CME Minutes

December 9, 2010

St. Ignatius, MT


Present:  Lloyd Irvine, Leonard Gray, Steve Hughes, Leroy Dumontier, Kerry Doney, Walt Schock, Ron Trahan, Dan Emerson (via phone)


Staff:  Alan Mikkelsen, Gordon Wind (FIIP), RaLynn Brown (FIIP)


Visitors:  Roy Lake, Ted Hein, Paul Hunsucker


The meeting was called to order at 12:55 pm by Chairman Steve Hughes.  A roll call ordered by the Chair established that all members were present, with Dan Emerson participating via phone. 


Walt Schock moved for approval of the November 4, 2010 minutes.  Ron Trahan seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Gordon Wind then presented the FIIP report, beginning with hydrology.  He noted that Pete Plant was in Boise with about a dozen other FIIP employees participating in a Dam Tender Training Seminar.  Gordon said that while he had no figures, the water year was off to a good start with heavy snow pack and high water content for this time of year.  Stock water deliveries were stopped on November 12.  Gordon announced that Tabor water had not been moved but was being held for Mission Creek instream flows to allow for inspection of the gates at Mission dam.  The gate inspection is waiting for the arrival of a sky chair from the Safety of Dams office.  Gordon said that the FIIP had missed an instream flow requirement because of a secretarial diversion for stock water, but also noted that the issue had been resolved. 


Gordon Wind then discussed FIIP maintenance activities.  The switching gear at the Flathead Pumps is still being worked on.  Gordon said that technical help would arrive in early January to help trouble shoot the gear and provide him with cost estimates for repair or replacement.  Ditch cleaning is still underway in both the Camas and Mission Valleys.  The heavy snow has insulated the ground and there is little to no frost, thus far.  The collapsed liner on the Pablo Feeder Canal has been removed.  A screed panel has been built for an excavator by Scott Hopper.  The screed panel will greatly aid in concrete placement and finishing on canal repairs.  CSKT Forestry has been clearing brush from the Lower J canal in the Jocko Division with a brush cutting head on an excavator.  This has been done under contract with Forestry.  Gordon said that he and John Morigeau were very impressed with the results and recommended that the CME consider the acquisition of a similar brush cutting head.  He said that FIIP could use it for canal clearing and removal of brush and trees on the faces of dams.  Safety of Dams would pay for the latter.  Gordon said he would bring photos to the January meeting so CME members could see the results of the work.  Gordon also noted that over 20 miles of ditch had been sprayed with herbicides this fall for control of cattails and other grasses. 


Gordon Wind said the transition to maintenance has been challenging for inexperienced crews this fall, but that they are learning and getting better with each job.  The Placid Creek fish screen concrete has all been placed and backfilled.  The installation of the screen hardware may need to wait until after runoff next spring because of access limitations due to snow pack.  On the Finley Creek/E Canal siphon/screen, the floor has been poured, and walls should be poured tomorrow.  The pre-cast shop is working on inlet and outlet boxes for the job.  Gordon said the job would be finished before the end of December.  Gordon also said the pre-cast shop was also working on checks and turnout structures.  Gordon said that the pre-cast operations still needed some tweaking and coaching to improve/maximize output. 


Gordon Wind also reviewed a canal crossing proposal related to the Skyline Road improvement concept design.  He discussed the specifications for a box culvert to carry 400 cfs, with 24” of open air above the water surface.  Ron Trahan moved to authorize Gordon Wind’s review and approval of the proposed design on behalf of the CME.  Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.  Alan Mikkelsen was asked to draft a letter for Chairman Hughes’ signature informing the Lake County Commissioners of the CME’s authorization of Gordon Wind’s review in this process. 


Leonard Gray asked about repairs to the Camas Tunnel and diversion dam.  Gordon said that the Camas crew had hand mortared stones back in place on the dam.  He said he was unaware of a problem with the tunnel, but would speak with Randy Andrews about the situation and will survey it in February or March, when access to the site was available. 


Gordon Wind said that FIIP was working on obtaining costs to install an approved heating system in the pre-cast shop.  The current use of space heaters does not meet safety requirements and is not legal. 


Ted Hein asked a question about seasonal layoffs for some employees who desired the time off.  Gordon Wind responded by saying that two people on the Camas crew indicated that they wanted the time off and 2-3 more employees indicated that they also wanted the time off.  Gordon recommended that seasonal employees should be required to use all but 80 hours of their leave time before being placed on seasonal status.  Ted asked if there was enough work in January and February to keep people busy.  Gordon said that FIIP has the work, and can keep working. 


Under FIIP Administrative Issues, Gordon noted that the CME had signed a $300,000 contract with SOD to do maintenance work. 


Alan Mikkelsen discussed FIIP re-designation under the water rights compact discussions.  He also discussed current tax bills, temporarily non-assessable lands (TNA), and bringing land in and out of the Project.  Gordon and Alan will be meeting with Rhonda Swaney and Chuck Courville for further discussion on the legal aspects of these issues.  Alan Mikkelsen also said that contract extensions for the K-Canal work had been received from the State of Montana and only needed FJBC and CSKT signatures. 


Lloyd Irvine suggested that a power point presentation be prepared for the CSKT tribal council discussing water management problems and measurement opportunities. 


Alan Mikkelsen discussed the IC meeting of December 8, 2010.  Alan was asked to provide the CME with all IC meeting minutes, as they become available. 


The draft personnel policy and draft drug policy was distributed to the CME in their final draft form.  The CME will approve the policies at the regular January 6, 2011, meeting.  The CME set January 11 & 12 as special meetings for policy review.  The meetings are scheduled for 9:00 am-4:00 pm.  Alan Mikkelsen said he will have a comprehensive draft document, based on the draft plan of operations, CFR’s and the Transfer Contract ready for review at that time.  These sessions will not be action sessions, but drafting sessions, only. 


Gordon Wind requested an executive session to discuss personnel issues.  The CME went into executive session at 3:45 pm.  At 5:00 pm, the CME resumed open session.  Kerry Doney moved that the CME approve the year-end bonus and raises recommended by Gordon Wind.  Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


The next regular meeting of the CME will be January 6, 2011. 


Meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm.