Highlights of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Raymond Irrigation District held Wednesday January 21, 2015 commencing at 9:00 AM in the RID Board Room.
Attending: Byron Wilde Chairman, John McKee Vice Chairman, Gordon ZoBell, General Manager and recording clerk, Mark Jensen Operations Manager and Kelvin Kado, Offiice Manager as required. Director Alan Heggie was absent due to illness.
IRP Project Update given by Mark Jensen
IRP 2280 W#5 phase 3 – Construction is progressing well.
IRP 2307 – W#5 phase 4 – included in 3 year plan.
IRP 2308 – Ortho Photo’s – included in the 3 year plan
Maintenance report – Mark showed the board a slide presentation outlining work completed over the past month.
Irrican Power – Kelvin Kado – 2014 Year-end Financial Statement for October 31, 2014 has been completed and we have an exit meeting this Friday at 10:30 am. Results of the audit will be available on Friday and will be reported to the board next Wednesday. All income for the 2014 year has been received, including Fortis Option “M”. No more incoming funds until May, after we start generating next April. . ICPC Board meeting and AGM will be next Wednesday January 28, 2015 at SMRID.
RID Financial – Kelvin Kado – Payments continue to come in. The A/R outstanding to November 17, 2014 was $34,379.07 down from $77,518.78 the previous month. This is low considering that $10,106.25 is due from the Village of Stirling, $2,583.00 from the County of Warner and $2,433.88 from ICPC leaving only $19,253.94 from irrigation rates and custom work (this might a new record, last year was $22,386.00). I sent out reminder notices with a note to those that are on Rate enforcement,
We are getting RID year end information put together, so we can have it ready for Doug Wilde Accounting for the first of February. I expect to have T-4’s ready for February 15, 2015
Time to start looking at budget items, is there any capital purchases that we need to consider for the upcoming budget? Any equipment updates required? We have capital funds on deposit for this. Donation towards the evasive species program, to come from capital funds or operating capital. Perhaps a bit of both, but in order to do so this may be the year to up our rates to $10.50. Inflation has been increasing at a rate of 1.5%/year +/-. CPI is steadily decreasing since October 2014, primarily due to drop in gasoline prices. The total effect of this price drop is unclear at this time, should the price stay low for most of 2015 it would change other commodities and inflation categories, which in turn we may see lower CPI then could see a jump in the future. Increase of $.50/acre increases our gross income for irrigators, household another by approximately $28,000.00. We last changed our rates in 2012. Our rates could handle operating capital needs for probably 1 more year. These are items for future consideration.
Expansion Plebiscite in the RID – Gordon read a letter from Jennifer Nitschelm regarding the timeline of a plebiscite. The RID has fulfilled its DDIT requirements for the time being and it is up to date. The next suggestion is for the board to determine what percentage of expansion should be modeled. Jennifer suggested that the board may wish to have the new director for Raymond in place prior to making this decision. The board agreed with this suggestion and will discuss the matter in the March 2015 regular RID board meeting.
Advisory Committee Meeting – The next meeting will be held January 28th commencing at 9:30 PM at the SMRID board room. RID Chairman Byron Wilde and Manager Gordon ZoBell will attend.
RID Strategic Plan – including remaining IRP projects and more GIS overlay on Map Info. – The suggestion to develop a plan was discussed at length by the board. It is felt that the new Raymond director should be in place prior to commencing with the project. Darin Wilde of Wilde Brothers Engineering joined the meeting for this segment of the agenda. Gordon, Mark and Darin went over all remaining IRP projects that could be constructed within the RID to complete the rehabilitation of over 90% of the delivery system. The projects were not in any order of priority. That is yet to be determined. Below is a list that does not include the proposed main pipelines as outlined in the districts “Master Pipeline Plan” created in February of 2008. The list is as follows.
