CME Meeting Minutes

April 12, 2012

St. Ignatius, MT


Present:  Ron Trahan, Walt Schock, Leroy Dumontier, Kerry Doney, Lloyd Irvine, Steve Hughes, Dan Emerson (via phone)


FIIP:  Gordon Wind, Peter Plant, RaLynn Brown


Staff:  Alan Mikkelsen, Craig Barfoot


Visitors:  Ted Hein



Chairman Ron Trahan called the meeting to order at 1:05 pm. 


Roll call established all members present (Dan Emerson via phone) except Leonard Gray (excused—Washington, D.C. on CSKT business)


The minutes of the March 14, 2012 meeting were presented for approval. 

Walt Schock moved that the minutes of the March 14, 2012 meeting be approved as presented.

Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


The Project report started with a hydrology report from Pete Plant.  Mission Valley Reservoirs are seeing small increases, and have good storage for this time of year.  Kicking Horse, Ninepipe and Pablo reservoirs are all nearly half full, or slightly more than half full.  Camas Division reservoirs also are also in relatively good condition for storage.  Little Bitterroot Lake is nearly 50%, Hubbart is nearing full capacity, and Upper and Lower Dry Fork are expected to see nearly full capacity before irrigation begins. 


Snow pack or snow water equivalent (SWE) is slightly above average for almost all snow courses.  SWE for Mission Valley correlated courses is approximately 103% of average, SWE for Jocko Valley correlated courses is approximately 108%, and Camas correlated courses are approximately 104%.  Mission Valley quotas will be announced in the near future.  Pete Plant is anticipating 15,000 acre feet of pumping from the Flathead River during the irrigation season.  Pete Plant also said that the Placid Creek diversion gates had been set and approximately 30-40 cfs was flowing in the Placid Canal.  


Gordon Wind delivered the Project O&M report.  Turnout replacement is starting to wrap up, with turnout being replaced most recently on the Pablo Feeder canal.  Most turnout replacement will be completed until fall, with the filling of canals for irrigation deliveries.  FIIP is starting to plow the road into Jocko and Black Lake and the Placid diversion by April 13 or April 15.  Ice hooks are being welded onto the grousers of a rented D6 Cat.  The FIIP is renting a new D6 angle dozer from Riverside Construction, for less money than what Western States Equipment would have charged.  Work has started on the Mission H canal washout in the Bison Range, but the material is still very wet.  Gordon Wind noted that the long term solution would be to have a pump system installed in the Flathead River and abandon the Mission H diversion.  Leroy Dumontier asked that water be diverted into K canal on or about April 15 for stock water. 


Gordon Wind reported that the FIIP surplus equipment auction was a total success.  The auction grossed $344,185.80, and netted the CME-FIIP $287,207.91.  Gordon Wind singled out Nick Belcourt and Gordon Eye for an expression of appreciation in all they had done to make the auction such a success. 


RaLynn Brown gave the FIIP financial report.  The general fund balance is $1,422,961.33.  The O&M reserve account is $771,957.91.  This includes the auction figure.  In the O&M reserve account includes $410,707.91 for heavy equipment replacement, $40,000 for light vehicle replacement, $220,000 for pumping reserve, $22,500 for technical upgrades reserve, and $78,750 for compensated leave obligations.  The FIIP emergency reserve account has a balance of $779,995.23, with a recommended goal of having a 1 year operating budget in that account.  The IC-CME account balance is $1,002,001.81, for bull trout mitigation projects.  This was funded by BIA. 


Walt Schock moved to approve the financial report as presented.  Kerry Doney seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.  RaLynn Brown also presented CME Resolution 2012-02 to create a CME O&M fund savings account at Eagle Bank, in order increase interest income.  Steve Hughes moved for approval of CME resolution 2012-02.  Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Gordon Wind noted that the FIIP is currently advertising for 2 ditch rider vacancies and a pumping plant operator vacancy.  Gordon also noted that they will soon begin advertising for the environmental/hydrology technician position. 


Under technical reports, Gordon Wind noted that payments had been made to Westwater Consulting from the IC-CME account, which will be listed in next month’s financial report.  This is for contract work on the Dry Creek habitat improvement project.  Gordon Wind said that he had not heard back from Battelle about the contract he had sent them nearly a month ago for the Mission/Post PHABSIM analysis.  Gordon said that the contract with Ed McKay for consulting work on fish screen SOP’s and bypass pipe studies had been signed and Ed McKay would have the work completed by the end of the summer.  Gordon Wind noted that the draft annual report to the BIA/USFWS on bull trout had been sent to the IC for comment the last week of March. 


Gordon Wind discussed several Safety of Dams (SOD) issues and noted that he would try to encourage Mike Brown to attend future CME meetings.  SOD is anticipating Stage II work on Black Lake Dam this fall.  The work will consist of extending the outlet 200’, and covering the toe of the dam with more material.  Mike Brown is requesting an empty Black Lake reservoir by July 15.  Leroy Dumontier and Kerry Doney expressed strong opposition to that date.  They both felt that August 15 would be a workable date, but noted that irrigation deliveries would be severely impacted in the Jocko Valley with a July 15 empty reservoir date.  Gordon said that he thought Mike Brown would be flexible and reasonable on the date. 


Gordon Wind said that Lower Dry Fork was scheduled for work in 2013 that would also require an early drawdown, though he said that he believed that Mike Brown would also be accommodating of irrigation in his requests.  Gordon also noted that Mike Brown has Crow Dam scheduled for funding for gate replacement in 2013.  He noted this will be beyond FIIP capabilities, since it may require a dive crew. 


Under new business RaLynn Brown discussed placing reserve accounts in Certificates of Deposit at Eagle Bank to earn more interest.  Steve Hughes moved to approve the CME Chairman sign a resolution for allowing the CME to create CD’s with reserve accounts.  Walt Schock seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Gordon Wind discussed health insurance premium increases for employees.  After considerable discussion, Walt Schock moved to increase the CME co-pay on insurance by $50/month, to $475.  Kerry Doney seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Gordon Wind discussed a change to the temporary employment policy.  Since Leonard Gray had requested a month to look at the policy during the last meeting and was unable to attend this meeting, it was decided to table the vote on the change until the May CME meeting.  In response to Gordon Winds request, Steve Hughes moved to approve a two month extension of Gordon Eye’s temporary employment status, until a change can be made in the employment policy.  Walt Schock seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Under public comment, Ted Hein discussed the insurance increase, a pipe sizing question and encouraged drug testing of employees.  After Ted’s comments, Steve Hughes moved that the Project Manager meet with NRCS to explain the criteria for pipe sizing and that pipes installed in FIIP facilities must meet FIIP specifications.  Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


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

Open session resumed at 3:05 pm. 


The next regular CME meeting was set for Wednesday, May 9, 2012.


Steve Hughes moved for adjournment.

Kerry Doney seconded the motion.

Motion carried unanimously.


Meeting was adjourned at 3:07 pm.