May 20, 2020 RID board meeting highlights

Highlights of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Raymond Irrigation District held Wednesday May 20, 2020 commencing at 9:00AM in the RID Board Room.

Attending: John McKee Chairman, Craig Palmer Vice Chair, Rod Wendorff director, Gordon ZoBell, General Manager and recording clerk, Jason Miller Assistant Manager, Cody Heggie Operations Manager and Kelvin Kado as needed.

It should be noted that Provincial Health guidelines were followed during this meeting due to the CVOID-19 pandemic concerns.

The Agenda for the May 20, 2020 meeting was approved on motion by Rod Wendorff and carried.

Highlights of the, April 15, 2020 board meeting were approved on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.

BUISNESS ARISING

Expansion and RID annual meeting – Will be advertised for November 19, 2020.

IRP Update – IRP 2341 – Working on final design for the Hancock structure.

IRP 2356 – R8-1 – The first phase of the project is in operation with no problems. There are some areas of the pipeline easement area that will require some touchups in the fall. Jason and Gordon have been working on obtaining the easements for the second phase that will be installed this fall. Pipe will be order prior to June 15 as IPEX will be increasing prices.

Monthly Operations and Maintenance report – Cody Heggie showed a slide presentation of work performed over the past month. The system is primed and flushed with several users irrigating. Rain is in the forecast however.

Irrican – Solar array report from Jason Miller – The solar array project is a proposed joint project between the MD of Taber, Solar Canada / Skyfire and Irrican to put solar power generating stations on abandoned oil well sites in the MD of Taber and SMRID. It is estimated the project will produce between 2.1 – 2.9 MW annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,624 tonnes annually. The project will cost $4.5M, of which the province has committed $2.1M, Solar Canada / Skyfire has committed $700K for in-kind contributions, other in-kind contributions of $200K and Irrican will provide $1.5M. As a 10% owner in Irrican, the RID has a $150K risk in this investment. The rate of return is projected to be between 7%-15%. Subsurface liability will remain with the landowner and oil company or Orphaned Well Association. Motion to approved this initiative through Irrican by John McKee an carried.

Gordon noted that the Raymond plant had lost the turbine hub oil at startup. The problem was rectified and new oil was installed and the plant is in operation.

Fortis sprung a maintenance schedule on Irrican that shut the 4,5&6 plant down for a few days. Irrican officials voiced their concerns about the maintenance noting that the scheduled work should be done outside Irrican’s generating season.

  • RID financial – Kelvin Kado – R7-1 Pump Fund, Due to repair the fund is over extended and owes RID $3,698.70. Annual pump fund billing is $989.00. It would take 4 years to make up the funds without any future problems. There is a motor repair for the 40 hp motor, anticipated at $1000 – $2000. As per agreement dated July 27, 1986 to pay a pump fund for the replacement or repair of the Pumps. No notation was made if the pump fund was not enough to cover costs. I will invoice the all the owners once we get the final amount due.

R8-2 HPA, to consider an additional charge $100.00 ($60 pump fund, $40.00 (NRG) starting for the 2020 irrigation season.

Rate enforcement:

Those in arrears have been contacted and indicated that the court date has been postponed to a later date. We have not been informed of a new date, but it may be July or August. They are both looking to have a suitable solution shortly. A reminder will be sent by the end of the month. as a reminder and indicate legal action may happen if the minimum amounts are not paid by June 17, 2020. All others have brought their accounts up to date enough to stop rate enforcement.

Copies of the annual report have been completed. All required information has been submitted to the AG minister and Irrigation Council as required.

Town of Raymond – Jason Miller – Town of Raymond Drainage – Use of Works Agreement. The Town of Raymond storm drain system drains into the RID drainage system just north of Art Hudson on the north end of Raymond. The RID drainage system carries the town’s storm drain water approximately 5 miles to the Stirling Drain. Jason spoke with SMRID about agreements they have with towns that use their drainage works. They typically have a Use of Works Agreement which stipulates a 50/50 cost share for the maintenance costs. 

On motion by Rod Wendorff the board approved to allow Jason to discuss with the Town the 50/50 cost share proposal as noted.

New RID Manager – Gordon noted that he is very pleased with Jason’s progress since Jason joined the RID-on May 1, 2020. He noted that Jason has a diplomatic nature and seems to comfortably absorb the information being taught regarding all aspects of the RID.

NEW BUISNESS

Directors Items – Several minor issues were discussed. Craig Palmer suggested that the RID should look into an employee grant that is available due to the COVID crisis. Jason Miller will look into the issue which might allow the RID to not lay off a seasonal employee for the summer of 2020.

R7-1 Pump and power fee – deficit – The board noted that the deficit should be funded by the users of the R7-1 pump and switch gear system. Jason and Kelvin will send a letter to all users noting the extra billing. The letter will also inform the users that each February the users of R7-1 should meet with RID officials to discuss any issues and expenses going forward.

R8-2 HPA – It was noted that those outside of the system do not pay for energy during the summer months. Management suggests that this group should be contributing toward energy use. On motion by Craig Palmer the board approved ($40 for energy & $60 for pump = $100 per user per year for the out of system users) carried.

Michelson Marsh (Stirling Lake) – Jason and Gordon noted that Ducks Unlimited approached the RID regarding a new agreement to fill the marsh. On motion by John McKee the board approved that the RID enter into a use of works and management agreement to deliver 650-acre feet of water per year within the marsh’s own license. A fee of $7,000 annually will be charged by the RID to complete the agreement. Carried. The agreement is to be reviewed every 5 years.

CPR rail line from Stirling to Raymond – Gordon ZoBell, Jason Miller, Ryan Chipman and Bob Grbavac met with Terry Vogt (a local journalist and TV reporter) on May 14, 2020. They met at the CPR R/W located near Ryan’s home. They were interviewed regarding the concerns with the Rail line being turned into a train car parking area. It is hoped that this story will bring concern to the public of the area. The farmers along the rail line from Stirling to Raymond do not want see the line used in this way. It will create a blight across the prairie. It is their hope that the R/W can be sold back to adjacent land owners which would allow at least 6 center pivot sprinkler systems to irrigate adjacent lands and to make complete circle’s. The R/W has been unused for 25 years and is a weed invested dilapidated eye sore.  A group of farmers from Forty mile are apparently taking over the line to use for this purpose. It is hoped that the public can will press for a review of this transfer of ownership and use of the rail line.

  1. Alternate parcel agreements – ID Act S (25) – See schedule B – Approved on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.
  2. Household purposes agreement – ID Act S (19) – 6 new agreements approved on motion by John McKee
  1. RID Annual agreements – ID Act S (16) – See schedule A – Approved on motion by John McKee and carried.

All the HPA agreements noted above were approved by the board on motion by John McKee and carried.

  1. Next meeting date – Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 9:00 AM in the RID board room.
  2. Motion to adjourn – There being no further business the meeting ended at 2:45 PM on motion by Rod Wendorff.
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