CME Minutes

August 4, 2011

St. Ignatius, MT


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


FIIP:† Gordon Wind, Pete Plant, RaLynn Brown


Staff:† Alan Mikkelsen


Visitors:† Kathy Emerson, Paul Hunsucker, Tetona Dunlap, Sharon Benson, Ted Hein


The meeting was called to order at 1:00 pm by Chairman Ron Trahan.†


A roll call established all members present except Walt Schock who is on family vacation.


Steve Hughes moved to approve the minutes as presented.† Lloyd Irvine seconded the motion.† Motion carried unanimously.†


Pete Plant presented the hydrology report.† Due to high reservoir elevations and sustained high streamflows, Pete and Gordon said that the quota could be raised to .85 acre feet/acre, retroactive to July 7.†


Gordon Wind presented the O&M report.† Aquatic weed control is one of the largest challenges for the Project this month, he reported.† Ditches have been treated with Nautique, where appropriate, and all excavators have been on ditch cleaning duty, unless needed for emergency repairs.† Gordon said the Placid Canal break has been repaired, although some cleanup and reseeding of the area still needs to take place.† FIIP was able to pick up water for approximately 7 days, until instream flows required the shutdown of the Placid Creek diversion.† The Jocko Lower S Canal diversion channel has been filled with flood debris and needs to be cleaned.† This will require consultation with USFWS, Tribal Fisheries and Shoreline Protection.† Gordon reported that the McDonald Dam outlet slides were being installed today.† The barrier gate will be installed this fall.† This is a Bull Trout BiOp recommended project.†


Gordon Wind reported ongoing controversy with some landowners regarding tree removal and weed spraying.† He said a formal complaint has been filed with EPA, accusing the FIIP of using Garlon 4 for tree and brush control.† Gordon said that the CME-FIIP has not used any Garlon product, but noted that BIA had used Garlon 3 two years ago during work on K-Canal.†


Gordon Wind said that it would be necessary to curtail stockwater deliveries this fall from K-Canal, due to lining work.† He said that the Project would be starting on the lining project by the third week of September.†


Gordon Wind said he is becoming more concerned that Safety of Dams (SOD) funding may not be available to repair the lower gate at Crow Dam.† Steve Hughes moved that Gordon Wind draft a letter to the Pacific Northwest Regional Office, for Chairman Trahanís signature, expressing the need to fund this repair as soon as possible.† Leonard Gray seconded the motion.† Motion carried unanimously.†


Gordon Wind discussed utility crossings of Project facilities.† He and Pete Plant are working to develop engineering criteria for crossings.† There are approximately 45 ongoing or anticipated requests for utility crossings.†


Gordon Wind discussed FIIP headquarters office issues.† The old fluorescent lights need to be replaced with more energy efficient units in both the office and shop buildings.† The office also should have all the windows replaced, at least in the work areas.† These are single pane windows.† MVP is also offering rebates on the light and window replacements.† Steve Hughes moved to approve a window replacement contract for $6,448.† Kerry Doney seconded the motion.† Motion carried 6-1.† Chairman Trahan also discussed the need to replace the front steps.† Gordon Wind said that he believed that could be done with Project crews.† Gordon will be e-mailing lighting replacement bids to the CME for approval, if the bids are more than $5,000.†


Gordon Wind also discussed pumping costs, a pumping cost reserve and capital improvements for the Flathead River Pumping Plant.††


Alan Mikkelsen said that he had notified the accounting/audit firm Denning, Downey about the need for an accounting consulting contract and an audit contract.†


Gordon Wind discussed the 2012 O&M rate setting process.† Steve Hughes moved that a special O&M budget meeting be held before the next regular CME meeting.† Dan Emerson seconded the motion.† Motion carried unanimously.†


RaLynn Brown gave the FIIP financial report.† The current FIIP balance is $1,820,930.12.†


Lloyd Irvine asked about the trust debt collection issue.† He believes the BIA Agency Superintendent and the CSKT Council needs to help the CME develop policy and procedures for collecting this debt for the CME.† Gordon reported that he was trying to set up a meeting with the Council next week and that this could be discussed with them at that time.†


There were no technical reports from Safety of Dams or Fisheries.


Alan Mikkelsen reported that he was nearly done with the initial re-draft of CME operating policy and would be transmitting that to Gordon Wind and CSKT legal for their input and review in the near future.†


In public comment, Sharon Benson asked about ditch rider training requirements.† She noted that she was having difficulty in receiving flood heads and also discussed a cracked cement ditch that served her land.† She said that Curtis Yazzie had been very responsive to her problems.†


An executive session was called at 2:45 pm to discuss personnel issues.† Open session resumed at 3:15 pm with no further business.†


The next regular CME meeting will be held on September 8, 2011.