The Bay Area Resource Council members came together for the first official meeting this year Wednesday January 21, to discuss environmental proposals and issues concerning the residents of Gulf Breeze, Milton, and the Pensacola area.
“Happy New Year everybody, there have been a lot of things going on in Santa Rosa County, probably heard about the train wrecks, the fire, and crashing airplanes,” said Santa Rosa County Commission and BARC Chairman Bob Cole. “But we are off to a real slow start for the year.”
Indeed they are off to a slow start with three people missing from the board and Marty Donovan no longer with them, the board moved the agenda right along to introducing the new board members.
BARC’s three new members include: City of Milton Councilor Paul Kilmarin, City of Gulf Breeze City Councilor Joseph Henderson, and Santa Rosa County Commission Lane Lynchard.
Since this was Henderson and Lynchard’s first official meeting they didn’t have official reports to inform the committee on but will have one for the next meeting.
“We are off to a smashing start in the city of Milton,” Kilmarin said.
Kilmarin informed us that the issue regarding the plane crash is being taken care of, which they are mainly dealing with minor oil leakage.
“All environmental concerns with the fire are being addressed as we speak,” said Kilmarin. “Having committee meetings regarding the issue, we have also found a need for a ladder truck in the city of Milton.”
Kilmarin didn’t have an official report present and will have one for the next meeting.
Bringing up a past environmental issue in the area Cole asked Kilmarin about the silt debris in Blackwater River caused from flooding.
“That is a completed project and we did have some silting go into the Black Water River but that was addressed with the environmental people, and the contractor also stated that they were going to address any further issues to resolve them, and actually the creek is cleansing itself in a habitat type way and so we are satisfied with the project as of this day,” Kilmarin said.
Pleased to hear the project was successful Cole moved right along to the Technical Advisory Committee report.
Technical Advisory Committee Chairman Chips Kirschenfeld gave his report on the water quality grant-funded projects by Escambia County.
The water quality of Jones Creek, Pensacola Bay, and Bayou Chico have had a long history of water quality problems and a grant-funded project called the Jones Creek Stream Restoration will start this summer to fix their water quality.
“Another grant-funded project by Escambia County, will work on the Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) concentrations in the Escambia River and northern Escambia Bay settlements,” Kirschenfeld said.
Since PCB’s don’t degrade or decompose over time The University of West Florida has research of fish tissue analysis that still shows PCB’s getting into the local fish.
“We’ll look for PCB hot spots and dredge the areas,” Kirschenfeld said.
Escambia County is looking at another project that will hopefully start over the next couple years.
The project will look for the highest level of pollutants that is contributing to Pensacola Bay and being successful with a similar project, at Perdido Bay, the results will help send them in the right direction.
No other projects were announced and the board moved on for a motion to approve of the budget plan for 2009, the motion was moved and agreed on.
With no other business brought up by the other members or the public, the meeting was adjourned.
The next meeting will be held Mar. 18, 2009, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the City of Gulf Breeze City Hall.