Highlights of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Raymond Irrigation District held Wednesday April 18, 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.
- IRP Project Update given by Mark Jensen
IRP 2321 W#5 phase #5 – Meyer Line – The project is complete other than some leveling
once the frost is out. The project is under budget.
IRP 2334 Stirling #16 – There is one more turn out to install for Maynes new pivot.
Note: The Alberta government announced a cut to the IRP funding by 27% for the 2018 and
2019 funding years and by 47% for the 2020 funding year.
- Maintenance report – Mark showed the board a slide presentation of work completed under the district’s IRP and maintenance program over the past month.
- Irrican Power – report from K Kado – ACFA Loan #3 will be paid off June 15, 2018, payment funds to come from RBC investments. The bank account is now using the LOC and I project that we will be using $300,000.00 by the end of June. Maintenance is completing the software upgrades to the plants through Wonderware, it will be up and ready for this generation season and will run in parallel with the old system. This will see what glitches there are and have them fixed. The power prices have improved another $1/Mwh this month (due to the Sheppard plant being down), with projections to be as high as $6/Mwh for most of the year. This should be a better year.
- RID financial – K Kado – Seepage control notice in the paper this week
Weed control notice in the paper next week
Rate enforcement follow up; to continue, I have sent registered letters to all. West, Livingston
and Jensen are the only ones left. West and Livingston have been in contact and have
promised payment for next week. I emailed Jensen today, cheque is in the mail should have it
Review of R7-1 and R8-2 pipeline energy costs. We were locked in at 7.9 cents per kwh. As
noted in last meeting ENMAX had proposed 6.49 cents/Kwh on a 5 year contract with an
early renewal. I settled with the at 6.25 cents/Kwh for 5 years
Art Hudson was in with concerns about the way R7-1 energy expense is being billed. There
are some changes that could be recommended. Copy of the current worksheet and a
proposed worksheet is to be reviewed. Art was very impressed with the current structure, but
would like to see a slight adjustment, he will drop a letter off with some suggestions.
CPI for January 2018 attached for payroll review, increase of 1.4(A) 1.7 (C) This affects
- 2018 water situation – The snow pack has continued to build in the mountains and is far above normal for the southern tributaries for this season to date. There has been large flooding concerns east of Taber due to excessive snow melt. The RID, TID and SMRID are waiting to set the 2018 water allocation per acre for 2018 water use until a better estimate of available water is calculated. This should be in place by mid-June at the latest.
- Current and future employee situation – Due to the IRP funding cut the board noted a need to assess the number of employees needed going forward. A legal opinion is being provided by Jesse Wilde that will assist the board in this regard. From that opinion older employees could be given incentives to assist with an earlier retirement date or a 10 to 15 month plan could be developed that would show employees how their position fits into future plans. This would allow for all employees to plan ahead. The board requested management to make some new assignments to employees that will allow for training. These changes are to begin immediately. Phil Wilde will be relieved of being a primary water supervisor and will be replaced by DJ Heggie, if DJ is interested. Phil would train DJ for the first 6 weeks of the season with the full responsibility being handed to DJ after that training period. If DJ accepts, Phil will be assigned welding and fabricating and mechanical duties as needed as well as assisting Brian Rarick with maintenance projects. The board requested that DJ Heggie also obtain his Alberta pesticide applicator license as soon as possible with all expenses for the course being paid by the RID. After this has been completed and later in the season, DJ Heggie will be reassessed to determine how his performance has been with regard to the changes. A retroactive wage increase may be offered to him based on his performance review. If DJ is not interested in these changes a different direction would need to be determined by the board going forward. Gordon ZoBell and Mark Jensen made it known to the board that they are willing to retire earlier if the board would like to discuss this option with them.
- RID Seminar and Annual Meeting March 22 – Both meetings were well attended. The seminar had good topics and presenters and the annual meeting also went very well.
- Directors Items – At this time in the meeting the Manager was given the Chair to allow for the appointment of an RID chairman and vice chairman to serve until the first meeting following the next annual meeting. The manager called for nominations, Rod Wendorff nominated John McKee. There were no other nominations and the Manager declared John McKee as the Chairman. The manager then asked for nominations for vice chairman. Rod Wendorff nominated Craig Palmer. There were no other nominations. The manager then declared Craig Palmer as Vice Chairman. Chairman McKee then resumed the chair and continued on with the meeting agenda.
- MID delegation – 11:00 AM – The board of the MID consisting of John Balderson Chair, and directors Ilona Schnyder and Gord Card with Cam Anderson Manager and Kirsten Cleiland secretary entered the meeting. Chairman John McKee welcomed the group and introductions were made. John then noted that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of amalgamating the two districts into one. RID manager Gordon ZoBell gave the group of brief history of the two districts and noted that the area of the two districts was originally considered to be called the Southern Irrigation District. The MID farmers were quicker to organize and formed the MID in 1924. The RID farmers organized a year later. The group then discussed the benefits of amalgamation which were noted as more efficient use of staff, less audit costs, more combined IRP funds as well as machinery efficiencies, to name a few. The RID has a liability with regard to main canal costs but has a benefit regarding Irrican power revenues. There was much discussion regarding the issue of amalgamation. It was determined by both boards that they would discuss this possibility individually and decide whether a next step should be taken. Both boards agreed that Len Ring could be considered to act as a facilitator to assist in the process going forward. The group then dismissed and ate lunch together in Raymond.
After reconvening the RID board meeting, the RID board determined that they were interested in pursuing the idea of amalgamation further depending on the MID board’s decision.
