CME Minutes

October 7, 2010

St. Ignatius, MT


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


FIIP: Gordon Wind, Peter Plant, RaLynn Brown


Staff: Alan Mikkelsen


Visitors: Paul Hunsucker, Ted Hein


Chairman Hughes called the meeting to order at 12:45 pm. He announced that the early call to order was to allow RaLynn Brown to leave as soon as possible to have a document signed by Chairman Moran in Pablo.


Roll Call was held, with all members present except Dan Emerson.


Ron Trahan moved that the minutes be approved as presented. Kerry Doney seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


The financial report was presented by RaLynn Brown. She noted a correction in the opening balance and reported an ending balance of $934,764.10. Gordon Wind explained the agreement between the CME and CSKT for fish screen construction funding. Chairman Hughes signed on behalf of the CME and RaLynn Brown left the meeting to take the agreement to Chairman Moran in Pablo.


In order to avoid dismissing public members prior to the end of the meeting, Chairman Hughes called an executive session at the request of Gordon Wind to discuss some personnel issues. The meeting entered executive session at 12:55 pm. Open session was resumed at 1:20 pm.


Gordon Wind requested that the CME give consideration to providing employees with a $100 annual allowance per employee to help offset personal safety and health requirements. This would include the purchase of steel to boots, prescription safety glasses, rain gear, and CDL physicals (co-pay). Lloyd Irvine moved to provide employees with a $100 annual allowance per employee to help offset person safety and health requirements. Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Peter Plant delivered the FIIP hydrology report. Most reservoirs are above average in storage and stream flows continue to hold up very well. He said that the ultrasound flow meter had been located. Pete announced that as a result of IC work that he, Seth Makepeace and Gordon would be meeting to begin development of a comprehensive water measurement plan for FIIP. This plan would be complementary to the ongoing CSKT water measurement program and would support both water settlement and BiOp requirements. Peter said that there would be dam safety inspections next week and that he would also be working to update forecast equations. The need for further water measurement devices was discussed.


Gordon Wind said that there were still 3-4 ditch riders chasing stock water. Work on the number three pump switch gear is ongoing. There will be a three person crew, led by Tim Orr, that will be spraying grass and cattails this fall. Gordon discussed precast work and plans to increase productivity and output in the precast shop this winter. All machines are currently cleaning ditch and work will start next week on the Placid Creek screen. Gordon noted that the Placid Creek screen crew will probably bunk in Seely Lake, due to better and shorter road access to the job site. They will be working 10 hour shifts until the job is done.


Gordon Wind discussed SOD funding and said he remained hopeful that funding would be received to allow for the patching of the Crow reservoir spillway, pumping of water for dam inspection, and the purchase of necessary equipment (sling chair) for the inspection.


Gordon Wind announced that there would be a BIA SOD conference this fall in Albuquerque. He said that both he and Pete Plant would be attending and visiting the Middle Rio Grande project to view water measurement devices and systems while they were in Albuquerque.


Gordon Wind said he anticipated phones being installed next week.


Alan Mikkelsen presented the IC report/minutes. IC discussion involved IC priorities and how those were going to be set. Construction projects were also discussed. Les Evarts noted that the K-canal bypass and ladder project may prove unnecessary under new FIIP management and is on hold or may be cancelled. A BOR entrainment study team will be on the Project October 19 and 20 to survey possible entrainment study sites and develop proposals. As noted above, Gordon Wind, Pete Plant and Seth Makepeace will meet to begin development of a comprehensive water measurement plan for FIIP.


Alan Mikkelsen said that a full time equivalent position would be funded with an MOU between BIA and USFWS to develop a monitoring plan for the BiOp.


Alan Mikkelsen said that McDonald Reservoir elevations were discussed and barriers to brook trout ingress were also discussed. Tabor water and its transport to other reservoirs were discussed.


Alan Mikkelsen said that discussion about stock water deliveries after October 15 took place. The BiOp requires that the IC make a recommendation to the CME regarding the delivery of stock water after October 15. Discussion was also held on alleged excessive amounts of water delivered this fall for stock water. Alan said that a motion was made by him to continue stock water deliveries after October 15, until just before freeze up. That IC motion failed 1-3. Alan Mikkelsen said the recommendation of the IC to the CME is that stock water deliveries should be curtailed after October 15. Alan noted this was designed to improve the baseline conditions for bull trout and that the issue was going to have to be addressed in a significant way before the expiration of the BiOp.


After receiving the recommendation from the IC regarding stock water deliveries, considerable CME discussion ensued. Steve Hughes noted that would create a hardship for people trying to utilize fall pastures. He said that over the next four years, the CME should be working with the IC to develop alternatives to FIIP stock water deliveries. Lloyd Irvine moved to take the IC recommendation under advisement and continue stock water deliveries at a minimal level until freeze up, and work to develop alternatives for stock water deliveries in future years. Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Under CME business, Gordon Wind asked for approval to finalize the purchase of a compacter. Lloyd Irvine moved that the purchase of the small remote compacter be approved. Leonard Gray seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. Gordon also said that a cargo box had been purchased for job site tool security.


Gordon Wind asked for CME approval to switch the Columbus Day holiday for the day after Thanksgiving for all FIIP employees. Kerry Doney moved to approve the switch from the Columbus Day holiday to the day after Thanksgiving for all FIIP employees. Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Gordon Wind presented for discussion a pipeline installation in the Camas Division. After discussion, Gordon said he will work to have NRCS make a presentation to the CME regarding funding programs that may be available to help with water conservation measures. Ron Trahan moved to approve the installation of the Greco pipeline project. Leonard Gray seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


Gordon Wind and Steve Hughes announced that the CME will be meeting with the CSKT Tribal Council at 10:00 am on October 14.


Alan Mikkelsen presented a draft personnel policy and drug policy for discussion. Alan proposed that comments be returned to him a week prior to the next CME meeting, to be incorporated into a final draft of the policies to be considered at the November CME meeting. He then suggested that final adoption could take place at the December CME meeting.


Chairman Hughes discussed the upcoming Montana Water Resources Association Meeting (MWRA) meeting in Billings and suggested that it would be an educational opportunity for all CME board members. The FJBC pays for FJBC members to attend and Chairman Hughes suggested that the CME do likewise for CSKT CME members. Lloyd Irvine moved that the CME pay per diem, mileage, registration and room and board for any CSKT CME representatives wanting to attend the MWRA meeting. Leonard Gray seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.


A project tour was discussed for the CME members. Both Gordon Wind and Alan Mikkelsen said this would be a very beneficial effort. Scheduling of the tour was left up to Gordon and Alan.


There was no public comment.


The next CME meeting was set for November 4, 2010, at 1:00 pm. Lunch will be served at 12:00 pm for those wanting to come early. Any executive session may, at the option of the chairman and depending on Board member presence, be scheduled prior to 1:00 pm.


Meeting adjourned at 3:45 pm.