Highlights of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Raymond Irrigation District held Wednesday March 18, 2015 commencing at 9:00 AM in the RID Board Room.
Attending: Byron Wilde Chairman, John McKee Vice Chairman, Craig Palmer Director, Gordon ZoBell, General Manager and recording clerk, Mark Jensen Operations Manager and Kelvin Kado, Offiice Manager as required.
New Raymond Director Craig Palmer was welcomed to the board meeting by Chairman Byron Wilde. It was noted that only one nomination was received for the position, that of Craig’s. Returning Officer Gordon ZoBell declared Craig to be the new RID Director representing the Raymond area. Craig replaces Alan Heggie who retired from the board.
IRP Project Update given by Mark Jensen
IRP 2262 W#5 phase 2 – nothing to report
IRP 2280 W#5 phase 3 – leveling, T.O. valves being completed
IRP 2307 – W#5 phase 4 – approved by Council February 11, 2015
IRP 2308 – Ortho Photo’s – approved by Council February 11, 2015
RID 3 year IRP plan was approved by Council on February 11, 2015
Maintenance report – Mark showed the board a slide presentation outlining work completed over the past month.
Irrican Power – Kelvin Kado – March 15 transfers and ACFA loan payments have been made. Nothing else to report this month.
RID Financial – Kelvin Kado – Year-end is finally over, started in September with Irrican and finished in March with RID.Rate enforcement, only one user is still outstanding. I will continue to follow up for payment to avoid further legal actions.
Budget and Bylaws to be updated this month and ready for April board meeting. Is there anything we need to consider for the budget?
Financial report ready, no real changes from past years.
Expansion Plebiscite in the RID – Waiting now for modeling information from AAFRD. This will take several months.
Main Canal Advisory Committee – Bridge maintenance will be reviewed with adjacent landowners with Gordon ZoBell and Trevor Helwig.
RID Strategic Plan – Jeff Lowry and Gordon ZoBell will make corrections to the RID works pipeline locations very soon.
RID Seminar and Annual meeting March 19, 2015 – Gordon went over the final Seminar agenda with the board.
RID winter party – March 25, 2015 at the Raymond Seniors center. This gathering will also honor Alan Heggie at his retirement from the board. Alan’s children and spouses are invited.
Raymond Chamber of Commerce Annual Trade Fair – March 28, 2015 – The RID will include the (AIPA) RID booth at this trade show. Mark, Kelvin, Craig. John and Ron McMullin will help staff the booth.
Directors Items – John McKee questioned if it would be advisable to charge an extra fee for water users who receive a pressure benefit from an RID pipeline. Gordon explained that all RID pipelines are designed to deliver 8 gpm per acre. Furthermore the design is reduced to 80% of total use at one time. The hydraulic grade line is designed to not drop below 1 meter above the ground level at turn each turn out location at full use. With this in mind there is not a guaranteed pressure amount available at any given turnout.
John also mentioned that Le Ron Torrie of the SMRID had recently noted to him that the electricity line charge to irrigators will increase by up to 39% for the next season.
Mussel emergency response meeting held March 12 – Gordon noted that he had attended this meeting where Nicole Sietz and others gave an update on the emergency mussel response. The legislature has completed 2nd reading of an amendment to the Fisheries Act that will make it mandatory for all watercraft to be inspected when passing a DOT station. The importance of getting the public educated was discussed and a process is underway to accomplish this. There will be a mussel sniffer dog demonstration held March 20 at the Coutts DOT station from 3 to 4 PM. Gordon, Mark and John will attend.
IRP questions from Irrigation Council – Irrigation Council questioned the RID as to why we feel new aerial photos are required every 3 years. The board noted that they do not care if the photos are taken every 3 years. It is important to them to see new aerial photography as often as possible inside a 5 year window. This assists the RID water users and our engineering of new and planned IRP projects. Water users are assisted by being able to see the results that potential changes could make on their parcels due to the removal of old buildings, drainage ditch realignments, new irrigation equipment potential, the purchase of new land or potential subdivisions, etc. We also use this photography extensively in our planning of new IRP projects and the engineering and design of them. Up to date aerial photography is very useful to us here. Google maps are inconsistent with the newness and quality of the photography offered under the IRP. We are unfamiliar with the ARD viewer. Last but not least the price of the photography is very inexpensive due to a collaboration with many other interest groups who also use aerial photography. The RID spent $6752.81 on aerial photography in 2012, IRP 2260. We feel this is money is well spent on clear and current photos covering the entire district.
The second question from Council was with regard to project design and turnout locations.
The RID designs IRP projects to make delivery to existing irrigation delivery points. There has been a very few occasions that delivery locations have been changed due to a variety of reasons. In all situations a greater benefit to both the RID and the landowner is realized.
The board requested that the noted answers be forwarded to Council.
RID Rate/Fee Bylaws – 2015 – The board was reminded that all RID rate and fee bylaws will be passed in the April board meeting for the 2015 year.
Irrigable Unit – Resolution 2015 – 2 – (parcel 1) Plan 1011861 Block 3 Lot 1 77 acres more or less title number 101 130 860+1 Linc oo34 319 780 (parcel 2) Plan 1011861 Block 4 Lot 1 76.46 acres title number 101 130 860 Licn 0034 319 772 – (Art ZoBell) – also irrigable unit agreement under section 23 of the ID Act. The resolution was approved by the board on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.
Redistribution of Irrigation Acres – Due to a father selling land to his children and the children installing new pivots on the parcels the following was requested to allow the new pivots to have adequate irrigation acres and a fair slit between the purchasers. It is proposed that the RID roll will now reflect the following.
N ½ of NW-10-6-21-W4 – 73 irrigation acres
S ½ of NW-10-6-21-W4 – 72 irrigation acres
SW-10-6-21-W4 – 145 irrigation acres.
This was approved by the board on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.
Board training – March 21, 2015 – Medicine Hat – Due to the travel required and timing of the event the board declined sending anyone to this training. The board did note that if this type of training were offered in Lethbridge during the winter months they would be interested in attending.
Seepage exemption plan – The board requested Gordon to file a new plan.
Emergency preparedness meeting – Gordon reported that he and Mark had attended a meeting regarding emergency preparedness on March 17, 2015 at the Lethbridge Research Center. Irrigation Council feels it would be a good idea to have all ID’s have a plan to respond to various emergencies that could arise within the district. These could include trucks hauling hazardous substances rolling into a canal or ditch where contaminants could enter our works. Also farm or commercial spray units spilling chemicals. It would also include the use and transport of Magnacide within the district, to name a few. Gordon and Mark will begin the process of putting together an emergency response plan that will include all contact information from local fire departments and municipalities as well as government sources.
RID employee yearly wage and board honorarium review – The board reviewed all employee wages individually and listened to the results of a recent interview conducted with all employees by the manager. They also looked at what other districts have been paying their directors for honorarium. They will study all the information presented regarding employee and board members and will make a decision in the April meeting regarding 2015 wages and honorarium.
Next meeting date – Wednesday, April 15, 2015.