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Membership Meeting Minutes, Nov 2017

CONA General Membership Meeting
November 15, 2017

The meeting was called to order at 7 P.M.

Jennifer Joern announced the Nominating Committee slate for the December election:
Board of Directors
President – Marlene Murray
First Vice President – Judy Landon
Secretary – Jennifer Joern
Treasurer – David Roman
Standing Committee Chairs
Audit – LaAuna Lewis
Codes – Travis Jarman
Membership – Tom Lally
Nominating – Sue Heyen
Public Safety – John Mason
Land Development & Historic Resources – Judy Landon

A request was made by Marlene for nominations from the floor. None were offered.

The speaker for the evening was Walter Donnelly of the Alliance of Bayway Communities (ABC). This organization is comprised of 48 association, primarily condos, and represents 9,888 residents.

In August of 2015, there was a massive sewage overflow by Eckerd College, and ABC went before the City Council on October 15, 2015, to announce that the sewage system should have handled the load, as this was not a 100-year storm. There should be a stress test of the wastewater treatment system.

Currently, ABC is invited to participate in all discussions pertaining to the sewage system. Their short-term program advocates improving the ability to use treatment plants during high flow, by making hydraulic improvements, such as injection wells. Injections wells handle reclaimed water with no pathogens. This water is injected into the salt-water aquifer, which is hundreds of feet below the freshwater aquifer.

Recently, the City made it through Hurricane Irma with only one significant issue, when reclaimed water overflowed on a wastewater treatment site. Occasionally, during a hurricane, slightly-less-treated water goes into injection wells. This was treated as a violation by the state agency in charge.

ABC feels that our city is on the right path.

The long-term program consists of a $326 million Consent Agreement with Florida Department of Environmental Protection, wherein a Master Plan is being developed. The plan includes a study which will take sea level rise into consideration. Unfortunately, only half of the funding for the plan has been identified.

Rainy season leakage and inflow is a core problem yet to be solved. It is a political issue, as it will require enforced inspection and repair of private property. Seventy percent of effluent comes off of private property, such as leakage around manholes, and runoff.
It will take millions to put Albert Whithead treatment plan back online, and it still may be too small to handle excess sewerage.

On an ending note, ABC feels that city staff should be applauded for the outcome of Hurricane Irma.

Marlene listed a number of CONA accomplishments over the past year:
The Land Development and Historic Resources Committee met frequently on land development regulation changes. (BTW, Liz Abernethy is looking into increasing the notice radius from the current 200 feet.)

Codes Committee is very active and doing a phenomenal job.

Advertising on bus shelters was averted after CONA stepped in, with badly-needed new bus shelters to be installed without ads.

CONA is sponsoring a yearly award in Officer Merritt's name.

The CONA Leadership Program, 26 years old, is being revamped to reflect current conditions. Marlene requested the attendees to bring the information about the leadership program to their respective associations, and to consider sponsoring a member or even another neighborhood association.

Marlene requested nominations from the floor, again, with no response. Therefore, nominations were closed.

A member of the St Petersburg League of Women Voters (LWV) , Claudia, also a member of the LWV sustainability committee, spoke about their new solar coop to be started in January 2018. Florida is issuing more solar permits than any other state. It will take 90 days for the coop to open, as 40 households must sign up in that time. Marlene asked that the LWV bring a full presentation to CONA in the coming months. LWV will also speak to any neighborhood association which expresses an interest.

Marlene gave the President's report, stating the the Grow Your Neighborhood workshop will be online. There has only been one workshop this year due to the Leadership program. There will be a description of the duties of individual members of the Executive Board as well as committees. There will also be a transition plan. This information will be transparent.

The meeting adjourned at 8:12 PM.

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