January 10, 2018 RID board meeting highlights

Highlights of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Raymond Irrigation District held Wednesday January 10, 2018 commencing at 9:00 AM in the RID Board Room.


Attending: John McKee Chairman, Craig Palmer vice Chair, Rod Wendorff Director, Gordon ZoBell, General Manager and recording clerk, Mark Jensen Operations Manager. Kelvin Kado as needed.


  1. IRP Project Update given by Mark Jensen

IRP 2321 W#5 phase #5 – Meyer Line – nothing to report this month.

IRP 2334 Stirling #16 – The project proceeded well up until the Christmas break beginning  December 22, 2017. The project commenced once again January 8, 2018 progressing well but was shut down January 10 due to cold weather. The project will commence once again as soon as weather is suitable. The project is just entering the Zaugg parcel working from the north to the south.


  1. Maintenance report – Mark showed the board a slide presentation of work completed under the district’s IRP program over the past month. It should be noted that the district’s newest 200 JD excavator had an engine failure that required a new engine installation at a cost of approximately $31,000.00 with core rebate from Brandt Tractor.


  1. Irrican Power – cavitation problem has been repaired at the Chin plant.


  1. RID financial – Beginning to prepare 2017 financial year end for auditors R7-1 and R8-2 NRG billing to be reconciled and sent to irrigators this month Additional funding (transfer from savings) for JD 200 engine repair ($33,000.00) to be completed for next board meeting. Progress certificates #1,2,3,4 are at Wilde Bros. Engineering waiting for approval. Missed on last report. Emergency Preparedness Plan reconciled and financial report letter has been sent to Irrigation Secretariat.

RID Winter Party – Will take place January 10, 2018. Kelvin will supply the meal.




  1. Directors Items – Craig Palmer requested that a district tour be offered to board members on a regular basis which would enable board members to become more familiar with the works of the district. It was decided that beginning at the next regular board meeting, interested board members can arrive at 8:00 PM to the RID office. A tour of areas determined by mutual consent at that time will then be conducted until 9:30 AM. At 9:30 AM the board meeting will commence at the RID office.


  1. SMRID – email from SMRID Chair to RID Chair January 6, 2018 – Re: main canal costs – The board discussed the contents of the email at length which dealt with the SMRID chairman’s opinion with regard to costs and responsibilities and liabilities of the main canal.

His Suggestions are listed below:

the sharing of costs of the entire Main Canal to the Sauder Dam Main Canal Spillway

revising apportionment percentages to reflect expansion acres (whether used or not)

build reference capacity volumes into the canal for each District’s irrigable units and identify their points of delivery.

formalize water sharing agreement in water shortage events (Magrath Irrigation District should be included in these discussions toward inclusion of their district.)

the sharing of 40-Mile Reservoir pumping costs, as such are part of the overall cost for providing the required system capacity

the sharing of dam safety costs associated with reservoirs connected to the Main Canal

the sharing of costs associated with Sauder Dam Main Canal Spillway

pro-rate allocation of spill-water to each District

add the Vice Chairmen to the Main Canal Advisory Committee to educate succession

The SMRID chair is attempting to garner support for assistance with funding of the O&M costs of the canal below Horsefly check. Currently the reach below horsefly is solely the responsibility of the SMRID. The RID board is of the opinion that the main canal costs shared by all 3 districts should only be for the current defined main canal from north ridge outlet to Horsefly check. The canal beyond that check is and always has been under the sole ownership of the SMRID and its successor. The Forty Mile reservoir was installed at the insistence of the SMRID in the early 1980’s which allowed for more expansion in the SMRID eastern division. TID and RID had no input nor were they invited to give any opinion with regard to the construction of forty mile reservoir. There is drainage water that enters the main system which SMRID must manage and is something the 3 districts (RID, TID, SMRID) have lobbied the Province for support with. The RID was in favor of turning the entire main canal over to the Province in 1981 and the Province would most likely have taken over that responsibility. The SMRID did not want to consider that option however so the canal remained in the name of SMRID. The funding to rehabilitate the main canal in the 80’s and 90’s was funded by the Province in its entirety to near Medicine Hat. It is understood that this is an expensive canal to operate and maintain but this was the wish of SMRID in the past. RID Chairman John McKee and Manager G ZoBell will keep the board apprised of any discussions that may arise within the 3 districts with regard to this issue.

2018 water situation – For the board information. SSD Energy Consulting, has been engaged by Alberta Environment and Parks to conduct a series of meetings with water licensees in the South Saskatchewan River Basin, Ernie Hui, a former Deputy Minister of Alberta Environment, and Sunil Doshi will conduct these meetings to discuss the potential for water shortages in the South Saskatchewan River Basin in 2018. Meeting goals will be to:

  1. Provide awareness of a potential water shortage situation to occur, and to outline theseverity and impacts.

Gather input and feedback from licensees on potential approaches by licensees to reduce water demand.Gather any additional concerns or general feedback to inform Alberta Environment and Parks.

Louis Ravoy Jr. new acres NE-14-6-20-W4 (8 irrigation acres). Louis has forfeited these acres. They can be made available to another user.

On motion by Rod Wendorff the board approved the reallocation of 8 irrigation acres previously awarded to Louis Ravoy to Nelson Family Ranches in 3-6-19-W4. Carried.

Transfer of irrigation acres Section 26 of ID Act – 10 irrigation acres From: SW-2-6-W4 Parcel 10331 Plan 1785 lots 59&60 owned by Jared and Sherilee Hardy custom ID 1326. To: SE-35-6-20-W4 parcel 10554 RID customer ID 1319 owned by Oliver Schneider. Approved on motion by John McKee and carried.

Current and Future employee situation – 5 men could retire over the next 4 years. Phil currently 65, birthday June 20, 1952 he notes he wishes to work 2 more seasons – Brian currently 63, his birthday March 8, 1954, Mark currently 62, his birthday is July 8, 1955, Gordon currently 62, his birthday Dec 23, 1955, Kelvin currently 61 his birthday Dec 10, 1956, Cody Oct 9, 1981, DJ July 17, 1983. What should the future employee structure look like in the RID? Responsibilities etc. The board discussed this item in great detail. It is understood that 5 RID employees could retire within a 4 year period. The board noted that a restructuring will need to take place and that it is likely that the current duties of RID employees can be performed with less personnel. The importance of teaching and mentoring the younger employees was expressed which should be aimed at them being able to take on more day to day responsibility and decision making of work tasks. The board requested the manager to provide the board with an outline showing ideas with regard to future employee responsibilities and duties and the number of full time employees envisioned going forward. The manager was also requested to speak with each employee to allow employees time to plan for the future restructuring that will most likely result in lesser employees working for the district. The board also noted that there is a concern that IRP funding will be reduced which will also reflect on the districts need for as many full time employees. The board also discussed a severance package possibility that could be offered to older employees in order to assist with a quicker transition into retirement. This offer will be discussed in future meetings.

 Next meeting date – Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at the RID board room commencing at 9:30 AM.

Motion to adjourn and time meeting ended. – There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 4:00 PM on motion by Rod Wendorff.