February 18, 2020 RID board meeting highlights

Highlights of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Raymond Irrigation District held Tuesday February 18, 2020 commencing at 9:00AM in the RID Board Room.

Attending: John McKee Chairman, Craig Palmer Vice Chair, , Gordon ZoBell, General Manager and recording clerk, Cody Heggie Operations Manager in training and Kelvin Kado as needed. Rod Wendorff director was absent due to work issues.

Expansion – Len Ring entered the meeting at 10:00 AM. Len went over his power point presentation with the board. Len is confident that an 11.8% increase of total assessed acres on the roll of the RID is very possible. This would increase the total assessed acres from 46,500 acres to 52,000 acres. This information will be presented to the RID water users in the March 19, 2020 information meeting. The board suggests that 3000 acres will be offered at $2000.00 per acre over a three-year period beginning in 2021. 2500 acres will be held in reserve until the gravity pipeline system is constructed. The plebiscite vote will be held on March 26, 2020 at the RID office. John McKee will give the opening presentation on March 19 with Jollin Charest giving the modeling report followed by Len Ring giving his report. Manager Gordon Zobell will act as moderator. Len Ring left the meeting at 11:30 AM. The board developed the following guidelines for expansion acres to be considered in the March 26 expansion vote.

  1. First priority is the feasibility of any application.
  2. RID system capacity and constraints.
  3. Long- and short-term district goals.
  4. Water delivery cost and efficiencies.
  5. New acres must meet land classification requirements.
  6. Priority will be given to infilling/intensification of acres.
  7. Priority will be given to parcels that are adjacent to RID works.
  8. Any new works required to district infrastructure must be approved by the board and funded by the applicant.
  9. Final approval of new acre applications will not be given until all necessary conditions have been met, which may include, remote parcel agreements, delivery point, reservoir pumping agreement, easements, title notation including the parcel in the district.
  10. The district will only allocate 3000 acres over a three-year period beginning in 2021.
  11. Capital asset charge is $2000 per acre payable over 5 years at $400.00 per acre per year with no interest charged.
  12. Only one application per land owner accepted per year up to a total of one ¼ section.

Question to be asked on the application form – when will the new irrigation acres be   utilized.

IRP Project Update – Cody reported that the R8-1 IRP 2356 project is progressing well. The crew are moving to the last reach of the project located on the east side of highway 845 and north of factory lake. Lloyd Dennis is supplying a larger excavator to assist the project with the deep cut of that reach. The Precon structure will be delivered when required for the inlet into the pipeline from factory lake. Gordon has met with Zero Gravity craning service on site, they will supply the necessary crane to lift the structure into place when required.

Monthly Maintenance report – There was no maintenance done this past month, only IRP work.

Irrican – John and Gordon attended a directors meeting held January 28, 2020 at the SMRID main office in Lethbridge. This meeting was followed by the Irrican Annual meeting where all RID directors attended as well as Gordon and Kelvin. Irrican had a good year. The solar sites are nearly completed at Lateral 12 and Yellow lake and Forty Mile pump station.

RID financial – Rate enforcement was reviewed with at least four water users in serious arrears. Letters will be going out as a reminder and to indicate legal action will be taken, under direction of the irrigation act, if the minimum amounts are not paid. Amounts are not fully calculated as of yet.

The RID winter party January 27, 2020 was well attended and a good time was had by all.

Seminar and AGM Ag building. The building is booked for the March 19, 2020 meetings.

Ads for Employment were placed in the Westwind weekly this past month.

Ad for Welling area director was placed in the Westwind Weekly this past month.

Two ads for the public meeting were placed in the Westwind Weekly as required, the  notice will again be mailed to all irrigators informing them of the public meeting and AGM.

New RID Manager – All RID directors have investigated the references supplied by the applicant. All directors report a very favorable response. Manager G. ZoBell was requested to schedule a meeting with the applicant and RID directors, as soon as possible, where an offer of employment will be made.

