August 19, 2015 RID board meeting highlights

Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Raymond Irrigation District held Wednesday August 19, 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 2280 W#5 phase 3 – some leveling over the pipeline to do this fall.

IRP 2307 – W#5 phase 4 – The road crossing under the county road near Berezay’s

is being completed today. It is being done earlier to accommodate the county of

Cardston schedule to apply cold mix to the entire road.

IRP 2308 – Ortho Photo’s – New aerial photos were scheduled to be taken in the month of July.

Maintenance report – Mark showed the board pictures of work completed over the past month by RID staff and equipment.

Irrican Power – All plants up and running, power pool prices are staying significantly better than last year. June income from generation was $2,618,939.24. July production income has not been confirmed. With May and June it brings us near annual cash required, with a good July and decent rest of the year we should be set us up for next year’s cash requirement. We will begin year end preparation by September 1, 2015.

RID Financial – Assessment was completed and mailed out Friday, August 14, 2015. All went well and we have already started receiving payments as of this past Monday. A copy of updated assessment lists were distributed to board members.

Expansion Plebiscite in the RID – Waiting now for modeling information from AARD. This will take several months.

RID Strategic Plan and GIS overlay – nothing to report this month.

Irrigation Council tour – To be held September 22, 2015. – SMRID Main Canal concerns and IJC questions, and recent RID IRP works will be on the itinerary.

Minister of Agriculture and Forests – meet and greet – held July 22, 2015 at the Readymade Community Center. Minister Oneil Carlier was on hand to discuss any concerns irrigation district’s had or issues they wished to raise. John McKee and Gordon ZoBell attended the event on behalf of the RID and reported that they were impressed by the minister and the fact that the irrigators were allowed  access to him so quickly after the Minister took office. Minister Carlier indicated that he was interested in irrigation in southern Alberta and that in the past he had been employed by PFRA and had worked on irrigation projects in the Province. Both John and Gordon were able to have short one on one discussions with the Minister. Fortis Open House – was held July 22, 2015 following the Minister of Agriculture and Forests visit. John and Gordon were able to have good one on one discussions with Fortis board members as well as key officials including the Vice President of public relations. John and Gordon both noted that Fortis was given a loud and clear message that irrigators are not happy with the sharply increasing costs to power pumps and irrigation equipment. Intervener possibilities were also discussed.

SMRID MLA tour July 29, 2015 – was attended by Chairman Byron Wilde. Byron noted that the group filled most of a large bus. The tour visited several interesting value added agricultural industries such as green houses, seed cleaning facilities, and power plant, as well as irrigation works. Byron came away with a greater appreciation for how far and wide the irrigation industry in Alberta effects the world. The tour was well planned and executed according to Byron.

Directors Items – Byron Wilde went over a recent study completed with assistance from a team including Brent Paterson. The study is entitled “Economic Value of Irrigation in Alberta”. The study was expertly compiled and will officially announced to the public in Calgary by way of a news conference attended by AIPA representatives. Some of the key conclusions noted that Alberta irrigation industry annually contributed 3.6 billion dollars to the provincial gross domestic product (GDP). The irrigation agri-food sector contributed about 20% of the total provincial agri-food sector (GDP) on 4.7% of the provinces cultivated land base. Almost 90% of the GDP generated by irrigation accrued to the region and the province and 10% to irrigation producers. Using labour income as a criteria, 89% of the irrigation- related benefits accrued to the region and province, and 11% to irrigation producers. GDP multipliers indicate that for every $1.00 of irrigation sales, the total GDP increased by $2.54 and labour income increase by $1.64. Total employment increased by about 39 jobs for every #1.0 million of irrigation sales. Every cubic meter of water delivered for irrigation and other related uses generated about $3.00 on the provincial GDP and $2.00 in labour income. Every $1.00 invested by the GOA in irrigation-related activities generated $3.00 in added revenue to Alberta and Canada. Sales of irrigation crop and livestock products on 4.7% of Alberta cultivated land base generated 19% of total primary agricultural sales. Irrigation sales equated to about $2400/ha compared with $328/ha for dryland production – about seven times greater. Combined annual sales of irrigation crop and livestock products generated about $1.7 billion to the Alberta GDP. Irrigation related agricultural processing also generated almost $1.7 billion to the Alberta GDP. Recreation, hydropower generation, drought mitigation, and commercial fishing on Irrigation infrastructure also generated an additional $85 million to the provincial GDP and $71 million to the labour income. It was noted that water, land, skilled irrigation producers and diversified high quality irrigation products are available in Alberta to support value added processing industries. This information needs to be better communicated to the international community of food processing industries.

On another topic Byron also noted that the Snow syphon should be the number one priority for replacement. on the main canal.

Irrigation Council – ID rates and fees – 2015 – Gordon circulated information that was recently provided by the Irrigation secretariats office. The board noted the information contained.

AIPA Directors Meeting held August 10, 2015 in Lethbridge – Byron and Gordon to report. Due to harvest pressure this item was held over to the September board meeting.

Subsequent Seepage Control Plan 2015/2019 – It was noted that the plan was approved.

Household Purposes Agreement – Plan 0715123 Block 4 Lot 4 – approved on motion by Byron Wilde and carried.

Household Purposes Agreement – Plan 0912838 Block 4 Lot 10 – approved on motion by Byron Wilde and carried.

Household Purposes Agreement – Plan 0715123 Block 4 Lot 6 – approved on motion by Byron Wilde and carried.

Mary Heggie – Thank you for flowers – The board acknowledged the thank you note from Mary.

Next meeting date – Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

Motion to adjourn and time meeting ended. – There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 1:30 PM on motion by John McKee.