Highlights of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Raymond Irrigation District held Wednesday October 21, 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, Office Manager as required.
IRP Project Update given by Mark Jensen
IRP 2307 – W#5 phase 4 – Darin Wilde entered the meeting at 10:15 AM to discuss
the possible installation of an isolation valve on the south side of the county road in
NE-21-6-21-W4. The installed cost would be in the order of $25,000.00. Darin also
noted the drain down time of the entire pipeline once it was totally constructed to
replace W#5 lateral. He noted with a 1600 gpm drainage outlet at the north end of
the pipeline it would take approximately 15 hours to drain the entire pipeline. There
were several questions and further discussion centered around the drainage of
the line and regarding potential damage and risk involved due to interruption of
service to the farmers served. The board determined that they felt a 15 hour worst
case drain out time was acceptable and they instructed staff to not proceed with the
installation of an isolation valve. Mark Jensen noted that work would commence on
the project by mid-November.
IRP 2308 – Ortho Photo’s – Gordon noted that he had telephoned Camel and had been told that the new photo’s will arrive soon.
Maintenance report – Mark showed the board pictures of work completed over the past month by RID staff and equipment.
Irrican Power – All plants shut down for the season. Income for May to August including REC’s; $5,452,655.77 We have not received reports for September and October.
RID Financial – from K Kado – I am getting ready for the busiest collection week, as irrigators will be paying assessment before the discount deadline. We usually receive 75% to 80% of the payments by October 31.
Expansion Plebiscite in the RID – Gordon noted that he met with Jennifer Nitschelm on October 7th. She noted that there are several things the RID board need to consider. They are as follows;
Do we update the modeling from 2009?
There is data available from 1928 to 2001, nothing more current, for river modeling.
Does RID have infrastructure limitations and how does that factor into potential expansion?
The board needs to confirm their individual by-in to pursuing expansion
What potential expansion levels is the board interested in and why and where?
The TID and SMRID expansions need to be factored into modeling.
Consideration of the proposed gravity pipeline system for the RID needs to be considered moving forward and funding of it.
Irrican revenues in the future need to also be factored in.
It was noted that snow pack forecast data for 2016 will not be available until March of 2016.
The board discussed each one of these issues and determined that their first course
of action, moving forward from today, is to send a letter immediately to all owners of
land in the RID containing permanent irrigation acres. The letter would outline the
expansion process and would ask water users if they have land they wish to expand
irrigation onto. Water users will be asked to make comments back to the RID via
email. The information will be compiled and be ready for the next board meeting.
Also Byron and Gordon will meet with a financial adviser ASAP to begin looking at
the potential to debenture funding for the proposed gravity pipeline system and to
determine where funds to pay the debenture would come from, how government
funding could enter in and how much can be raised from rates and reserves and
potential Irrican revenues etc.
RID Strategic Plan and GIS overlay – nothing to report this month.
Irrigation Council tour held September 22, 2015. – The board was satisfied with the tour and meeting and noted it was good to spend time with council and discuss areas of concern to RID as well as future planning ideas and issues.
Town of Raymond Annexation – The board authorized that a letter be sent to the Town of Raymond over the Chairman’s signature. The letter will request that a memorandum of understanding be entered into between the town and the RID outlining how the future roads, fencing drainage, irrigation acres and public safety will be handled within the area of the proposed annexation.
Directors Items – It was noted that a conference call will take place October 27th at 5:10 PM at the RID office. This call will be with the Minister of Agriculture where he will outline the Provincial budget and how it pertains to irrigation district funding.
Irrigation Information report 2014 – Copies of this information was made available to the board.
Mussels Steering Committee – Gordon noted that he met with the committee on October 15, 2015. He noted that there were no mussels detected in any water bodies in Alberta this past season. Nothing will change for the 2016 season as far detection and inspections of water craft are concerned. Some of the committee are concerned that there is not a plan in place with regard to what we will do if mussels are detected somewhere. There is two chemical options being looked at and studies will be undertaken regarding the control of Mussels involving Potash and chlorine. There will be a research project conducted over the 2016 operating season within the RID on Stirling #8 pipeline. This will conducted to test the affects that Potash or chlorine could have on invasive mussels.
West wind weekly article – Gordon noted that the local newspaper had run a good article in this past week’s addition regarding the 2015 irrigation season in the RID and area. The article was made available to the board.
Advisory Committee – Byron noted that he and Gordon had met with the SMRID board on September 17, regarding the bridge concerns on the main canal. Byron noted that he felt they were well received and given a fair audience with that board. He noted that he thought the SMRID would consider the matter more closely. To date we have not heard back any further from the SMRID regarding the issue.
Next meeting date – Friday, November 27, 2015.