Highlights of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Raymond Irrigation District held Wednesday February 28, 2018 commencing at 9:00 AM in the RID Board Room.
Attending: John McKee Chairman, Craig Palmer vice Chair, , Gordon ZoBell, General Manager and recording clerk, Mark Jensen Operations Manager. Kelvin Kado as needed. Rod Wendorff Director was absent.
The Agenda for the February 28, 2018 meeting was approved on motion by Rod Wendorff and carried.
The Minutes of the, January 10, 2018 board meeting were approved on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.
- Nelson Family Ranches – Jeff Nelson from Nelson family Ranches entered the meeting at 10:00 AM. He explained a possible new irrigation scheme to the board that involves putting irrigation water onto approximately 425 acres of land located in 11-6-19-W4 through a center pivot system. They propose that they can rent unused irrigation acres from other water users to accomplish this. Jeff noted that he is aware that there is a concern with water delivery at peak demand times to the parcel. He suggested that because they have so many systems taking water from the area that they would be willing to shut systems off and share between several of their systems should water delivery become an issue in the 2018 season. This concept would protect other water users from taking risk due to this new system being added. They hope in time to acquire permanent water for this system. Jeff also noted that he is aware the district is working toward upgrades in the 2018 season that will mitigate water deliver concerns after 2018 if approval for funding is granted. Jeff left the meeting at approximately 11:00 AM. After further discussion and on motion by John McKee the board approved the system based on a favorable land classification and that the water user pay for all costs associated with making a new delivery to the parcel. An agreement with Nelson Family Ranches outlining the fact that at peak use there may be a water shortage for the new pivot, must be completed. If a shortage occurs Nelson Family Ranches will shut systems down to allow for a fair delivery to all permeant users in the area. The motion was carried.
- IRP Project Update given by Mark Jensen
IRP 2321 W#5 phase #5 – Meyer Line – Highway #5 crossing under the road has been
completed. The remaining pipe and turnout will be installed over the next week.
IRP 2334 Stirling #16 – The project is complete other than finish leveling and some turnouts
need to bolted in place.
- Maintenance report – Mark showed the board a slide presentation of work completed under the district’s IRP program over the past month.
- Irrican Power – by Kelvin Kado – The Board meeting and AGM was held January 31, 2018, with the board meeting in the morning and the AGM in the afternoon. The primary purpose of the board meeting was to have the exit meeting with MNP and review the results of the financial audit with the auditors. The exit meeting is usually held about 3 days before the board meeting, but this year there were not any matters of concern and the auditors felt that we could combine the exit and board meeting into one. We also had a skyped meeting with Urica, reviewed the 2017 year and what to look forward to 2018. Irrican had high production and this resulted in good non production income (Rec’s and Fortis Option “M”).New hedging contract for July, August and September to sell 5Mhw of power daily at $67.75 this will an increase from past years. There was unexpected repair costs for Chin plant due to cavitation this year.
- RID financial – Preparing 2017 financial year end for auditors. Rate enforcement letters to go to irrigators soon.
- 2018 water situation – The snow pack for the southern tributary rivers is at 140% to 150% of average for this time of year. The outlook is positive looking forward but we will still require normal spring rains to fill reservoirs. The situation is being monitored closely and will continue. There was a meeting held at the Ready Made community Hall Feb 27, 2018 which was attended by John McKee and Gordon Zobell. The meeting was organized by the Advisory committee and all irrigation districts and municipal and private water users were invited. The agenda covered what should be done going forward when a water short year is being confronted. Sharing of licenses such as was done in 2001 was reviewed. Terrence Lazarus gave a brief outline of water availability for 2018 as well as some weather predictions for the coming season. Dave Hunt of Alberta Environment explained how the government would be involved in calling priority of water use and of how they would manage a water sharing agreement between license holders. Gordon ZoBell gave an overview of a framework going forward based on the 2001 model. All attendees were requested to go back to their own respective organizations and be prepared to come back in a future meeting with authority to sign a sharing agreement that would cover the next several years if water sharing is required. The next meeting will be held in mid-March. The SMRID main canal advisory committee will host the next meeting as well.
- Current and future employee situation – The board requested that younger employees be given more decision making responsibility and mentoring from older employees. In particular Cody Heggie should be leading more in preparation for the future.
- Directors Items – Craig Palmer was acclaimed as the director for the Welling district. There was only one nomination received by Feb 22 4:00 PM.
John McKee requested that a flower arrangement be sent to the Kaupp family in honor of Bill Kaupp and his son who recently passed away due to a plane crash.
- RID seminar March 22, 2019 – Gordon went over the agenda in detail and assignments to board members.
- IRP 2016/2017 status report – The report was circulated for the boards review.
- 8-2 pump and energy costs – Kelvin has spoken with a representative from Enmax to determine what future energy costs are looking like. The billing procedure was also reviewed for the system and how each water users share is determined. After much discussion the board instructed the manager to invite all 8-2 water users to a special meeting to discuss an energy payment agreement from an electric energy provider as well as the process of how the costs are split between water users. The meeting should take place as soon as possible.
- RID party – the party was fun with good food and well attended by employees.
- ATB Investments – 2017 returns – Kelvin and Gordon noted that returns on RID investments with ATB were 3.98%. This will be reviewed to determine if more risk should be considered allowing for the possibility of a better return.
- LAPP – Gordon noted that LAPP rates were reduced by 1% for both employee and employer beginning January 1, 2018. This is due to higher investment returns.
- Main canal Advisory Committee meeting February 2, 2018 attended by John McKee and Gordon ZoBell. – It was noted that a water sharing agreement between all interested license holders taking water from the Waterton, Belly and Saint Mary rivers will be promoted. The group will be invited through the Main Canal Advisory committee and will form an expanded committee.
Gary Franz who is the SMRID Chairman presented a proposal where he would like to see the main canal costs shared to the Sauder spill. He gave a good presentation which was appreciated by the group but would be hard to sell to all districts included in the agreement. There are several concerns that he outlined which included forty mile pumping costs and natural spill from runoff that enters the system. Gordon gave a brief history of his recollections regarding the forty mile reservoir and of how it came about. At that time a great deal of expansion took place in the eastern part of SMRID after the reservoir was built. Gordon also suggested that perhaps all three districts should investigate an amalgamation which would eliminate the concern of the shared costs of the main canal. The idea was to be taken back to individual boards. After some discussion today the RID board determined that they would not be interested in an amalgamation at this time with the SMRID and TID but would like to meet with the MID to discuss mutual benefits of an amalgamation with them.
- RID employee – vacation schedule 2017/ 2018 – Gordon reviewed each employee’s available unused days to date.
- Altalink – Stirling sub improvements – Gordon noted that a new modern switch apparatus will be installed at this substation prior to May 1, 2018.
- Next meeting date – Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at the RID board room.
- Motion to adjourn and time meeting ended – Having no further business the board ended the meeting at 3:30 PM on motion by Craig Palmer.