CME Meeting Minutes

August 8, 2012

St. Ignatius, MT


Present:  Trent Coleman, Steve Hughes, Leonard Irvine, Walt

Schock, Leroy Dumontier, Kerry Doney, Leonard Gray


FIIP:  Gordon Wind, Pete Plant, RaLynn Brown


Staff:  Alan Mikkelsen, Mike Brown, Craig Barfoot


Visitors:  Paul Toussaint, Gene Erb, Ted Hein, Jay Johnson


The meeting was called to order at 1:00 pm by Chairman Steve Hughes.

Roll call established that all members except Ron Trahan (S&K Holding meeting) were present. 

Alan Mikkelsen apologized for not sending out public e-mail notices of the CME meeting, saying he had been out of state for the last several days. 


Leroy Dumontier moved to approve the minutes.

Walt Schock seconded the motion. 

Motion carried unanimously. 


Mike Brown presented a SOD report.  Major work is progressing on Black Lake Dam.  SOD will not be able to finish the work this fall but Mike believes that the dam will be usable next spring to store water.  Mike said the work site dried up nicely and work should proceed rapidly.  Mike said the siphon at Lower Dry Fork is still operational.  Mike wants to try to open the outlet this fall, perhaps with a rental machine with a long boom.  Lower Dry Fork will see a new outlet works beginning in the fall of 2013.  Hellroaring Dam will also be rebuilt in 2013.  Crow Dam gate work will hopefully occur during this winter.  Mike invited CME members to tour the Black Lake site.  Paul Toussaint asked about the spillway at Crow Dam.  Mike Brown said that the spillway would be repaired after the outlet works were done.  Mike estimated that spillway work would be in 2015.  Ted Hein expressed concern about the timing of Lower Dry Fork work late in the irrigation season. 


Pete Plant presented the FIIP hydrology report.  Runoff has largely ceased.  Two Flathead River pumps are running.  Tabor has 19,000 af storage, Pablo is at 18,000.  Storage amounts are good across the FIIP.  Most June predictions for streamflows were accurate except for Mission Creek, which produced more than predicted.  Kerry Doney encouraged the FIIP to limit Jocko Lake releases to only what demand calls for.  Gordon Wind said they were still catching up on green sheet reports in order to possiblly raise the quota to 1.0 or 1.05 af.  All three pumps are now operational according to Gordon.  The decision to raise the quota will be made by mid-August, or slightly later.  Gordon discussed the possibility of extra pumped water for this season.  He noted this is a CME decision.  Kerry Doney moved to allow irrigators to purchase additional pumped water in excess of quota deliveries, where such water is available.  Gordon said the price would be approximately $15 per acre foot.  Trent Coleman seconded the motion.  Gordon said he would rework the cost formula, using current figures.  Payment will be made at the FIIP office.  Motion carried 6-1, with one abstention. 


Gordon Wind delivered the FIIP O&M report.  Ditch cleaning is a priority due to grass growth.  Cattle crossings are a problem for washout potential.  All chemical for moss treatment has been used, with two more totes ordered for additional control.  Gordon said that the Nautique chemical has been working good this year.  The S canal gate control is now working.  Gordon is concerned about compressor run time, but the control device is working, at least partially.  All three Flathead River pumps are operational.  A control module for one of the pumps had been replaced, without success.  A new unit was installed and the pump is now operating.  Due to canal levels, Gordon said he would prefer to operate only two pumps. 


On administrative items, Gordon requested permission to prepay propane for heating purposes.  Leroy Dumontier moved to approve prepayment of propane.  Kerry Doney seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


RaLynn Brown presented the financial report.  The general checking account is $511,886.91 in the general checking account and $1,451,010.78 in the O&M savings account. 


Craig Barfoot said he was open to fisheries questions.  Gordon Wind asked about lowering the Lower Dry Fork below minimum pools to remove the material in front of the outlet works.  Craig said he would take that question to Les Evarts and the Tribal Council.  Craig said he would also discuss the Battelle and WestWater contracts with Les. 


Gordon Wind distributed a proposed 2013 budget.  He is proposing to maintain the same O&M assessment as in 2012.  Fuel and repair costs have been high, but extra work from SOD and other sources have helped with labor costs.  Gordon noted that unpaid trust land and non-district land bills continue to be a problem.  Gordon said it amounts to $30,000-$50,000 per year.  Since Project transfer, the accumulated amount is in excess of $100,000.  Alan Mikkelsen discussed the limitations of collecting on delinquent trust lands and non-district fee lands.  Non-district lands can be placed into district status. 


Trent Coleman asked about pumping costs.  Gordon Wind discussed costs and a pumping reserve fund.  Leonard Gray asked about the trust land delinquencies.  Gordon said that Michelle Littleboy maintains that record, and he would check regarding trust land privacy issues.  Leroy Dumontier said that bonds were required on leases.  Steve Hughes appointed Ron Trahan, Lloyd Ivine, Steve Hughes and Trent Coleman to work on trust and non-district delinquencies.  Steve Hughes requested Alan Mikkelsen draft a letter for the Chairman's signature to Teresa Wall-McDonald requesting she discuss the trust delinquency issue at the next CME meeting. 


Lloyd Irvine moved to approve the 2013 budget as presented.  Walt Schock seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously. 


Leroy Dumontier asked about the Christopher ROW and use on Tribal land by four wheelers and motorcyclists. 


In public comment, Gene Erb, asked about the end of irrigation season.  He would like to have water later in the season for weed control.  Gordon Wind said that irrigation season is dependent on water supply and maintenance needs.  Steve Hughes questioned the policy from both BIA and the proposed CME policy.  Gordon Wind said that the length of the season was up to the CME.  Paul Toussaint also asked about a longer season for the Charlo area.  Paul Toussaint also asked about the Flathead River Pumping plant condition.  Gordon said the control system has been upgraded but that the starter system needs modernization.  Ted Hein asked about fee land delinquencies.  Ted Hein also asked about the Camas division quota.  Gordon Wind said the Camas quota would remain the same at .7af. 


Executive session called at 2:50 pm for personnel discussions.


Open session resumed at 3:20 pm.

Kerry Doney moved for adjournment, Leroy Dumontier seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. 


Meeting adjourned at 3:20 pm.    


The next regular CME meeting will be September 12, 2012.