Unofficial Minutes of the
Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011, 1 p.m.
Harlowton Library, Harlowton, Montana

In Attendance: Jim Schladweiler, Lon Sibley (proxy for Bill Edwards), David Picchioni, (new appointment of the Roundup City Council) of Roundup; Jim Kalitowski, Harlowton; Thad Bassett, Melstone; Bob Church, Great West Engineering; Pam Higgins, Mid-West Assistance Program; Monty Sealey, Central Montana RC&D Coordinator and Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator. (Jeff Sell, Harlowton, by proxy).

Call to Order:
Jim Kalitowski called the meeting to order. There wasn’t a quorum of members, so these minutes are unofficial.

Approval of Oct. 12, 2011 Unofficial Minutes: The Oct. 12 meeting didn’t have a quorum of members, so the notes presented are not part of the official record, however they were unanimously approved as presented.

Treasurer’s Report & Current Bills: Jim Schladweiler, treasurer, reported a checking balance of $169,341.68. One bill was presented for $4,502 from Great West Engineering under Amendment #7. Jim S. made a motion to pay the bill, seconded by Thad and unanimously approved. This leaves a balance of $169,341.68.

Audit: Monty said he has a draft of the audit that he received the previous day. He said there were some balances that didn’t look right, but he visited with the auditor and they’ve found the error. Monty will bring the audit to the next meeting and ask the group to review it, along with the tax return. There were no audit exceptions besides what they’ve had in the past.

By-law Changes: CMRWA is having a hard time conducting business due to lack of a quorum, so changes to the by-laws are proposed. Proposed changes include:

Article VIII, Meetings:
• Page 1, Section 1: Add Broadview to the list of entities in the water authority and add Yellowstone County to the counties’ list.
• Page 4, Section 2: To the sentence regarding “Notice of meetings shall be given by first class mail to each Director of record,” amend to read “shall be given by electronic notice to each Director of record…”
• Page 4, Section 5: Change “The majority of the membership shall constitute a quorum…” to “Five members, including those who attend by proxy or by telephone, shall constitute a quorum.”
Article IX, Executive Committee
• Page 4, Section 1: Take out the sentence, “The Executive Committee cannot consist of two directors from the same participating system.”

Monty will send hard copies of the proposed changes to every jurisdiction in the water authority.

Amendment #6 Feasibility Report: Bob Church said this will go on the “backburner” for awhile, as Bureau of Reclamation said not to submit the feasibility until the Ubet Well is complete. Bob said the feasibility is 95% complete, but the test well results from Ubet are needed. The budgeted amounts for the following work items and what was actually spent thus far is as follows:
Budgeted Actual
Socio-Economic Studies: $7,000 $6,972.73
Real Property Studies: $15,000 $12,098.64
#3 Environmental Assess.: $15,000 $1,571.50
#4 Feasibility: $70,000 $71,007.11 (95% complete)

Bob said the EA that Reclamation required was significantly less than they thought, which explains why it’s so far under budget. However, the feasibility has gone over, as Reclamation required more information. It’s likely that another $4,000 or $5,000 will be spent in feasibility.

Amendment #7 Ubet Well Report: This phase is the design, specifications and bidding for the next well. Monty noted that he had drawn more than was needed in Reclamation funds for this and was trying to return $4,786.73. He said no historical culture reconnaissance will be required on the Ubet well, so Monty requested that these funds be used for a cultural survey and Reclamation said that was fine. Tetra Tech will do the cultural survey on the landowner’s land where the Ubet well will be located. Tetra Tech will have that report by the end of the year. The landowner visited with Monty and Bob and indicated he plans on signing an agreement. A final contract and cover letter will be sent with a request to get a signature by Jan. 15, 2012.

Discussion continued about re-advertising for the drilling of the Ubet well in January with the bid opening by February, anticipating having the driller ready in early spring if an acceptable bid is received. Bob said the specifications and well design will be changed, which should bring the cost down.

Legislative Request for Project Authorization: Monty said staffers from Sen. Baucus and Sen. Tester’s offices were at a meeting in Roundup and said CMRWA should get started on its authorization request.

