July 15, 2020 board meeting highlights

Highlights of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Raymond Irrigation District held Wednesday July 15, 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, Jason Miller Assistant Manager and recording clerk, 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 July 15, 2020 meeting was approved on motion by Rod Wendorff and carried.

The Minutes of the, June 17, 2020 board meeting were approved on motion by John McKee and carried.

BUISNESS ARISING

  1. Expansion and RID annual meeting – Will be advertised for November 19, 2020.
  1. IRP Update – IRP 2341 – Final design for the Hancock structure was presented. The quote to precast the structure totaled roughly $27,000. The Board discussed alternatives to the structure, such as pouring the structure in place. Gordon and Jason will discuss more with the Engineer and report back to the Board at the next meeting.

IRP 2356 – R8-1 – Final design is completed, pipe has been ordered, and RID staff have started to build risers. Road crossing approval has been obtained from the County of Warner and Cody Heggie will contact Lloyd Dennis to obtain a quote to complete the crossings.

Shovel ready projects – RS#4 is near shovel ready. Gordon and Jason have spoken to the landowners and all are supportive of the project; however, the easements still need to be obtained.

  1. Monthly Operations and Maintenance report – Cody Heggie showed a slide presentation of work performed over the past month. Several rock weirs were washed out in the flooding and the crew has been repairing the weirs.

The RID crew removed an unneeded, too small Culvert from Mr. Drew Picture’s property. The culvert was causing debris and weed problems. Mr. Picture used the culvert to hold up a fence to keep cattle in his property. As such, he would like a new culvert put in, but is unwilling to pay for the culvert. The RID has no need of the culvert, but will work with the County of Warner to replace a nearby road culvert and possibly make it longer so that a fence can be restrung.   

  1. Irrican – Kelvin Kado reported June income will be reported between July 20-25, but it is anticipated it will be low due to poor power pool prices and lower power generation because of shut downs, low flow in the canals, and low demand.
  • RID financial – Kelvin Kado reported that final billings on R7-1 pump repairs have been received and total $9,037.19. Notices and invoices will be sent to R7-1 pump users next week. R8-2 will have an additional charge of $100 ($60 pump and $40 energy charge) for the 2020 irrigation season. A list of R8-2 users will be established, with the ditch rider confirming users.

The ditch riders have received their computers and they are able to access DDIT and other programs from their trucks now.

Rate enforcement: have been continuing to follow up with those in arrears.

IRP funding has now been received.

Assessment review is currently being completed.

  1. Town of Raymond – Jason reported that he was in discussions with Kurtis Pratt, CAO from the Town and had reached a tentative agreement; however, the Town turned the agreement over to their legal counsel. The agreement was intended to be a good neighbor agreement to simply share the annual maintenance costs of the drain the Town uses without an agreement to convey their storm drainage to the Stirling Drain. Unfortunately, the Town’s action to turn the agreement over to legal counsel, puts the RID in a difficult position and now requires the RID also receive legal advice. The Board was uncomfortable spending funds on legal fees for an agreement that benefits the Town.

A motion was made by John McKee, for the Manager to make one more effort to complete the agreement as good neighbors between the RID Manager and Town Manager. If unsuccessful, the Board approves sending the matter to legal counsel, Mr. Tom MacLachlan of MMH Lawyers LLP, at the expense of the Town.

  1. Michelson Marsh (Stirling Lake) – The lake is nearly full and their pump has been shut off. The Board reviewed and signed the agreement with Ducks Unlimited to convey water to the Marsh.
  1. Computers for Ditch Riders – discussed with Kelvin Kado’s financial report.
  1. Sprayer – Cody reported that he compared several prices and determined that the RID could construct a custom spray unit cheaper than buying a pre-fabricated unit. Cody has started purchasing the supplies and the crew will begin assembling the unit in the coming weeks.  

NEW BUISNESS

  1. Directors Items – there were no directors items
  1. R8-2 – 8-2 users have been sent their Enmax adjustment bill from last year.
  1. Minister Dreeshen – Would like to meet with irrigation districts and irrigators in late July early August, time and location TBA. Jennifer Nitschelm, the Irrigation Secretariat invited the RID to have 6 delegates attend the meeting. The RID delegates will include the Board, Gord, Jason and one irrigator. The Board discussed possible irrigators to invite and determined to invite Mr. Jeff Nelson and Mr. Ryan Chipman as an alternate should one of the delegates be unable to attend. Gordon will advise Jennifer of our selected delegates.
  1. Gravity Pipeline System (GPS) – The 2008 report has been forwarded to MLA, Grant Hunter and MP, Glen Motz. Mr. Motz suggested the report be undated for current data. Gord advised that the fee will be in the range of 10 to 12K. The original consultants would be used.

On motion made by Rod Wendorff and carried, the Board approved updating and modernizing the Gravity Pipeline System report using the original consultants and within a budget of up to 12K. Carried.

  1. RID Policy Manual – Jason has gathered the RID policies into one digital manual. The Board determined to review and update several policies each Board meeting until the manual was completely reviewed and updated.  
  1. AIDA Executive Meeting – John McKee attended an AIDA executive meeting on June 19. He summarized the meeting for the Board. Key points include:
  1. There may be possible grant funds to irrigation districts, delivered in IRP format
  2. Minister Dreeshen is looking to visit irrigation districts
  3. Jennifer Nitschelm, the Irrigation Secretariat thanked districts for their shovel ready projects
  4. Government is looking to reduce red tape in irrigation, but AIDA concerned about removing critical wording in the Irrigation Act
  5. AIDA trying to get additional Aquatic Herbicides registered in Alberta
  6. 2020-2021 AIDA conference will be cancelled for 1 year due to covid
  7. University of Calgary has $5M for ag related work and have requested ideas/proposals
  8. ATCO crossing agreement near Jason Witbeck property – ATCO has a pipeline crossing a RID ditch near Jason Witbeck’s property and have never obtained a Utility Right of Way for the pipeline. ATCO would like an agreement going and due to the original line be renewed.

On Motion by John McKee and carried, the Board approved ATCO’s proposed Utility Right of Way.Next meeting date – Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 9:00 AM in the RID board room.

  1. Motion to adjourn – There being no further business the meeting ended at 2:02 PM on motion by John McKee.
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