CME Meeting Minutes

February 8, 2012

St. Ignatius, MT

 

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

 

Not Present:  Dan Emerson, vacation, Leonard Gray, CSKT business

 

FIIP:  Gordon Wind, Pete Plant, RaLynn Brown

 

Staff:  Alan Mikkelsen

 

Visitors:  Ted Hein, Dick Erb, Boone Cole

 

 

Chairman Ron Trahan called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm.  Roll call established a quorum present, with Dan Emerson on vacation and Leonard Gray absent on CSKT business. 

 

Walt Schock moved to approve the minutes as corrected.  Lloyd Irvine seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 

 

Pete Plant began the Project report with hydrology.  Reservoir elevations remain relatively static, except Hubbart Reservoir reservoir, which gained approximately 600 acre feet from snow melt.  The Mission Valley snow water equivalent is approximately 85% of average, Jocko is 90% of average, and Camas is 80% of average.

 

Gordon Wind presented the O&M report with a video presentation.  The lower Jocko S canal headworks has been repaired.  A cast in place flume is being installed on the Mission C Canal headworks.  Several miles of tree and brush removal within the canal prism has been taking place on the Pablo Feeder Canal, and several more miles on the Jocko upper S canal.  Rip rap has been placed on the Jocko E canal diversion.  An unauthorized structure was removed from the Post 24F lateral.  Gordon Wind discussed land owner installed structures within canals and laterals and the problems they cause. 

 

Gordon Wind continued the Project report by saying that he was pleased with the work and production in the precast shop.  They are casting checks and flumes.  A crew is working on the north Pablo canal replacing three turnout structures.  The Mission H canal will be repaired, but Gordon noted the long term solution is probably a pump system, drawing on the Flathead River.  He said that old records show this has been considered since at least 1945.  Reed Anderson is working with landowners to develop a long term solution to the Mission H canal.  Gordon Wind said that the Crow siphon was not going to be needed this year, in his opinion, due to the carryover water level in Ninepipe reservoir.  He hopes go get a clearer picture of what will be necessary in dealing with Montana Rail Link, as it appears they are moving toward abandonment of the Dixon/Pablo spur line.  Gordon said that Mill Creek in the Camas division has a temporary patch on it, but still needs permanent repair, after a design that will allow for automated gate operation to avoid the uncontrolled flow situation that took the structure out last spring. 

 

Gordon Wind said that BIA had conducted a Project review, with a team consisting of Travis Teegarden, Jeff Hinkins and Betty Pierce.  Rhonda Swaney represented the CSKT and Alan Mikkelsen represented the FJBC in the review process.  Gordon reported that the BIA team was generally impressed at the level and quality of work accomplished since transfer from BIA to CME control on April 9, 2010.  They would like to see more detail in the annual report, but said that a Jeff Harlan, BIA Northwest Region, could be tasked to spend a couple weeks a year at FIIP to help with that preparation.  BIA indicated their desire was to be as flexible as possible and not impose undue burdens on FIIP.  Gordon noted that the financial audit was late this year, but was currently underway and the auditor seemed generally pleased with the condition of the FIIP books and financial situation.  BIA agreed that an biennial audit, with a CPA certified financial statement in non-audit years would suffice for their reporting requirements. 

 

Following the BIA review, the following day more BIA people met with FIIP management and CME representatives Rhonda Swaney and Alan Mikkelsen, to discuss NIIMS.  This group was led by Jennifer Frozena of the Solicitors Office.  The result of the meeting is that BIA does not believe that FIIP needs to continue in the NIIMS system, as long as it can furnish the required information in an acceptable format.  NIIMS is switching to a Windows based system in the next few months and the Excel spreadsheets that FIIP is currently using should suffice for reporting requirements.  Michelle Littleboy of FIIP and Betty Pierce of BIA will work together to develop the appropriate fields required for reporting to BIA. 

 

Under administrative items, Gordon Wind announced that the upcoming surplus equipment auction had nearly three pages of items for sale.  The FIIP can rent the former Plum Creek mill site at Pablo for $500 for three weeks.  The auction company will provide security at the site.  Lloyd Irvine moved to approve entering into a contract with Plum Creek for the use of the former mill site for the FIIP surplus auction.  Walt Schock seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 

 

Lloyd Irvine moved to approve entering into a contract with Rivers West Auction Service for the sale of surplus equipment.  Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.  A listing of the surplus equipment can be found at:  www.fiip-cme.org

 

RaLynn Brown delivered the financial report.  Steve Hughes moved to approve the financial report as presented.  Walt Schock seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 

 

Under Implementation Committee (IC) business, Alan Mikkelsen reported on the IC minutes that were enclosed with the CME meeting package.  He said that the IC was recommending that FIIP develop a job description and advertise for an environmental/hydrology technician, to help monitor compliance with the BiOp for bull trout. 

 

Steve Hughes moved to approve developing a position description and advertising for an environmental/hydrology technician, with the understanding that up to $45,000 would be paid from bull trout mitigation monies in the next three years to fund the position, with the CME responsible for 100% of the funding after that $45,000 was expended over a three year time frame.  Lloyd Irvine seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 

 

Alan Mikkelsen said that BIA Flathead Agency Superintendent Chuck Courville has requested a variance on the Crow Dam filling restriction, to allow raising the level of the reservoir to allow the creation of a siphon to effect the lower gate repairs on Crow Dam.  He has not yet received a response.  Gordon Wind said that the work could not take place until the fall of 2012, since it would take too long to bring in the materials and stage the work, assuming BIA approved the request for a variance. 

 

Gordon Wind discussed the mitigation pond in a finger of Lower Dry Fork reservoir, and said that the FIIP could not hold back on filling the reservoir.  Safety of Dams will have to finish the work in the fall of 2012, after the irrigation season is complete.  Gordon said the mitigation pond does not affect the storage capacity of the reservoir. 

 

On CME business, Steve Hughes reported on stock water mitigation work that Steve, Kerry Doney and Leroy Dumontier have been engaged in.  He said that if FIIP can develop the criteria, NRCS funding may be available to landowners wanting to install stock water ponds or develop springs for stock water use.  Leroy Dumontier noted that stockwater in the Jocko, on the Dixon R canal and on the south side of the Jocko River has been provided since the Project was built.  Gordon Wind said that stockwater in the Dixon R canal would be available until February 13, and then shut off for canal maintenance and installation of several structures.  Water will then be available after maintenance activities are complete. 

 

Steve Hughes discussed the possibility of developing an area specific stockwater policy.  Alan Mikkelsen caution the CME that stockwater deliveries were also going to be dependent on water rights settlement. 

 

Due to recent CSKT Tribal Council elections, it was decided to permanently change the CME meeting date.  Walt Schock moved to set the regular monthly CME meeting on the second Wednesday of each month, at 1:00 pm.  Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 

 

Under public comment, Ted Hein suggested keeping computer lists of specific issues.  Dick Erb thanked Gordon for his updates and work on Crow Dam. 

 

An executive session was called at 2:45 pm to discuss personnel issues. 

 

The CME resumed open session at 3:15 pm. 

 

Chairman Trahan requested that an action item list be made part of the agenda in appropriate areas, such as under IC business and CME business, in order to better track CME board actions. 

 

Alan Mikkelsen suggested that a press release be developed for both the annual meeting and the auction sale.  The annual meeting will be held on March 28, at the Joe McDonald Center, pending approval of use of that site on that date. 

 

The next regular CME meeting will be held on March 14, 2012.

 

Kerry Doney moved for adjournment.  Steve Hughes seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.