CME Minutes

September 8, 2011

St. Ignatius, Montana

 

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

 

FIIP:  Gordon Wind, Pete Plant, RaLynn Brown

 

Staff:  Alan Mikkelsen

 

Visitors:  Ted Hein, Tetona Dunlap

 

 

Note:  A budget information and workshop session was held from 10:00 am—12:30 pm.  No motions or actions were taken during this work session.

 

Chairman Trahan called the meeting to order at 1:10 pm.  A roll call established all members present except Dan Emerson, who is on a caribou hunt in Quebec. 

 

Leroy Dumontier moved to approve the minutes as presented.  Kerry Doney seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 

 

Pete Plant presented the Project hydrology report.  Irrigation season will end on September 15, and remaining stored water in Tabor will be transferred to Kicking Horse, Ninepipe and Pablo reservoirs in a manner consistent with fisheries requirements.  Pete Plant said the Project will still be delivering limited stock water, where available, after September 15.  The CME will set a cutoff date for stock water at the October 6, 2011, CME meeting.  Steve Hughes recommended a shutoff date of October 17 for Pablo stock water, in order to save pumped water.  The Camas division will end irrigation one week later, on September 22, due to a recent canal failure that caused them to lose one week of irrigation. 

 

Gordon Wind reported on O&M activities.  Equipment operators are continuing to clean laterals, with an emphasis on weed choked areas.  Work on the Jocko K Canal lining will start on the third week of September.  Gordon estimated that the K Canal lining work will take 6-8 weeks.  No stockwater will be available from K Canal due to that work.  Gordon Wind said the Project will be replacing several headgate structures on the Pablo Feeder Canal.  Gordon Wind discussed the Camas A canal failure.  Possible rodent damage was a cause.  The canal has failed in this same area in the past.  Soils in this area are not particularly conducive to canal construction and a major challenge on the repair was hauling enough water to wet the soils in order to have good compaction. 

 

A discussion was held on the money remaining in the 2011 budget from pumping costs.  Leroy Dumontier suggested that the money be placed in an O&M contingency fund, and not totally dedicated to pumping.  The Kicking Horse—Ninepipe drop structure was discussed and Gordon Wind said that would be a structure ripe of contingency funding. 

 

RaLynn Brown gave the Project financial report.  The August 30, 2011 balance was $1,603,077.96.  Alan Mikkelsen said that the $778,000 payment from Indian Deferred Construction Costs should be arriving in the next couple weeks and will be placed in the CME emergency reserve fund, as per prior decision. 

 

Gordon Wind discussed the 2012 O&M assessment rate.  He emphasized increasing fuel and energy costs and proposed a 2012 O&M rate of $26.25 per acre.  After more discussion, Steve Hughes moved to set the 2012 O&M rate at $26.00 per acre, noting that the increase was due to fuel and electrical charges.  Lloyd Irvine seconded the motion.  The motion carried 4-3. 

 

Lloyd Irvine and Ron Trahan both noted that they would like public informational meetings in the future for O&M rates. 

 

Alan Mikkelsen said the CME policy draft should be available to Gordon and Tribal staff for review in the next two weeks. 

 

Leroy Dumontier discussed an issue concerning rights of way for K-Canal access.  A land owner is requesting a cattle guard in exchange for a written right of way.  Gordon Wind said he would work on that with the landowner and lead ditchrider for that area. 

 

In public comment, Ted Hein expressed his views on scheduling shutdowns for moss control.  He pointed out that shutdowns were weather dependent.  He also discussed the Mill Creek repair and the Camas A canal repair.  Gordon Wind said that FIIP will be doing more clean up at the Camas A canal site.  He also expressed his opinion that the Camas irrigators will be unhappy with the $.50 increase in O&M rates.  Ron Trahan said that the CME needed to do a better job of communicating with water users. 

 

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

 

No further business was scheduled and Leonard Gray moved for adjournment, with Steve Hughes seconding the motion. 

 

The meeting adjourned at 2:25 pm.