Summary Notes from FOBC Steering Committee Meeting, Sept. 5, 2007 at the CCPL Brooklyn Branch Library

Congratulations from Jim White on both grants received. Discussion of achieiving “buy in” from all stakeholders and the number of participants recommended: 30 in all, 10 from each city. Plan will proceed with receipt of notice from Dtate. County Planning Commission has a lot of the data.

Discussion of possibilities for fundraising: an event such as bowling at Brown’s Lanes; online shopping with iGive; restaurant dining days. Discussed need to track costs, even non-reimbursed fund, so budgets can be prepared. Discussion of starting a petty cash (slush) fund for smaller reimbursables. Plan for Finance Committee meeting in October. Plan for Neighborhood Connections grant.

Grant award ceremony at NOACA. Thanks given to Jim Kastelic and Jim White. Grant is $60K plus $15K match ( 500 from FOBC, 6,000 from Cleveland Metroparks, 4,500 from Brooklyn, 2,000 from Cleveland and 2,000 from Parma). Timeline:

Request for proposals issued.
Brooklyn and committee review proposals and narrow down.
Presentation by finalists.
Brooklyn selects Consultant.
Negotiate contract.
Brooklyn appoints technical review committee
Consultant responsibilities - Data collection, land use, demographics, topography, easements for utilities. Develop mapping database. Use multi-layer mapping database, GIS overlay.
Develop preliminary alignments: Brookpark Road to Memphis Picnic Area, then to Brookside Reservation.
Public meeting - present preliminary series of drawings.
Stakeholders meeting - business, Cascade Crossing, city administrative representatives and Councils.
Consultants identify potential connectors - Downtown city center, connection to Oxbow, trailheads.
Develop final set of drawings.
Second public meeting with formal presentation.
Any further comments go into final report.
Consultant develops cost estimates for implementation of plan
Potential funding sources identified.
Brooklyn prepares monthly reports and approximately every three months submits an invoice to NOACA.
18 months estimated total time (West Creek TLCI was 12 months).

Discussion of difficulty getting attendance at public meetings, the necessity of getting stakeholder involvement and the need for education, e.g., safety issues in regard to trails.

Possible: Plain Dealer, Key Bank, American Greeting, Cascade, Walmart; Parma Councilwoman Mary Galinas because of crossing at Brookpark Road; CEI and ODOT.

Discussion of power line arrangements: Virginia Electric and Power (VEPCO) agreement for asphalt hiking trail and equestrian trail to follow their 50 Kw lines in return for the maintenance of the trail and neighboring trees/shrubs; CEI agreement in West Creek for section of trail along right of way, at edge, against residents’ property lines with fencing.

Review of format, production and mailing costs for 4-page newsletter.

Approved mission statement: To conserve, enhance, and bring recognition to the natural and historic resources of the Big Creek Watershed and develop a recreational trail network that joins these resources to each other and the community.

There are seven locations; tested four times through Sept. 1 in 2007; takes 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Testing pH, temperature, conductivity, water clarity..
It was reported that a cleanup has been suggested for the West 117th//I-71/Bellaire area. Noted that a resident of Highland Road recently emailed us for advice on cleaning up the debris left from summer storm events. That is a steep and largely inaccessible area. FOBC will plan to walk from Memphis Big Creek Reservation upstream along the West branch.

The Conservation Outreach program at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History is conducting an environmental assessment of the Oxbow area under the direction of Conservation Specialist Judy Semroc. M.E. and Regis joined Judy and Larry Rosche for a second visit to the Oxbow. The team was excited to find a Mocha Emerald dragonfly so far west in the county.

FOBC Events
A. Past Events
1. Riverday – Big Creek Confluence Hike, May 19
2. SWCD Big Creek / Stickney Branch Clean-up – June 9
3. Watershed Partners Picnic – June 20
4. Brooklyn Oxbow Hike – August 5
B. Planned Events
1. Lower Big Creek Hike – Sept. 9, 1:00PM
2. General Meeting – need program
C. Other Items
1. Environmental Award
FOBC nominated for Biodiversity Northeast Environmental Award nominating FOBC. “They applaud our efforts to enhance our quality of life in Northeast Ohio and encourage us resubmit our nomination next year.”
2. Brookside Park Cleanup
Cleanup was after flood last Wednesday. 25 participants. 1400 pounds of scrap metal recycled. Around 35 tires. Found raw sewage pouring into river behind rainforest from pipe under parking lot.
3. Phragmites Pull September 22nd 9 AM to Noon at Brookside Reservation.

Greg’s “must reads”:

From Chicago Wilderness Magazine
Web Site:
“We want to promote the wild lupine growing on our right-of-way, which is the host plant for the Karner blue. J. F. New has managed burns on our property and is monitoring the butterfly populations,” Kortum added. In addition, a rare plant — Scirpus expansus — found nowhere else in Indiana, survives on a NiSource right-of-way on the south side of the National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park. Other rare plants found there are small forget-me-not, joint rush, marsh club moss, northern winged sedge, and follicle sedge.

Nicor, a natural gas transmission company, owns 80 miles of rights-of-way in the region and has begun a demonstration project at its facility in Naperville to enhance a wetland area, stabilizing streambanks and revegetating with native plants. Nicor has collaborated with a number of area park districts and forest preserves to develop bike trails and paths along its rights-of-way too.

From Texas Department of Transportation
Chapter 2 — Uses of Right of Way (Long Term) Section 3 — Multiple Use Agreements
Use of Right-of-Way by Others 2-5 TxDOT 10/2003
The department may enter into an agreement with a political subdivision or federal agency to use portions of the highway right of way for public facilities other than highway purposes. Public facilities may include such things as parking areas, parks, recreational areas, hike and bike trails, boat ramps, law enforcement functions, etc. The authority to execute a Multiple
Use Agreement is contained in Minute Order No. 65169. A Multiple Use Agreement (Form 2044) must be executed for each multiple use facility under … for a recent court debate on Virginia Electric & Power proposal to build new lines between two substations and ASKING for a right of way of the park system.
See web sites related to Illinois & Texas, Utility & State policies on right of ways.

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