CME Minutes

July 5, 2011

St. Ignatius, MT 


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


FIIP:  Gordon Wind, Pete Plant, RaLynn Brown


Staff:  Alan Mikkelsen


Visitors:  Kathy Emerson, Ted Hein, Tetona Dunlap


The meeting was called to order at 1:00 pm by Chairman Ron Trahan.  A roll call established that all CME members were present.


Walt Schock moved to approve the minutes of the June 9, 2011 CME meeting as presented.  Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


In order to leave for other duties, RaLynn Brown presented the monthly financial report.  Current FIIP balance is $2,016,940.06.  FIIP will be receiving reimbursement income from the Crow Dam spillway repair.  RaLynn also discussed a healthcare flex plan for employees.  CME costs would be a one-time set up fee of $300 and an annual fee of $250 for the plan.  The cost per employee for the CME would be $5.00 per month.  Chairman Trahan suggested that an employee poll be conducted to determine interest.  Steve Hughes moved to poll the employees, with the possibility of a January 1 starting date for any plan.  Walt Schock seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Alan Mikkelsen explained the need for a CME/FIIP audit and reported on audit issues with the FJBC audit and the relationship between the FJBC audit issues and probably CME audit issues regarding personnel costs.  Walt Schock moved to enter into a contract with Denny/Downey CPA firm for a CME/FIIP audit.  Dan Emerson seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Pete Plant presented the monthly hydrology report.  All Mission Valley reservoirs are full or nearly full.  The lower Camas reservoirs are full and Little Bitterroot Lake has over 17,000 acre feet  and is 65% full.  Black Lake and Lower Jocko Lake are at restricted capacity, as is Crow Reservoir.  Based on current and anticipated streamflows, and current reservoir elevations, Pete recommended that a Mission Valley quota of 0.75 acre feet be set from July 1 until September 15.  He recommended that previous deliveries not be counted against the 0.75 af.  Steve Hughes moved that the Mission Valley quota be set at 0.75 af from July 1-September 15, with previous deliveries not counting against the 0.75 af.  Dan Emerson seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Gordon Wind presented the O&M report.  A Power Point presentation on the Crow Dam spillway repair and other issues was presented.  Gordon said the Crow Dam spillway repair went very smoothly, with the FIIP crews working double shifts.  65 feet of spillway was removed and replaced in five days, working on a steep incline and working during peak runoff conditions.  Gordon said that John Morigeau and Spud Morigeau in particular did a great job of supervising and working, but that all the crew performed outstanding work.  Bureau of Reclamation Safety of Dams engineers were on site during the entire repair and were impressed with the abilities of the FIIP crews.  Gordon said that he wanted to propose raising the reservoir during the low runoff season to the point where the instream flow requirement could be siphoned over the spillway while gate repairs were being made to the dam.  This would save approximately $100,000 per week in pumping costs.  


Gordon Wind also reported on the Placid Canal break and proposed repair, Mission C canal overflows during the rain events in June, canal access and rights of way issues, and fish screens. 


Alan Mikkelsen reported that he had been called by several water users regarding unauthorized irrigation use, which shorted irrigators who had ordered water. 


Gordon Wind also emphasized that FIIP must release all water it picks up into the nearest natural channel if they are unable to transport that water to a storage facility. 


Steve Hughes asked that Les Evarts be invited to attend the August CME meeting to discuss streamflow and other fisheries issues. 


Alan Mikkelsen said he anticipated that operating policy draft rewrites should be done by the August meeting, depending on individual schedules. 


The CME convened an executive session at 2:00 pm to discuss personnel issues.  The open session resumed at 2:30 pm.  Steve Hughes moved to appoint a subcommittee comprised of a FJBC and a CSKT CME appointee to work with Gordon Wind to determine possible solutions to personnel needs.  Dan Emerson seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.  Chairman Trahan appointed Lloyd Irvine and Steve Hughes to meet with Gordon Wind to discuss solutions to personnel needs for the FIIP. 


Lloyd Irvine discussed possible performance awards for those people working on the Crow Dam spillway job. 


The next regular meeting of the CME will be held August 4, 2011, at 1:00 pm in St. Ignatius. 


The meeting adjourned at 2:40 pm.