Election Committee for New Officers: Current officers include Joel Marking, chairman; Jim Kalitowski, vice chair and Jim Schladweiler, secretary/treasurer. Nominations include Jim K. as chairman, Thad as vice chair and Jim S. to continue as secretary/treasurer. An election will take place at the next meeting.

Public Outreach: Carrie and Pam were asked to hold off on finalizing a new brochure, in hopes of having more information about the next well.

Other Business: After the Ubet well drilling, the water authority will be getting low on funds, so the board needs to be thinking about its next funding request. DNRC and Bureau of Reclamation requests were discussed.

Next Meeting Date: The next regular meeting is set for Feb. 8, 2012 at 1 p.m. in the Roundup Council Chambers. With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Minutes prepared and respectfully submitted by:
Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator

Unofficial Minutes of the
Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, 1 p.m.
Harlowton Library, Harlowton, Montana

In Attendance: Jim Schladweiler, Lon Sibley (proxy for Bill Edwards), Roundup; Jim Kalitowski , Harlowton; Bob Church, Great West Engineering; Rick Duncan, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation; Pam Higgins, Mid-West Assistance Program; Monty Sealey, Central Montana RC&D Coordinator and Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator. (Thad Bassett, Melstone, by proxy).

Call to Order: Jim Kalitowski called the meeting to order in absence of Chairman Joel Marking. There wasn’t a quorum of members, so these minutes are unofficial.

Approval of Sept. 14, 2011 Unofficial Minutes: The Sept. 14 meeting didn’t have a quorum of members, so the notes presented by Monty Sealey are not part of the official record, however they were unanimously approved as presented.

Treasurer’s Report & Current Bills: Jim Schladweiler, treasurer, reported that since the September meeting, bills include $375 to Jim Hubble’s office, $29,980 to Great West Engineering, $230 to Electric Service Shop related to the survey, and $1,905 to the Musselshell Community Foundation, also for work on the survey. Bills presented today include $287 to the Times Clarion newspaper for the RFP for drilling of the Ubet well, two invoices from Great West including $8,824 for work on Amendment 6 and $7,661.47 for work on Amendment 7. After these bills are paid, it leaves a balance of $169,337.65. Monty said that all funding available for the next two years (but not drawn down yet) includes the $300,000 DNRC grant awarded for work on the well, $365,000 of the $500,000 grant from Bureau of Reclamation (the balance goes to Reclamation for review of the feasibility, etc.), and $286,000 from the DNRC two-year appropriation. Jim S. made a motion, seconded by Lon Sibley and unanimously approved to accept the treasurer’s report and pay the bills.

Status Report, Amendment #6, Feasibility Report: Bob Church reported that the feasibility report is 90% complete. They were waiting to see if they could do the Ubet test well before completing the feasibility for Reclamation. They have about $10,000 left of this contract. Bob also reported that they didn’t use all of the appraisal funding from Reclamation (under contract Amendment #5) and CMRWA will turn back about $50,000 to Reclamation. Monty is working on his quarterly and close-out report for that grant. The new Reclamation grant awarded this year falls under Amendments 6 and 7. Reclamation will be paid $135,000, leaving a balance of $365,000 for CMRWA.

Status Report, Amendment #7, Ubet Well: The contract for this amendment is about $110,000 for Great West. Monty said total reserves (as outlined during the treasurer’s report above), are about $1,111,000. This amount will be the funding for the next two years. Only two companies submitted bids for the Ubet test well and both were much higher than the engineer’s base bid estimate of $721,013, additive alternate #1 of $115,518 (temporary pumping system and hourly pumping test work) and additive alternate #2 of $60,000 for acid fracture stimulation. The group discussed the two bids and felt that there were several line items that were estimated to cost far more than they should. As the bids exceeded available funding for the project, the group asked Bob to notify the bidders that both bids have been rejected due to lack of funding. It will be too late in the season to rebid and do the drilling before winter. Lon made a motion, seconded by Jim S. and unanimously approved that CMRWA rebid the well after the first of the year, with a clause to reserve CMRWA’s right to negotiate. Rick said he will discuss the clause language with DNRC’s chief legal counsel.

