CME Minutes

December 8, 2011

St. Ignatius, MT


Present:  Lloyd Irvine, Walt Schock, Kerry Doney, Leroy Dumontier, Leonard Gray, Steve Hughes, Ron Trahan, (Dan Emerson on family vacation)


FIIP:  Gordon Wind, Pete Plant, RaLynn Brown


Staff:  Alan Mikkelsen, Les Evarts


Visitors:  Paul Hunsucker



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


Roll call established all members present except Dan Emerson (vacation)


Walt Schock moved to approve the minutes as presented.  Kerry Doney seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


FIIP reports then begin with RaLynn Brown presenting the financial report.  Current FIIP O&M balance is 889.431.17.  Steve Hughes moved to approve the financial report as presented.  Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Pete Plant delivered the hydrology report.  Cold, dry weather was reported, with snowpack accumulations thus far below normal.  Pete said that the remaining Tabor water would not be moved at this time, until a clearer picture of potential runoff was available.  Off stream reservoirs currently have good storage and Pete said that he wanted to hold room in them for a potentially good water year in 2012.  Steve Hughes said he recently attended a briefing session for cattle feeders and the Pacific Northwest forecast is for 80% of normal snow pack. 


Pete Plant discussed FIIP development of an ARC GIS based information/data system.  Pete is working with a system that has several different layers, including eye level photos, maps, aerial photos, and structures.  He is working with Michelle Littleboy to tie tract numbers to this system.  Pete demonstrated the ability of the system to provide detailed information.  Pete Plant also noted that flume construction for water measurement has begun in the pre-cast shop and showed photos of the first flume.  Gordon Wind and Pete Plant travelled to Fairfield, MT, before Thanksgiving and picked up an adjustable form that will allow casting of 2’, 4’, and 6’ flumes for water measurement.  Gordon Wind discussed the shortcomings of the pre-cast shop and facilities and said that he would like to work on a solution over the long term, that would involve perhaps purchase of property and the construction of a well designed, dedicated pre-cast building. 


Gordon Wind delivered the FIIP O&M report.  A morning tour was held today for CME board members.  The tour visited the Finley/E canal location, the Jocko Lower S diversion, the Jocko Lower J diversion/screen and the Mission H canal failure.  Gordon said the Jocko K-Canal lining project was complete, with cleanup taking place at this time.  He said the next job will be the Lower S Canal headwall repair.  Crews are burning slash piles from last year’s tree and brush removal.  As noted above, the precast crew is working and pouring 1-2 structures/day when space and weather allow.  There is a crew working in the North Division replacing checks and turnout structures.  Another crew is working on brush removal at dams.  Gordon announced that seasonal layoffs would begin before the next CME meeting.  Seasonal layoffs will total 8-10 employees. 


A lengthy discussion was held on livestock crossings, particularly a livestock crossing on the Jocko K canal.  Current BIA and CME policy is that if the landowner pays for the material costs, the FIIP will install the crossing, using FIIP crews and machinery.  After considerable discussion, Steve Hughes moved to reaffirm existing policy, with the landowner furnishing materials and FIIP assisting with installation.  Motion carried 4-3.  Gordon Wind noted that he would discuss possible compensation for the use of property and access during the recent K Canal lining project, with the hope that the landowner would use that compensation to purchase materials for a livestock crossing. 


Alan Mikkelsen begin discussion of some IC issues on Dry Creek, within Tabor Reservoir.  Les Evarts arrived and the discussion continued.  Les proposed using a CSKT contractor, Westwater Consultants, Inc.  to design channel enhancements for bull trout habitat, as described and required in the Biological Opinion (BiOp) for bull trout on the FIIP.  Les presented a design budget proposal  of up to $14,000 for Phase I and up to $29,000 for Phase II.  These are the design phases.  The construction phase would be developed after that, but the range would be $150,000-$270,000.  Les said he would be able to write a sole-source justification for the contract, based on Westwater’s past work record with the CSKT and their past competitive bids with CSKT fisheries.  All money spent on this project would be paid by the CME/IC account, which was a mitigation fund established by BIA.  There would be no FIIP O&M spent on this project.  Steve Hughes moved that Gordon Wind be authorized to enter into a contract with Westwater Consultants, Inc., to design habitat improvements to Dry Creek in Tabor Reservoir, as required in the BiOp, with the provision that Les Evarts would draft the sole source justification for the contract.  Leonard Gray seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Steve Hughes discussed working on a stock water mitigation plan with private landowners with Les Evarts.  Les acknowledged that they have worked with private landowners in the past, and have drilled wells, if the benefits were clearly defined.  Les said that he had limited money for such projects but was willing to discuss specific issues with the CME in the future. 


Gordon Wind discussed the Safety of Dams (SOD) work on Crow Dam.  A proposed maintenance agreement provides for $300,000 for work on Crow Dam, notably on the lower gate.  Gordon has proposed raising the reservoir elevation to a level that will allow siphoning of the instream flow requirement over the spillway, but has not received a positive response on this request.  Pumping the instream flow requirement will cost approximately $100,000 per week and at that cost, will not leave enough money for lower gate repairs.  Chairman Trahan requested that Gordon continue to work with Jeff White to obtain permission to raise the reservoir elevation and allow siphoning. 


Gordon Wind discussed auction proposal from Gardner Auction and Rivers West Auctions.  Rivers West had the best overall package and price.  Leroy Dumontier moved that Gordon Wind be authorized to enter into a contract with Rivers West Auctions to conduct a sale of surplus equipment, as well as accept consignments for such a sale.  Kerry Doney seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Walt Schock discussed the annual meeting.  In the past the FJBC has conducted this meeting.  Steve Hughes moved that the CME assume responsibilities for this meeting and that Gordon Wind  be authorized to set the date and agenda for the annual meeting, with a suggested date of late March, perhaps at the same time as the surplus auction sale.  Kerry Doney seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


There was no public comment.


Chairman Trahan called an executive session at 4:15 pm to discuss personnel matters. 


The meeting was re-opened at 5:10 pm. 


Kerry Doney moved to approve the staff Christmas and year-end bonuses, as discussed and as initialed by Chairman Trahan, including authorizing Gordon Wind to provide a Christmas ham or turkey to all employees.  Steve Hughes seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Leonard Gray moved for adjournment, with the next regular CME meeting set for January 5, 2012, seconded by Steve Hughes. 


Meeting adjourned at 5:15 pm.