November 18, 2022 Board Meeting Highlights
  • The agenda for the meeting was approved on motion by Rod Wendorff and carried.
  • The Minutes of the October 17, 2022 board meeting were approved on motion by Craig Palmer and carried.

Business Arising

  • O&M Report and AIM Project Update:

The AIM RS4 project is now completed. The certificate of completion and final progress certificate have been submitted to the GOA and CIB. The crew is currently working on the Welling #5 Extension project. The road crossings are completed and the crew is now focused on pipelining.

  • Staffing:

The Board discussed Christmas bonuses and decided to continue with the same bonus as in the past years.

  • Irrican – Jason and Amanda reported:

Irrican’s fiscal year end is October 31. We will begin assembling the year end binder and make year end adjusting enters over the next couple of weeks.

Amanda provided an update of the RID solar projects. From January to October 7-1 panels had a net expense of $625.09; for 8-2 the net expense was $7,664.77; and, for the shop the net expense was $431.35. Without the solar panels the combined expense for all sites would have been $54,658.74. The solar created a significant expense savings and we still have 2 more months of solar generation before year end. We also had a few months of down time during the year, which happened to be during the best months for solar production. Next year we anticipate a little surplus rather than a net expense. In December, 7-1 and 8-2 users will be billed a total $55,000 for the energy fund.  

On motion made by Rod Wendorff and carried, the Board approves moving $50,000 into the 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union to beginning rebuilding the energy savings investment account that originally paid for the solar panel installation.

Amanda and Jason shared with the board frustrations they are having with glitches in our accounting software: users were not billed, interest was not calculated correctly, and IT help has been very slow. The Board discussed the software, and expressed appreciation for the improvement the current software made to the district, but recognized it was time to explore new accounting software platforms.

  • Snowpack Report / Water Supply Forecast / RID Diversion:

The Board reviewed the most recent reservoir report. As of October 17, the combined AEP headworks storage and SMRID storage was 56% full. Last year at this time it was 19% full. We have not received a snowpack report for this winter yet, but individuals that frequent the mountains report a lot of snow for this time of year. Snow and cold temperatures are in the forecast.

  • Project planning update – Jason reported:
    • 9 Mile & North – We have some of the pipe for the project. The rest of the pipe will be delivered in December/January. We will begin the 9 Mile once Welling #5 Extension is completed.
    • Cross Coulee Pipeline – Jenex has started the project. We anticipate to receive the rest of the pipe by the 1st week of December.
    • GPS – In January/February/March 2023, Darin will begin working towards a final design that can be peer reviewed. Our goal is to have a final design ready within a year. The big set back we are facing is the availability of PVC pipe. We have started to explore HDPE as an alternative to PVC.
    • Welling #5 to Hill – Road crossing are completed and we are working on the pipe installation.
    • New Dayton CPR Crossing – Darin Wilde is working with CPR engineers to finalize a design plan to replace the structure.

  • 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:

Lloyd Dennis offered to sell his telehandler to the district for $70,000. The telehandler is in rough shape: broken door, lights do not work, damaged and missing fenders, can only operate in low gear, heater does not work, etc. Based on the condition, Jason recommended not buying Lloyd’s telehandler at that price. Evcon provided a quote for a new, but old model, telehandler similar to Lloyd’s for $125,000. Unfortunately, Evcon cannot local one to sell. The Board discussed options and asked Jason to search for available telehandlers.

New Business

  • Directors’ Items:

No business was brought forward.

  • Irrican & Main Canal Meeting Update – Jason and John reported:

The Irrican & Main Canal quarterly meeting happened on October 20. Irrican had great news. Revenue is predicted to be close to $26M. In addition, part of the Renuwell solar panel projects was commissioned on November 2.

  • IRP 3 Year Plan:

Jason presented the IRP 3 year plan to the Board. The Board discussed the projects, particularly the 9 Mile Phase 4. This project will convert the WS3 and WS4 ditches to a closed pipeline and will tie into the 9 Mile and North AIM project.