RID expansion modeling – Jollin Charest was unavailable to attend the rescheduled board meeting. The board requested Gordon to schedule a meeting with Jollin as soon as he can be available.

AIDA Conference – The board noted that they had enjoyed the 2-day conference held February 4th and 5th. Gordon’s Irrigation Canal Power Cooperative presentation was well received at the conference. Gordon noted that he was asked by the TID to give the same presentation at the TID annual meeting March 25 at the Heritage Inn in Taber. The AIDA conference was well attended and informative.

2014 Ford F 150 engine concerns – It was noted that a used engine has been installed.

Main Canal Advisory Committee Meeting – A meeting was held January 28, 2020 at the SMRID Main office in Lethbridge. John and Gordon attended. Duncan Lloyd from the town of Coaldale and a member of an International Joint Commission committee, along with Jerry Perry a local potato producer, gave a short presentation. They noted that the Montana diversion from the US Saint Mary canal is designed for 850 cfs but can only take 650 cfs in its current condition. In 2000 and 2001 an administrative agreement was reached between Canada and USA to share the water within a 2000-acre foot buffer. It is felt by this committee that at the present time the USA will not challenge the agreement. It was noted that the town of Milk River has concerns with its water allotment and availability. On other matters it was reported that drop 3 on the SMRID main canal was refurbished recently at a cost of $650,000. G. ZoBell toured the project as it was being completed. There is a sluffing concern at Cross coulee dam that is being repaired this winter and the Chin gates are having the stems replaced as soon as possible.

Code of conduct – this item was deferred to the next board meeting.


Directors Items – John McKee asked that Viterra be notified that they will not be required to make a presentation at our seminar this year.

Welling water supervisor position – The board and staff interviewed candidates during the board meeting as time allowed. Applicants will be notified when a decision is reached.

Art Hudson – Gordon noted that he will meet with Jess Wilde February 24th to discuss details of the agreement that will be required to be listed on each of Arts titles.

Town of Raymond – Town of Raymond – The manager noted that the town is seeking approval to develop an area east of the RID Raymond main canal east of Corner Lake on the south side of the canal. The manager was given approval to send a letter to the ORRSC noting that the district will not require an area structure plan here until development begins. Reference will be made in the letter to the November 2015 memorandum of understanding between the RID and the Town.

RID Annual Meeting – The RID Annual meeting will be held at the Raymond Agricultural Society Main building on March 19, 2020 commencing at 1:00 PM. Mark and Phil will be honored at the meeting upon their retirement.

Transfer irrigation acres – 10 acres from: Winkelaar, NW-12-7-21-W4 parcel 10071 customer #1177 to: M. Hofer, NE-31-6-19-W4 parcel 10231 customer #1102 – Approved on motion by John McKee subject to the mortgage lender signing off, and carried.

Alternate parcel agreement – 25 irrigation acres from Joe Horvath NW-33-6-20-W4 to Paul Hofer NW-31-5-19-W4 for the 2020 irrigating season. Approved on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.

Bluegrass Colony – The colony is seeking 10 – acre feet of other purposes water to be used in a hydroponic operation. – The board requested that this item be tabled until the April 2020 meeting.

Proposed 2025 celebration regarding 125 years since the Galt canal was constructed – Gordon noted that a committee comprised of several southern Alberta people interested in irrigation history are planning a celebration for the year 2025. This will mark 125 years since the construction of the Galt canal. The committee is looking for interested parties to assist in the celebration. The RID board noted that they are in favor of the celebration.

Farmer led research – Gordon reported that he had attended a meeting at the University of Lethbridge on January 13, 2020. It was well attended and Gordon was able to assist the group in developing guidelines in areas of agricultural research that could assist the farmers of the Province in conducting worthwhile and current research. He noted that there were only a few irrigation district representatives in attendance.

Next meeting date – 9:00 AM Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at the RID board room.

Motion to adjourn and time meeting ended – Having no further business the board ended the meeting at 4:12 PM on motion by John McKee.