- The agenda for the meeting was approved on motion by Rod Wendorff and carried.
- The Minutes of the November 18, 2022 board meeting were approved on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.
- O&M Report and AIM Project Update:
Cody shared a slideshow of pictures taken over the last month of repairs & maintenance and pipelining activities and then Jason and Cody summarized the current projects:
9 Mile & North – we have received some pipe and Ipex has confirmed that the rest of the pipe will arrive in January. After Christmas break, the crew will start on this project. The 2 road crossings are lined up with Syncor for the 2nd week in January.
Cross Coulee Pipeline – Jenex has installed 4,750 m out of 9,500 m. They are moving quickly and doing a good job. They still have to replace the topsoil and level the trench. In the last week Brian Hicken purchase the property owned by the Bert Hall Farm Ltd. Mr. Hicken would like to add these properties to the pipeline and have 1 – 130 acre pivot, 1 – 65 acre pivot, and 2 – 90 acre pivots. We originally planned future expansion for the project with a turnout for the 2 – 90 acres pivots. Wilde Brothers Engineering reviewed Mr. Hicken’s proposal and determined that all 4 pivots can be added to the system; however, the 2 – 90 acre pivots would have to operate 1 at a time. Brian also asked for a guarantee that he can obtain acres, now or in the future, at the current rate of $2,000/acre. The Board discussed this and agreed they could provide an annual agreement to Mr. Hicken until such time as additional acres are available. The Board discussed providing a price guarantee and determined it would not be possible to provide a price guarantee. Whenever new acres are sold, it will be at the current capital asset charge as set in our annual bylaw. Jason will share the Board’s determination with Mr. Hicken and report back to the Board next meeting.
GPS – Wilde Brothers Engineering continues to work on the design of the GPS system.
Welling #5 extension – Project is substantially completed. The final tie in and top soil replacement was completed just before the weather turned extremely cold. We will need to use the dozer and grader for a day in the spring to level the trench out.
New Dayton CPR Crossing – Wilde Brothers Engineering continued to work with CPR to approve a plan to replace the culverts that cross the CPR’s Montana Subline. The project has been added to our IRP 3 year plan.
- Irrican – Jason and Amanda reported:
SMRID is finalizing some of the solar and revenue numbers and then we will begin assembling the year end binder.
The Board discussed the AIM projects and asked Jason to prepare a cash flow in the coming months to review our commitments to CIB and to each project. In particular, the Chin expansion project that has doubled in projected cost.
- Snowpack Report / Water Supply Forecast / RID Diversion / DDIT:
The Board reviewed the most recent snow pack and reservoir report. The snowpack looks great for this time of year. Reservoir levels appear to be similar to last year. DDIT is completed and submitted to GOA. Our acres are broken down as follows:
|2022 Acres||2021 Acres|
|Forages||22,434 (44%)||21,328 (43%)|
|Cereals||17,777 (35%)||17,274 (35%)|
|Oil Seeds||9,786 (19%)||10,540 (21%)|
|Specialty||1,332 (2%)||481 (1%)|
- Irrigating Alberta Inc. (“IAI”)– Jason reported:
Jason continues to attend the monthly IAI Board meetings and act as the Secretary. Nothing significant to report.
- Equipment – Jason reported:
The crew demoed a small telehandler from Evcon. Cody reported that it worked great and was very helpful, but was a little under sized for our needs. Jason presented a spec sheet from Evcon comparing the demoed telehandler to the next size larger (TL723). The RID crew has used the larger sized telehandler in past and it works great for our needs. The cost of the TL723 new is $142,000 plus attachments. The Board discussed if a telehandler was needed. The Board liked how a telehandler would alleviate wear and tear on our loader and felt it was a good investment.
On motion made by Rod Wendorff and carried, the RID Board approves the purchase of a new TL723 Bobcat telehandler and the needed attachments.
- IRP 3 Year Plan – Jason presented:
The Board reviewed the 3 year plan. It included 2 new projects for 2023: the New Dayton CPR Crossing, and the first year of the Chin Chute Replacement.
On motion made by John McKee and carried, the RID Board approves the 2023/24-2025/26 IRP 3 year plan.
- Audit RFP Results – Jason reported:
We received 3 responses for our request for audit services proposal. The Board reviewed the plans and references.
On motion made by Craig Palmer and carried, the RID Board appoints MWG Chartered Professional Accountants as the RID auditors for the next 3 years (2022-2025).
- Software/Hardware/DDIT Update – Jason reported:
Jason discussed the RID’s plan to create a new DDIT program using a GIS mapping structure with Jollin Charest at Alberta Ag. Other districts are working on similar projects and Jollin thought there might be some opportunities to collaborate with each other. Wilde Brothers Engineering has started the project, but the RID now needs to provide parcel and acre information to them. In the new year Amanda and Jason will gather the information and give it to Wilde Brothers Engineering.
- CLAS Presentation:
The management team from CLAS (Canadian Land Access System) shared a PowerPoint presentation to the Board. They would like to partner with the RID to share their product information to RID landowners. There product puts individuals looking to access land, in communication with the landowner. The Board reviewed CLAS’ request and decided to allow CLAS to share a brief presentation at our AGM in March 2023.
- Directors’ Items:
John noted that he has received several thank you phone calls from irrigators that received new irrigation acres in the fall.
- Irrigation Council – Request for Input on “IRP Allocation Formula & Future Need”:
Jason shared a letter from Irrigation Council requesting input on the current IRP allocation formula and district’s future IRP needs. The Board discussed the request and Jason will put the main points into a letter to Irrigation Council. Some of the main points included:
- The RID is very grateful for the IRP program. It has enabled the RID to continuously improve the districts infrastructure.
- The RID is hoping IRP funding levels will return to funding levels from several years ago.
- Costs continue to rise for projects; an increase to IRP would make it possible to continue completed projects in a timely manner.
- The RID has many more IRP projects in the planning stages so there is a continued need for the IRP program.
- The RID would find it very helpful if IRP could be expanded to include new irrigation infrastructure rather than just rehabilitation of existing infrastructure.
- AIDA –John/Craig/Jason reported:
The AIDA virtual AGM was on December 9 and attended by John, Craig, and Jason. The Board expressed their appreciation to AIDA for their continued hard work. The RID is especially grateful for AIDA’s efforts to advocate irrigation to federal and provincial governments.
Magrath will be taking over from John representing the small districts on the AIDA executive. John has done a great job on the executive and the RID appreciates his willingness to service on the executive for the last 3 years.
The AIDA conference is scheduled from February 6-8 in Calgary. Jason asked the Board to let him know who would be attending so he can book rooms and register everyone for the conference.
- Minimum Acre Buyback Proposal:
The RID has 551 minimum irrigation acre parcels in the district. Generally, these are all small parcels (acreages) with a few irrigation acres. These parcels can be irrigated under a household purposes agreement and the irrigation acres can be transferred to farmland. Jason suggested offering to buy back as many of the minimum acre parcels as possible as a rate of $2,000/irrigation acre. The Board discussed the proposal and agreed to purchase back irrigation acres from minimum parcels at a rate of $2,000/irrigation acre.
- Next Meeting Date
The next meeting is set for January 18, 2023.
Motion to adjourn – There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 3:40 pm on motion by Rod Wendorff.