Future Meeting Schedule – Quorum Issues: As CMRWA is in a holding pattern until the Ubet well issue is settled, the group decided to meet every other month with the next meeting being held Dec. 14. As there have been problems in reaching a quorum, the group felt that there should be an item on the agenda to change the bylaws regarding quorum from a required 6 to 5 members.

Other Business: Rick said DNRC is willing to print updated brochures. Pam and Carrie will work on the update and get it to Rick.

Monty said a couple of ladies from Roundup are trying to get legislative attention on Roundup’s poor water quality. The water is so poor that they must change their water filters weekly and they took a plugged filter to the Congressional staff offices in Billings to prove their point. They plan on continuing their campaign to get Montana’s Congressional delegation to support efforts to get a new water source to improve water quality.

Next Meeting: The next meeting will be Wed., Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. in the Harlowton Library. With no other business the meeting was adjourned.

Minutes prepared and respectfully submitted by:
Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator

Notes From September 14, 2011 Meeting of Central Montana Regional Water Authority

Those in attendance at the meeting held in Roundup included: Jim Schladweiler, Roundup; Lon Sibley, Roundup: Thad Bassett, Melstone; Bill Edwards, Mayor of Roundup; Monty Sealey and Rick Duncan, DNRC; Bob Church from Great West Engineering. One proxy from Jim Kalitowski.

The meeting was called to order by Treasurer Schladweiler. It was noted that there was a lack of a Quorum.

The Treasurer’s report included bills of $32,390.03 to Great West Engineering and $3,200.00 to The Musselshell Valley Community Foundation. The check to the Foundation was a reimbursement for work done by their staff on the survey conducted up and down the project area. The reported balance after paying the bills was $186,110.12

The primary discussion was about the logistics of the bidding process for the Ubet Well project. Bob reported that 3 companies had participated in the Pre-Bid conference. The schedule for the drilling project was explained. The group also discussed finishing the Lease Agreements with the landowner and a site visit to accomplish that. Some discussion was conducted about the role Bureau of Mines could play in the project; primarily area monitoring.

Bob and Monty reported about the meeting with BoR on August 23, related to the work to be done under the new contract with them. Great West is trying to update our CCR registration, a requirement to receive federal funds. Bob also indicated there would be a small overrun in the budget in the feasibility work being done because of the preparation work of the next application to BoR.

We need to forward survey results and other Socioeconomic information to BoR. Sealey indicated he would work on that.

A short notice that we need to address adjustments to our meeting schedule and Quorum Issues. That will be on the next meeting agenda.

Next Meeting time and location will be in Harlowton on October 12. At that time there should be a report about bids for the Ubet well project.

Monty L. Sealey, Project Administrator

Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 1 p.m.
Harlowton Library, Harlowton, Montana

In Attendance: Jim Schladweiler, Bill Edwards, Roundup; Jeff Sell, Harlowton; Bob Church, Great West Engineering; Stephanie Micek, Bureau of Reclamation; Rick Duncan, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation; Pam Higgins, Mid-West Assistance Program; Monty Sealey, Central Montana RC&D Coordinator and Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator. (Jim Kalitowski, Harlowton and Thad Bassett, Melstone, by proxy).

Call to Order and Introductions: Jim Schladweiler called the meeting to order in absence of Chairman Joel Marking.

Approval of May 11, 2011 Minutes: The meeting that was scheduled for June 8 was cancelled due to the flooding in the region. Jeff Sell made a motion, seconded by Bill Edwards and unanimously approved to accept the May 11, 2011 minutes as presented.

Treasurer’s Report & Current Bills: Jim Schladweiler, treasurer, reported that since the last meeting, $14,900 has been deposited from DNRC and invoices were presented from Great West for work on Amendment 5 and 6 totaling $38,213.01, leaving a balance of $221,800.15. Jim noted that Check #428 for $36,260.91 to Great West has been misplaced and is being replaced with check #431. Jeff made a motion which was unanimously accept the treasurer’s report and approve replacement of the missing check.

