hydrograph. 

 

Galat described the components of the flow regime that regulate ecological processes, including magnitude, frequency, duration, timing, and rate of change of hydrologic conditions.  He emphasized that each river has its own natural hydrograph and that both extreme high flows and low flows are important.  He also described the importance of connectivity between the channel and floodplain of a river system, noting that both latitudinal and longitudinal connectivity is important.  Galat described examples of the ways in which the natural hydrograph affects aquatic life.  In particular, he explained the dependence of fish life cycles on the coupling of river stage and temperature, the relationship between vegetation production and water level fluctuations, and the effects of high flow timing on least tern nesting habitat. 

 

Galat also reviewed the National Research Council’s recommended series of steps to restore river systems, including restoration of sediment and hydrologic patterns, channel geometry, riparian plant communities, and native aquatic plants and animals.  However, Galat emphasized that all are needed and he cautioned against focusing on the order, rather than the necessity of including them all. 

 

In response to a question from Tom Jackson about whether management actions should seek to ensure average flows, Galat stressed that the management goal should be variability within the normal range for the system.  He recommended that extreme events, such as droughts and floods, be allowed to occur and that, in “average” years, management for other river uses be pursued.  Jackson noted that some river users, for whom reliability and consistency is important, may disagree.

 

In response to a question about what species benefit from the variability of the natural hydrograph, Galat explained that most all native species are dependent on the natural hydrograph.  It is largely exotic species, which are habitat generalists, that do best under unnatural, less variable hydrologic conditions.

 

Kevin Szcodronski commented that hydrologic needs and issues vary over the length of the Mississippi.  For instance, on the river above the Quad Cities, floodplain connectivity is high, but low summer flows, which are beneficial for vegetation, are typically missing.  He also noted that management options are best focused on average years, because extreme events usually cannot be controlled anyway.

 

Szcodronski noted that Galat’s presentation provided general background on the natural hydrograph.  However, at future meetings, the UMRBA should focus on specific related objectives of a) levee setbacks for floodplain connectivity, b) using dams to create seasonal pulse, and c) side channel openings and closings to create connectivity.  Don Vonnahme suggested that the February UMRBA meeting include discussion of the UMRCC objective #9 related to fish passage at dams.  He noted that fish passage is related to invasive species concerns previously discussed.  He also commented that Illinois has a number of fish passage proposals on its interior streams and the issue is thus of interest beyond the Mississippi main stem.  Steve Morse suggested that, if the February meeting is devoted to fish passage, that the issue of using dams to create flood pulse be addressed at the May meeting.

 

Kevin Szcodronski noted that the UMRCC annual meeting in March 2001 will be devoted to presentations and discussions of each of the objectives in the UMRCC report.  Terry Moe commented that the ecological objectives laid out in the UMRCC report are based on scientific concepts and that the management issues become controversial when other river uses are affected by applying the ecological objectives.  Moe also suggested, rather than focusing on what specific actions can be taken to advance individual objectives, that the discussion focus more on how natural resources objectives can be integrated with human use objectives. 

 

Upper Mississippi Basin Stakeholder Network

 

Barry Drazkowski distributed copies of a brochure and background paper describing the Upper Mississippi Basin Stakeholder Network (UMBSN), which is the public education and involvement component of the UMB Stewardship Initiative.  The effort is being led by St. Mary’s University, with funding support from the McKnight Foundation and NRCS.  It is a nonpolitical and non-advocacy communication network, which seeks to link stakeholder groups throughout the basin, provide information on sediment and nutrient issues, and communicate stakeholders’ concerns to state and federal agencies. 

 

Drazkowski said that his data base currently includes 750 individual organizations, with 250 discrete organizations.  The web site, scheduled to be up by the end of November, will include basin news and legislative updates, an events and meeting calendar, meeting minutes and summaries, informational topics, featured projects, links to science and government organizations in the basin, and point-counterpoint discussions. 

 

Spill Detection Network

 

Barb Naramore reported that the UMR Spills Group is continuing its discussions of the potential for establishing an early warning monitoring network and spill notification network for intake operators.  The American Water Works Company has formed an Upper Mississippi River Water Users Coalition, which includes 22 water supply utilities.  This coalition has expressed interest in a notification network and Rich Gullick of American Water Works Company attended the last Spills Group meeting to discuss the idea.  According to Naramore, the Spills Group is interested in exploring the concept further, but is sensitive to a number of issues including, a) the need to better understand the intakes’ existing operations and needs, b) the challenges associated with the on-going maintenance of a network, and c) the need to tailor the system to the UMR, rather than simply importing a system from another part of the country.  In that regard, Naramore noted that the contaminants of interest on the UMR are different than those on the Ohio River.  Naramore said it will be important to coordinate this effort with the source water protection programs in the states.  Don Vonnahme and Steve Morse expressed support for the UMRBA’s continued involvement in moving this project forward.

 

Investment Banking Resolution

 

Holly Stoerker explained that the bank fees for managing UMRBA’s investment account are increasing and thus, staff is proposing that the funds be transferred to a brokerage service affiliated with the bank.  Stoerker recommended that authorization language, similar to that suggested by the bank, be approved.  Steve Morse asked if the authorization for staff to sell and transfer assets is standard operating procedure endorsed by the UMRBA’s auditor.  Stoerker expressed uncertainty, but offered to check with the auditor.  Don Vonnahme suggested revising the resolution, by inserting a specific date, thereby establishing a timeframe for the authorization.  Terry Moe moved adoption of the resolution and Steve Morse seconded the motion.  The following resolution was unanimously approved:

 

The members of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association (UMRBA) hereby authorize UMRBA Executive Director Holly Stoerker to sell, assign, and endorse for transfer, before December 31, 2000, certificates representing stocks, bonds or other securities registered in the name of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association.

 

UMRBA Web Site

 

Barb Naramore reported that staff is in the process of developing a web site for UMRBA.  The purpose of the web site is to provide information about the organization and provide access to UMRBA documents.  It is not intended to serve as a source of information about the Basin.  Naramore described the design as basic, with an eye toward easy maintenance.  In response to a question from Naramore, all UMRBA representatives expressed support for having links to the UMRBA members’ agency home pages and contact information for all UMRBA representatives.

 

Future Meetings

 

Holly Stoerker announced that the next two UMRBA and EMP-CC combination meeting dates will be February 27-28, 2001 in the Twin Cities and May 15-16, 2001 in the Quad Cities.

 

It was agreed that the summer meetings would be scheduled for August 7-8 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  If that location does not work out, alternatives include Springfield or Peoria, Illinois.

 

 

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m.