Jason also shared a proposal from SMRID. The chute that bypasses the Chin power plant needs to be replaced. The cost to replace the chute is $26M. As the Chin chute is part of the Main Canal, the RID is responsible for 10% of the cost ($2.6M). SMRID will be putting the project into their IRP 3 year plan and asked us to include it in the RID plan. The Board discussed the options and determine it would be best to include the project in our 3 year plan. The Main Canal agreement with SMRID is set to be reviewed this winter, which may change the RID’s obligations for main canal costs and thereby change the need for the RID to include the Chin chute on our IRP 3 year plan. Once SMRID completes the detailed information on the Chin chute upgrade, Jason will add it to our IRP 3 year plan so the Board can review and approve it at the next Board meeting.

The Board is very grateful for IRP funding and is very happy with the AIDA’s lobbying efforts to increase IRP funding. This would be a great benefit for all districts.

  • Schneider Sub-line – Jason presented the following request:

Gary and Barbara Schneider receive water from the 8-2 year round line. They have a household purposes agreement to water their lawn, garden, and trees. They also have a filtration system and use it for their potable water needs. Their subline is a private line paid for and installed by the users. Their neighbor was the manager of the line, but he moved and the new landowner became responsible for management of the line. Over the years 2 additional landowners, adjacent to the line, requested to be added to it. The manager of the line provided his consent and they received 1” to 1½” turnouts. Schneiders have now lodged a complaint with the RID that they have insufficient water volume and pressure to water their lawn and for the requirements of their home.

The Board discussed the situation and while sympathetic to Schneider’s situation determined that since the line is a private line and not RID infrastructure, the issue will need to be resolved by the owners of the line. It was discussed that since the issue just recently started, but the users, including the 2 additional users, have been operating for some time, it seems likely that the issues are somewhere on the Schneider’s personal infrastructure. The Board suggests one solution would be for the Schneiders to install a cistern, so that they have a supply of water to assist in their high use periods, and that will continually be refilled from the pipeline. Jason will provide a written response to schneider’s complaint outlining the Board’s position and suggestions.   

  • Audit RFP

The Board discussed the sending out an Audit RFP because we have had the same auditors for many years, to ensure we have competitive pricing, and to give local auditors a chance to submit a proposal. Jason will send out RFPs to MWG, Avail, MNP in Medicine Hat, Price & Comin, and BDO. The RFPs are to be submitted to the office by December 13 at 4:00pm. The RID will evaluate the RFPs not solely on price, but on the entire RFP submission and the Board’s confidence in the auditor.

  • Software/Hardware Update (including DDIT)

Office staff shared with the Board several points of improvement that could be done within the office. Particularly, concerns were raised about our accounting software and suggested that starting January 1, the RID migrate to a more common program that is current, has customer support, has an online platform, and that can email invoices. Concerns were also raised about our website provider. Stewart Foss setup our website and has since moved onto a full time job and no longer does website work.

Jason also shared a proposal to develop our own crop reporting tool. This would replace the DDIT program. In speaking with the GOA, they suggesting changing to a map-based program that would be more user friendly and easier to enter data. They do not have a program developed and encouraged the RID to look into private contractors and discuss with other districts. Jason has spoken with Wilde Bros. Engineer and they feel they have staff in place that could develop a map based DDIT for a cost of $5,000 – $10,000.  

The Board discussed the office IT and felt it was time to look into changing our accounting software and IT support. They also recognize the importance of accurately monitoring crops and irrigation data for the GOA. Administration will continue working with Wilde Bros. Engineering and the GOA to develop a new map based DDIT.

  • Next Meeting Date

The next meeting is set for December 22, 2022 and we will have a Christmas lunch for the Board and staff.

Motion to adjourn – There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 12:30 pm on motion by Rod Wendorff.