Rick Duncan said the current DNRC appropriation is going to be reduced by $6,000 each year; the total two-year appropriation was $298,000 and will be $286,000 the next biennium. Rick said that once the contract on the new audit is in place, funds can be drawn down and 25-50% can be taken out of the annual appropriation if needed.

Audit Contract: Loren Randall, CPA, has been conducting the CMRWA audit. The next scheduled audit will be conducted Aug. 31, 2011, and Monty asked if the board wanted to retain Loren’s services. Jeff made a motion, seconded by Bill and unanimously approved to have Loren Randall conduct the audit.

Bureau of Reclamation Award and Contract: Bob Church with Great West told the board that Bureau of Reclamation awarded $500,000 to CMRWA to complete the feasibility and to drill a test well at the Ubet site near Garneill. Stephanie Micek with BoR said they have a draft contract and it should be finalized in the next few weeks. A contract amendment for engineering for also be needed. Discussion followed on the desire to do the test well this year and the cost variables. It was also noted that of the $500,000, BoR will keep $135,000 for the review cost. Match is 50/50 and includes the pre-award costs incurred by CMRWA. BoR funding can’t be used for a production well, so this will be a test well and the bid will include an option to convert to a production well later. Due to the time considerations, Monty asked the board to authorize the chairman to sign the BoR contract. Jeff made that motion, seconded by Bill and unanimously approved.

Landowner Contract: The contract with the landowner at the Ubet site is also still being finalized. Bob said he is working on an exhibit map with boundaries as the landowner doesn’t want the well close to his homestead. Monty also asked the board for permission to sign the contract with the landowner when it’s finalized by the attorney. Bill made that motion, seconded by Jeff and unanimously approved.

Status Report for Work on Appraisal Report: The appraisal is approved by BoR and the final copy has been sent to the Denver. Monty will do the final billing and report.

Contract Amendment #6 Progress Report: Bob had a draft Real Property study which looks at the preferred pipeline route. Discussion followed on following the public right of way as much as possible, NEPA compliance and occupancy agreements. Stephanie said BoR can be part of the team on this and she complimented Great West on the study. Bob said Great West is assembling all of the reports for the feasibility to pull into one final feasibility.

Agency Reports/Comments: The socio-economic survey didn’t go out as soon as anticipated because of the flooding, but Monty said it will go out in the next week and results tabulated soon thereafter.

Other: Rick discussed state funding of $3.92 million for regional water projects authorized by the legislature for the next biennium. The last biennium, $15 million was authorized.

Next Meeting Location: The next meeting is set for Wed., Aug. 10 in the Roundup City Hall at 1 p.m. With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Minutes prepared and respectfully submitted by:
Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator

Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 1 p.m.
Roundup City Hall, Roundup, Montana

In Attendance: Jim Schladweiler, Long Sibley, Bill Edwards, Roundup; Jim Kalitowski, Harlowton; Thad Bassett, Melstone; Susan Hayes, Great West Engineering; Nick Clos, Montana Rural Water Systems, Great Falls; Monty Sealey, Central Montana RC&D Coordinator and Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator. (Jack Thoreson, Broadview, and Jeff Sell, Harlowton, by proxy.)

Call to Order and Introductions: Jim Kalitowski called the meeting to order in absence of Chairman Joel Marking.

Approval of April 13, 2011 Minutes: Thad Bassett made a motion to accept the April 13, 2011 minutes as presented, seconded by Bill Edwards and unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report & Current Bills: Jim Schladweiler, treasurer, reported a checking balance of $281,444.10. Since the last meeting, invoices from Great West Engineering were paid totaling $41,351.11. Bills presented include two from Great West: work on Amendment #5 for $18,907.43 and for Amendment #6, $17,353.48, totaling $36,260.90; a claim for Jim K. for travel, $70, leaving a balance of $245,113.16. Jim S. made a motion to pay the bills, seconded by Bill E. and unanimously approved.

Public Comment: None.

