CME Minutes

August 5, 2010

St. Ignatius, MT


Present:† Steve Hughes, Ron Trahan, Leroy Dumontier, Kerry Doney, Leonard Gray, Walt Schock, Dan Emerson, Lloyd Irvine


FIIP:† Gordon Wind, Pete Plant, RaLynn Brown


Staff:† Alan Mikkelsen, Les Evarts, Lowell Whitney (USFWS)


Visitors:† Richard Prongua, Ted Hein, Jim Baker, Craig Wierather, Paul Hunsucker, Ross Middlemist


The meeting was called to order at 12:05 pm by Chairman Steve Hughes.† A roll call was ordered and all members were present.†


Chairman Hughes called for an executive session at 12:10 pm to discuss personnel and potential litigation issues. Also discussed was a contract employment issue.†


The meeting resumed open session at 12:50 pm.††


Walt Schock moved to reject settlement offers by Jim Cordier and Gary Schulz.† Dan Emerson seconded the motion.† The motion carried unanimously.†


Leroy Dumontier moved to have Alan Mikkelsen and Gordon Wind report to the CME at its September meeting on attorney options for the CME.† Walt Schock seconded the motion.† Motion carried unanimously.†


Dan Emerson moved to have a draft personnel policy presented at the September meeting.† Leonard Gray seconded the motion.† Motion carried unanimously.†


Gordon Wind discussed a legal issue on the Back Road construction.†


In response to a question from Ron Trahan, Gordon Wind said that job application forms were available at the FIIP headquarters and that he was trying to maintain a list of potential employees that would be available for immediate employment.† He also stated that he wanted to work with CSKT personnel and the Montana employment office to have them advertising for potential vacancies on a full time basis.†


Leroy Dumontier noted that employees that were being uncooperative about turning in their green sheet water delivery reports needed to be reminded that they were all still on probation through this first irrigation season of CME operation.†


Lloyd Irvine noted that he expected employee problems and issues to be handled in the field, and only at the CME level as a last effort at resolution.†


Chairman Hughes then begin with the regular meeting agenda.† Ron Trahan moved to approve the minutes as presented.† Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.† Motion carried unanimously.†


Pete Plant presented the FIIP hydrology report and also distributed a list of action items and FIIP actions from Appendix 1 of the BiOp for bull trout.† Pete discussed quota delivery issues, and green sheet water delivery forms.† Steve Hughes asked about whether or not the quota could be increased for the Mission Valley and Gordon said that was still being evaluated on a weekly basis.† Leroy Dumontier asked about Jocko quota and a discussion ensued regarding quota versus a rationing plan for the Jocko system.† It was noted that Moiese was also using rationing to distribute water.†


Gordon Wind discussed FIIP O&M concerns, including several lateral canal breaks.† He noted that ditch riders still need more training on operations and delivery.† Steve Hughes discussed season end stock water options.† Leonard Gray asked about water measurement training for farmers as well as ditch riders.†


A lengthy discussion was held on 2011 O&M rates, public meetings and feedback from those meetings.† Gordon said that one of the goals of the FIIP was to order pipe and headgates by the truck load and pass those savings on to water users, allowing them to purchase pipe at cost.† Walt Schock discussed the possibility of the FJBC picking up the increase from their reserves.† Craig Wierather, president of the Camas Water Users Association said they were opposed to the proposed increase, but appreciated what was being done by the new management.† Richard Prongua urged that the CME go slow and wait a year on any increases, Jim Baker urged a lesser increase.† Ted Hein said he initially opposed the increase, but now favored it.† Alan Mikkelsen reminded the board that minimum charges also should probably be addressed.†


Dan Emerson moved to increase the minimum charge from $65.00 to $75.00.† Kerry Doney seconded the motion.† Motion carried unanimously.†


Dan Emerson moved to increase O&M charges to $24.50 per acre.† Kerry Doney seconded the motion.† Motion failed 4-4.† Voting aye were Steve Hughes, Dan Emerson, Kerry Doney and Leroy Dumontier.† Voting nay were Walt Schock, Leonard Gray, Ron Trahan, and Lloyd Irvine.†


Leonard Gray moved to increase O&M charges to $25.50 per acre.† Dan Emerson seconded the motion.† Motion carried 5-3.† Voting aye were Leonard Gray, Dan Emerson, Steve Hughes, Ron Trahan, and Lloyd Irvine.† Voting nay were Kerry Doney, Leroy Dumontier, and Walt Schock.†


RaLynn Brown presented the monthly financial report.†


The technical reports section began with a presentation by Les Evarts.† The communication process between the CME, FIIP, CSKT fisheries, BIA and USFWS was discussed.† Les Evarts discussed a spill into the Flathead River and erosion of CSKT land in the process.† Lloyd Irvine noted that it was caused by right of way and fence issues that prevented access and that the FIIP was working to remedy that problem.† Les asked that for other than IC issues, that he be e-mailed specific questions that may arise in a CME meeting.† He said he would have someone attending to answer any specific fishery question if he had advance notice.†


Fisheries projects on E Canal/East Finley and the Placid Diversion were discussed.† Leroy Dumontier asked about the possibility of adjusting the instream flow on East Finley Creek.† Les and Alan Mikkelsen both agreed that would have to be an issue handled by both BIA and the CSKT Tribal Council.†


Lowell Whitney discussed the requirements of the BiOp and questions he had about FIIP operations.† The hydrology report by Pete Plant addressed the question raised by Lowell, but it was noted that there was a breakdown in communicating these activities to BIA and USFWS.† Lowell asked that an IC report become a fixed agenda item for all regular CME meetings.† Accessing BIA funds for paying for BiOp measures was discussed.† BIA needs a scope of work to bring Ed McKay on for fish screen consulting.†


Under CME business, Gordon Wind noted that the new (used) dump trucks had arrived and that the FIIP was pleased with their condition.† He said he was still looking for up to two more trailers for equipment transportation.† He asked about trading the John Deere road grader to Lake County as a parts machine, in exchange for gravel.†


Ron Trahan moved that Gordon negotiate an exchange of the road grader for gravel with Lake County.† Kerry Doney seconded the motion.† Motion carried unanimously.†


Gordon Wind discussed a new VOIP phone system.† The system will cost approximately $10,000 to install, but will save up to $6,000 per year.† Gordon noted it was the same type system used by Mission Valley Power.†


Walt Schock moved to approve the purchase of a VOIP phone system.† Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.† Motion carried unanimously.†


Gordon Wind presented a draft policy on right of way, access, and fencing on FIIP canals.† This was developed by Gordon, Leroy Dumontier and Kerry Doney as a committee.† A discussion of cattle guards ensued.† Ross Middlemist said that he didnít want cattle guards mandated because of cost and public access issues.† The policy was taken under advisement, with action anticipated at the September CME meeting.†


Gordon Wind discussed a delivery point issue involving a water user in the Charlo area.† There is water running down the state right of way that poses a potential liability problem and other parts of the delivery run down a natural draw, with aquatic vegetation.† The Corps of Engineers has allegedly denied a permit to clean the draw.† Steve Hughes asked is the delivery point could be relocated to the original high point of the property.† It was noted that a pump, pipeline and power line may also have to be relocated.†


In the public comment section of the agenda, Ted Hein raised an issue of permanent versus seasonal employees.†


The meeting adjourned at 4:25 pm.†