- Raymond 8-2 – review April 11 meeting – Water users Barkley Lutz and Ron Motycka attended – RID attendees: John McKee, Craig Palmer, Gordon ZoBell, Mark Jensen, Cody Heggie and Kelvin Kado. The meeting began at 6:00 PM at the RID office and ended at 7:38PM. Gord and Mark gave a history of the projects original construction and later rehab. Gordon explained how the energy costs are split between users. Kelvin explained the billing process and energy renewal options. It was determined that power should be locked in for 5 years at the lowest rate available. (it was later locked in at 6.25 cents per kWh) Discussion from the floor noted a few future considerations. 1) Look into what it would take to convert the line into a gravity delivery to each parcel with individuals supplying their own pumps at their turnout and eliminating the common pump station. 2) Charge a minimum energy fee whether water is used or not. 3) Charge all household use water a flat energy fee to assist with the total billing. 4) Look into variable speed panels. 5) Study the current use of the system for maximum efficiency. The board is not interested in allowing another IRP project to take place to convert this line into a gravity system. The board requested staff to check with the energy provider to determine what a standby fee would be if the system was not used due to a wet year. They also requested staff to have a list of users who are not irrigators on the system and who use water for domestic and yard use. This will be available for the next board meeting.
- Household Purposes Agreement – Carla M Herbst-Pittman Box 1809 Raymond Plan 1013074 Blk 58 Lot 3 (SW-20-6-20-W4) – Approved on motion by Craig Palmer.
- SMRID-TID-RID – Combined Main Canal meeting April 9 at LNID office – Board members John McKee and Craig Palmer and manager Gord ZoBell attended this meeting. The SMRID Chairman and Manager made presentations regarding their request that the TID and RID should assist the SMRID with costs for the main canal from horsefly check to the Sauder spill structure. This would increase the the current assessment of $2.50 per acre to $4.50 per acre. The TID and RID boards met together for a short time during the meeting to discuss this request. The TID and RID noted that they would consider assisting the SMRID with 40 mile pumping costs if the water needed to be placed in 40-mile was due to a drainage event concern. The RID board is of the firm belief and understanding that the 40-mile reservoir was put in place to allow for significant expansion in the SMRID eastern areas. The board does not in any way see why the RID water users should pay for canal operation and maintenance costs beyond the common carrier portion of the canal which ends at Horsefly check south of the town of Taber.
- April 12 – Main canal meeting and Irrican power meeting at SMRID – The budget for the main canal will stay at $2.50 per acre for the 2018 season. The Irrican board met after the main canal committee and went over the finances and operations for the plants as projected this season.
- Alternate parcel agreement (section 25 ID Act) – WR Tollestrup – from SE-19-6-20-W4 – 18 irr acres NE-18-6-20-W4 – 17 irr acres, NE-10-6-20-W4 – 50 irr acres To: E1/2-16-6-20-W4 – Approved on motion by Rod Wendorff and carried.
- Terry Meeks – annual water for SW-23-5-21-W4 – 35 acres. The board noted that if Mr. Meeks is willing to obtain a suitable irrigation classification for his parcel and fund a new syphon from the Environment canal and find unused irrigation acres from another RID water user, that they would consider allowing him to irrigate his parcel. They will not issue an annual agreement this year to the parcel.
- Application to Transfer acres (ID Act section 26) – From: 78 irr acres 4-6-20-W4 to: approved on motion by Rod Wendorff and carried.NE, SE, NW-15-5-20-W4 – East Raymond Hutterian Brethren – Approved on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.
- Application to Transfer acres (ID Act section 26) –From: 181 irr acres 4-6-20-W4 To: N1/2-14-5-20-W4 – East Raymond Hutterian Brethren – Approved on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.
- RID – 2018 Budget – Approved as presented on motion by John McKee and carried.
- RID Bylaws – 2018 season (including employee wages)
- Rate $13.00 per acre – approved on motion by Rod Wendorff and carried.
- Agreement fee – approved on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.
- Honorarium for board – $325.00 per meeting for board members and $350.00 for Chair – approved on motion by John McKee and carried.
- Election date – March 7, 2019 – approved on motion by John McKee and carried.
- Capital asset fee – no change $1500.00 per acre when available.
- Capital charges – (other use) – no change $1500.00 per acre foot.
- Appoint an auditor – On motion By Rod Wendorff the board appointed Doug Wilde as district auditor for the 2018 season.
- Annual agreements – The following annual irrigation agreements were approved by the board on motion by Rod Wendorff and carried.
- Raymond Golf Course – SW-6-6-20-W4 – 42 acres
- Rod Nelson – NE-34-5-15-W4 – 30 acres
- Bluegrass Hutterian – NW-34-5-16-W4 – 130 acres
- Culler Farms Ltd – NW-35-5-16-W4 – 130 acres
- Delco Farming Company – NE-17-6-17-W4 – 50 acres
- Delco Farming Company – SW-17-6-17-W4 – 80 acres
- Delco Farming Company – NW-17-6-17-W4 – 50 acres
- Delco Farming Company – 7-6-17-W4 – 380 acres
- Delco Farming Company – SE-17-6-17-W4 – 100 acres
- Diane Salmon – SE30-5-20-W4 N1/2ofNWof Irr50 – 21 acres
- Gerrad and Sandra Wauters – SW-16-6-17-W4 – 105 acres
- Gerrad and Sandra Wauters – NE-16-6-17-W4 – 61 acres
- Gerrad and Sandra Wauters – SW-15-6-17-W4 – 20 acres
- Gerrad and Sandra Wauters – NW-15-6-17-W4 – 61 acres
- Gerrad and Sandra Wauters – SW-22-6-17-W4 – 125 acres
Total acres – 1595
- Next meeting date – Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at the RID board room.
- Motion to adjourn and time meeting ended – Having no further business the board ended the meeting at 4:30 PM on motion by Craig Palmer.