Great West Progress Report Appraisal Report Contract Amendment #5: Susan Hayes presented the revised Innovative Technologies Evaluation to the board. She noted that the cost estimates were revised to more accurately reflect the costs to communities if they were to install reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment systems. The report explored costs for Roundup, Harlowton, Musselshell and Judith Gap. The summary of those costs estimates is that for Roundup, the cost of a RO would be $84.60 per user (including debt service, O&M and the existing rate), compared with the Musselshell-Judith River Water System’s (MJRWS) $67.88 (there would actually be a decrease in O&M because of the elimination of pumping, chlorine and some maintenance of the system); for Harlowton, RO would be $137.22 (financing and O&M costs) per user compared with $43.40 for the MJRWS. Ryegate RO would be $82.57 vs. $43.40 for the MJRWS. Reverse osmosis treatment systems in Broadview, Lavina, Melstone and Hobson were also explored and the conclusion is that capital and O&M costs of addressing both water quality and quantity in communities this size would be much greater than the cost per EDU to connect to the regional water system.

Other conclusions from this report are that water re-use is not a viable alternative, the use of a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system is an excellent tool for operation of the regional water system, hydro-powered generators won’t save energy in the long-term but will help minimize capital costs in the short-term by not requiring connection to the power grid, use of in-line metering will minimize water losses and help the operator properly monitor the system, and use of horizontal drilling to be considered upon completion of the Ubet test well.

Monty asked that the report notes that the Utica Test Well water meets all primary and secondary water standards and that this rural water system’s water will benefit the discharge quality of wastewater. Susan will add these two items to the report. Discussion also followed about the prohibitive cost to individuals to purchase their own RO systems. RO systems are expensive and the individual units wear out quickly.

The group also discussed flushing existing lines in the communities before the regional water project goes on line.

Susan also noted that the RO system alternative will be further evaluated in the final feasibility report, but said the regional water system is the preferred alternative.

Great West Progress Report, Contract Amendment #5: There has been no comment on the water conservation and environmental benefits and impacts plan.

Great West Progress Report, Contract Amendment #6: The survey is ready to go once Central Montana RC&D has mailing lists from all the entities. Monty said they will contract with the Musselshell Valley Community Foundation to use staff to work on the survey mailing and tabulation. Great West is also working on a soils report, real property study and hydraulic analysis – all part of the feasibility that should be completed early this summer.

Funding Opportunity Announcement Request to Bureau of Reclamation: Susan reported that Reclamation requested additional information including clarification on the budget and documentation on the DNRC appropriation. The announcement for funding should be out in June.

Congressional Authorization Status: Monty said they will send a letter to Montana’s delegation inquiring about the authorization request. He’s also working on a Request for Proposals for legislative support services and will have the advertisement out by the next meeting.

Other Business: Monty said the agreement with the Garneill landowner where CMRWA wants to drill a production well has been sent to Jim Hubble, attorney and they are awaiting his response. Monty also renewed the land use permit at the Utica Test Well site.

Monty also told the group that the DNRC is cutting funding for the Central Montana RC&D in half beginning Oct. 1, 2011. The federal RC&D funding has been eliminated effective May 15. He told the group that they may need to consider contributing funds towards the Central Montana RC&D in order to keep staff working on the regional water project.

Next Meeting Location: The next meeting is set for Wed., June 8 in the Harlowton Library at 1 p.m. With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Minutes prepared and respectfully submitted by:
Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator

Minutes prepared and respectfully submitted by:
Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator

Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 1 p.m.
Harlowton Library, Harlowton, Montana

In Attendance: Jim Kalitowski and Jeff Sell, Ian Reed, Harlowton; Joel Marking, Jim Schladweiler, Lon Sibley (proxy for Bill Edwards), Roundup; Bob Church and Susan Hayes, Great West Engineering; Monty Sealey, Central Montana RC&D Coordinator and Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator; Samuel Yimer, Bureau of Reclamation, Billings; Rick Duncan, DNRC, Helena. (Thad Bassett, Melstone and Jack Thoreson, Broadview, by proxy.)

Call to Order and Introductions: Chairman Joel Marking welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order.