- W#5 – completion 2017/2018
- Nine Mile deliveries
- WS #2&4 – Baker Sugimoto areas
- W#2 – Twinning
- RS#4 – expansion east
- R8-1 – Twinning
- Old Raymond canal – pipeline
- R#15 – Pipe to Stirling drain area
- Kipp Coulee – Hancock dam improvements
- S#16&17 – on 3 year plan
- Craddock to Stirling lateral
- New Dayton lateral
After reviewing this list and looking at the areas on the overhead aerial photo map the board was pleased with the suggestions that staff had outlined. Gordon noted that he would like to create a possible 10 year plan that would prioritize the projects and show which projects could be completed on a yearly basis depending on available IRP funding. The board expressed concerns that funding was at risk due to the current down turn in oil revenues in the Province and that our local MLA needed to be kept in the loop as to the importance of the funding to the irrigators and the public. Irrigation is one of the few funding areas where there is an actual expansion factor where more dollars are returned to the Provincial economy than given by the Province for IRP work. Gordon and Darin then went over what the “District Data Irrigation Tool” (DDIT) has to offer to the RID and of what information is kept within the program. They also reviewed additional GIS information that could be gleaned from Alberta Agriculture and placed on our map Info program or a similar program to it. All the works of the district could be recorded in a digital format with turn out locations pipeline locations pipeline sizing etc. Much of the information already exists but in a more general form. Gordon asked permission of the board to meet with Larry Kwasny of AAFRD to determine how much information could be transferred from the governments system to ours. We would then have Jeff Lowry of Wilde Brothers Engineering organize the information for us on our Map Info or equivalent program. This first phase of the project will not require a great deal of cost but will aim the district in a direction that will allow us the determine just how far we would like to go and how much the total cost would be to create a more complete GIS system of the works. The board was very supportive of the idea and suggested that staff report back to them at least monthly on the progress being made. When it is determined what the final outcome should be staff will report back with a solid number regarding the proposed cost and ask for the board’s approval to proceed further at that time. Darin Wilde was thanked for his time and left the meeting following this presentation.
Directors Items – It was noted that Alan Heggie has undergone an operation and has cancer in an area of his bowel. He has been in hospital for approximately one month and has been visited on a few occasions by the Manager and Chairman. Alan is deciding on what type of treatment he will undergo and is reported to be in good spirits.
AIPA – Executive Committee report – Andy Strang – The report was circulated to the RID board previous to the meeting. Byron asked how the payment for Andy’s time was determined. It was noted that each of the 7 smallest districts pay their portion based on acres. Gordon also noted that a letter to Premier Jim Prentice has been sent by the AIPA showing a list of needed major projects for the irrigation sector. This was in response to a suggestion made by the Premier earlier to the irrigators of the Province. Byron and Gordon also noted that the Province will match funds aimed at the training of more sniffer dogs for the Invasive mussel concern. Several districts led by the EID have made significant donations toward this cause of late.
RID Seminar and Annual meeting March 19, 2015 – Gordon went over the Seminar agenda with the board. The seminar will commence at 9:00 PM. It was noted that the RID Annual Meeting will be held in the afternoon of the same date at the same venue commencing at 2:00 PM in the Raymond Agricultural Society Main building.
Irrigation acre transfer – 15 acres from: Plan 1345 Lots 68 -70, NW-11-6-21-W4 Linc 0018 054 973 Stelfox To: 10 to SW-30-6-20-W4 and 5 to E1/2-30-6-20-W4 LW Dennis Farms Ltd. Approved by the board on motion by John McKee and carried.
Irrigation acre transfer from: 10 acres NW-30-6-20-W4 To: E1/2-30-6-20-W4, all LW Dennis Farms Ltd.- Approved by the board on motion by John McKee and carried.
ORRSC – Horvath – NW-33-6-20-W4 – To split a previously un-subdivided quarter of 155.2 acres into two equal titles, each parcel being 77.60 acres respectively in size, for agricultural use. Collectively these parcels have 148 irrigation acres with the delivery turnout located on the east central portion of the property. On motion by Byron Wilde the board approved the subdivision on condition that 75 irrigation acres will be assigned to the north parcel and 73 irrigation acres to the south parcel. In the event that an additional turnout is required in the future to serve the parcels, the owner must pay for its installation under RID supervision at that time. Carried
Next meeting date – undetermined for February