CME Meeting Minutes

March 14, 2012

St. Ignatius, MT


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


FIIP:  Gordon Wind, Pete Plant, RaLynn Brown


Staff:  Alan Mikkelsen


Visitors:  Ted Hein, Dick Erb, Ed Wareheim



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


Roll call established all members present except Dan Emerson (cruise).


Walt Schock moved to approve the minutes as presented.  Kerry Doney seconded the motion.  Motion carried 6-0 with one abstention.


The Project report began with a hydrology Power Point presentation by Pete Plant.  There has been a significant increase in snowpack and snow water equivalent (SWE) in all snow courses since January.  The Mission Valley snow pack and SWE as of March 1 is 94%, Jocko Valley is 102%, and Camas is 85%.  Pete Plant also noted that 10 concrete measurement flumes have been installed.  Nine precast flumes and one cast in place flumes are now operational for the 2012 irrigation season.  Some have been installed on wasteways in need of measurement, and others on canals and laterals needing measurement.  The precast crew is continuing to produce flumes. 


Gordon Wind continued with the Project O&M report on Power Point slides.  The Kicking Horse/Ninepipe drop structure is being repaired.  Project crews are patching void areas.  Gordon Wind noted that the structure will still need to be replaced.  Crews are also installing a new catwalk to make operation of the structure safer.  Crews have removed brush and trees from approximately 3.5 miles of the Pablo Feeder Canal prism and have reshaped the prism.  Similar work has been done by another crew on the Jocko Upper S canal, from its headworks to the valley floor.    Work has also been done at the Upper J canal headworks.  Gordon said that crews were now focusing headgate installations.  While flumes are still being precast, he said that no more flumes would be installed until after the irrigation season, due to other demands on the crews.  The Mission H canal washout in the Bison Range will be fixed as soon as it is dry enough to work in the area.  Gordon Wind said there was a chance that the Bison Range may supply the pipe for the repair.  The precast crew is also building three large turnout structures for the Pablo Feeder Canal that must be installed before water flow begins.  Gordon Wind said he had been in contact with Montana Rail Link and they are being very cooperative in the repair of the Crow siphon.  Rail Link crews will remove the tracks, and there will be no outage charge for the Project to pay, since Rail Link is no longer running trains on the track.  Gordon said the Project would be replacing the siphon, and backfilling and compacting the area, and Rail Link indicated that their crews would then place ballast and re-install the track. 


Under administrative items, Gordon Wind said that Pete Plant has been working on the BiOp report for BIA and should have it out for review within a week.  Gordon also discussed the environmental/hydrology tech position and said he was in the process of developing that position description and would be advertising for applicants with job service and with the CSKT personnel office.  Gordon Wind also discussed the Polson B&C canal planning grants, the Westwater contract for Dry Creek habitat improvement, a contract with Battelle for PHABSIM  work in the Mission Creek drainage, and a contract with Ed McKay for fish screen technical work. 


Steve Hughes moved to authorize Gordon Wind to enter into a contract with Battelle to conduct PHABSIM  work on the Mission/Post Creek drainages, as described in the contract and as required by the Biological Opinion for bull trout.  The work will be paid for from the IC/CME mitigation fund supplied by BIA.  Walt Schock seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


RaLynn Brown presented the financial report.  The general checking account balance on February 29, 2012 was $1,996,458.67.  Steve Hughes moved to authorize FIIP to create a savings account for the general checking account in order to earn interest.  The motion includes authorization for Project management to move money in and out of that savings account, as appropriate for the conduct of normal Project business.  Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Steve Hughes moved to approve the financial report as presented.  Kerry Doney seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Gordon Wind discussed a real time water measurement system and said that he, Pete Plant and Seth Makepeace were still working on the development of a system that would meet the needs of all parties. 


Gordon Wind discussed Crow Dam safety of dams (SOD) issues.  He said the CSKT SOD program was approaching BIA for gate replacement, and requesting that the work proceed directly to final design, using gates cast several years ago for Tabor Dam.  In response to a question from Ed Wareheim, Gordon Wind said repair of the gates would enable the reservoir to be operated back up to the original elevation restriction, but it could not be operated without restriction until the spillway was replaced. 


Under CME business, Gordon Wind discussed safety concerns over the shop vehicle hoist, saying it was too dangerous to use.  He will be bringing replacement proposals to the CME at the April meeting.  Gordon also said that health insurance was up for renewal in April and he would be prepared to make recommendations to the CME on that issue, also.  Gordon said that he still needed to work with the Christopher family on a right of way issue.  Gordon also said that the Project had received software from BIA for ARC-CAD, & ARC-Info to work on GIS development and that a more powerful computer was needed for Pete Plant to do this work. 


Gordon Wind also said that Reed Anderson was working on land in/out of the Project, addressing requests as time permitted.  Gordon also presented amendments to the employee policy involving temporary employment and emergency hires.  Steve Hughes moved to approve the policy amendments as presented.  Walt Schock seconded the motion.  Leonard Gray asked that action be delayed until the April CME meeting.  Steve Hughes asked that his motion be withdrawn and Chairman Trahan tabled the motion until the April CME meeting.  Gordon Wind also announced that the Project has a pumping plant operator vacancy.  Alan Mikkelsen said that he would furnish the pumping plant position description to Gordon Wind, from the CME transfer process. 


Under public comment, Ted Hein asked about drug testing.  Gordon said that no employees have been drug tested.  Ted Hein encouraged FIIP to implement drug testing policy. 


An executive session was called at 2:30 pm to discuss personnel issues. 


Open session resumed at 3:10 pm.


The next regular meeting of the CME will be on April 11, 2012.


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


The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 pm.