Approval of March 9, 2011 Minutes: Jim Schwadweiler made a motion to accept the March 9, 2011 minutes as presented, seconded by Jeff Sell and unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report & Current Bills: Jim Schladweiler, treasurer, reported a checking balance of $322,799.21. Deposits since the last meeting include $23,215.72 and $52,000 reimbursements from Bureau of Reclamation. Bills include $52 for a post office box rental for six months in Roundup (P.O. Box 450); Loren Randall, $3,995 for the audit; Jim Hubble’s law office, $75; and $350 for the Montana Conservation District’s legislative reception in January. Jim S. made a motion, seconded by Jeff and unanimously approved to accept the treasurer’s report, pay the bills presented and authorize payment to Great West.

Appraisal Report and Updated Reports: Bob Church of Great West Engineering updated the group on progress made with the following:

  • Water Conservation Plan: The draft was sent to Bureau of Reclamation last month and they asked for a few changes. The plan was revised and resubmitted and has been verbally accepted.
  • Environmental Benefits & Impacts: This was also submitted to Bureau of Reclamation, and Samuel Yimer of Reclamation told the group that there are no comments. This will be submitted with the environmental assessment (EA). Great West subcontracted the EA to Tetra Tech and has spent $65,000 rather than the anticipated $110,000 budgeted. Because they are under budget, Bob talked about asking Reclamation if they can allocate those funds to another portion of the feasibility instead of turning funds back. However, there may still be work under the appraisal that may burn those funds. Monty said they’ve still not heard back from Bureau of Land Management on the cooperating agency letter. The priority will be to contact BLM to discuss the matter as part of the EA. Reclamation sent letters to all cooperating agencies who have land along the proposed pipeline route.
  • Alternatives and Innovative Technologies: Susan Hayes of Great West presented on the draft of the Innovative Technologies Evaluation report, including reverse osmosis water treatment on a community level basis, wastewater effluent re-use to lower summer water demand, centralized Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) for monitoring and control of the water system, in-line metering to aid in water balance and the use of hydro-powered generators for remote pressure relief valve vaults. Discussion followed about how SB-226 could cut net metering in half as it would allow the utility customer to charge power transmission costs back to the energy generator. The board also discussed reverse osmosis section of the draft report and the need to more accurately reflect the true costs to each community. With drastic cuts to the federal budget, the funding scenario sections will also need to be updated. Great West will revise its report and bring it back to the next meeting.

Community Water Surveys: The test surveys have been distributed and Monty said they have several comments. Jim S. suggested several changes to wording of questions on the survey. The board agreed with his suggestions and Bob will make the changes. The survey hasn’t been tested in Harlowton yet, but Jeff will distribute it, wait for responses and then the survey will soon be ready for distribution to households, businesses and rural water users along the route.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Proposal Status: Samuel said that they should have word on the funding by mid-June. He said CMWRA’s request was the only one received by the Billings Reclamation office.

Legislative Assistance Process: Rick Duncan with DNRC is looking for a sample Request for Proposals for a Legislative Support Specialist from another regional water project. Discussion continued on the costs for this position and the need to move on getting someone hired soon.

Other Business: None.

Next Meeting Location: The next meeting will be held at Roundup City Hall’s Council Chambers, Wed., May 11, 1 p.m. With no other business the meeting was adjourned.

Minutes prepared and respectfully submitted by:
Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator

Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 1 p.m.
Broadview Senior Center, Broadview, Montana

In Attendance: Jim Kalitowski, Harlowton; Jack Thoreson, Broadview; Jim Schladweiler, Lon Sibley (proxy for Bill Edwards), Roundup; Thad Bassett, Melstone; Bob Church, Great West Engineering; Monty Sealey, Central Montana RC&D Coordinator and Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator; Samuel Yimer, Bureau of Reclamation, Billings and guests, Junior and Maggie Conover, Broadview.

Call to Order and Introductions: Jim Kalitowski welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order in absence of Chairman Joel Marking.

Approval of Feb. 9, 2011 Minutes: Thad Bassett made a motion to accept the Feb. 9, 2011 minutes as presented, seconded by Lon Sibley and unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report & Current Bills: Jim Schladweiler, treasurer, reported a checking balance of $278,544.03. Since the last meeting, $134,000 has been received from the DNRC appropriation and $31,694.57 from the Bureau of Reclamation grant. Bills include: DNRC for the state lands use permit for the Utica well site, $150; Great West Engineering, $26,277.94; and Jim K. claim for travel, $60.60. This leaves a balance of $252,055.49. Lon made a motion, seconded by Jim S. and unanimously approved to accept the report and pay the bills.

State Lands-Land Use Permit: As discussed at the last meeting, the land use permit at the Utica test well site had lapsed, as there was no activity at the site. However, Bureau of Mines attended the scoping meeting in Roundup in December and indicated that they wanted to put a probe at the well. The check will be mailed today to renew the permit and Bob Church will contact Bureau of Mines to let them know they may proceed. As a courtesy, Monty will notify the leaseholder (Jeb Stevenson) to inform him about the activity.

FOA Request to Bureau of Reclamation: Reclamation sent a letter about 10 days ago saying that the CMRWA request is eligible for funding and inviting a full proposal. Bob reminded the group that a request for $500,000 for feasibility study funding was submitted in January which would include finishing the feasibility, Reclamation review and drilling the Ubet well. CMRWA has a $300,000 DNRC grant for the production well, but even if the Reclamation grant is awarded there may not be enough funding to complete the drilling. In that case, they will just do as much as they can and cap and case the well until they have funds to finish the project. It may have to be done under Phase I of design and construction. The full proposal to Reclamation is due April 5. Bob said Great West isn’t under contract to do this proposal, but said CMRWA could put it under Amendment 6, Task 4 of the feasibility amendment. He thinks it can be completed for under $5,000. Jack Thoreson made a motion to add this work item as recommended, seconded by Jim S. and unanimously approved. Monty asked Bob to make sure that Great West identifies the amendment and task item on the invoice.

Renewable Energy Alternatives Status Report: This is done and will be combined with the Innovative Approach/Technology report before being submitted to Reclamation for review. A draft is expected this week and should be sent to Reclamation by the end of March.

Water and Energy Conservation Plan Status Report: This has been completed and a draft will be sent to Reclamation and CMRWA members by the end of March. Discussion followed that CRMWA members are looking through the report, and then it will be sent to Reclamation. The report won’t be posted online for public review until after the Reclamation review. (The same goes for all the draft reports.)

Innovative Approach/Technology Status Report: As stated above, this will be combined with the Renewable Energy Alternatives Report and sent to Reclamation by the end of March.

Environmental Review Status Report: Tetra Tech sent Bob a draft last week. Bob made some edits and returned it to Tetra Tech. The only thing that isn’t complete is the cultural resources evaluation, but a draft of is still expected by the end of March.

Bob said only Phase III of the feasibility planning stage remains to be completed. Great West, Monty and Reclamation had a conference call about what remains to be done. Bob said most of the items have been completed.

As part of the Environmental Assessment, cooperating agencies were asked by Reclamation to write letters (after reviewing the route), but the only one received so far is one from DNRC, dated Feb. 28. Samuel will check to make sure all the letters were sent.

Also included in the EA is a Socio-Economic section. Draft water system surveys were distributed for business and institutional, household, and rural users and livestock interests along the route. Discussion followed about the wording of portions of the survey, particularly regarding how much potential users would be willing to pay. It was agreed that the household survey should state that it’s estimated that water users will pay an additional $30-40 per month, followed by a question asking how much they are willing to pay with a graduated scale for them to choose from. The surveys will be customized to the type of water user. RC&D will tabulate the results and Monty asked that each user type be on a different colored paper for ease of sorting. Jim S. will rent a post office box. Return envelopes and postage will be included with the survey. Jim K. asked what the questions about age and education have to do with a water survey. Bob said every sample he saw includes these questions but he will check into it. Once edits are made, each CMRWA member will be asked to help with a test run by giving the survey to five people and getting their feedback. The survey should be sent soon, so CMRWA members were asked to review the surveys as soon as possible and get comments to Bob.

Congressional Authorization-Legislative Assistance: Bob and Monty had a conference call with the manager of Dry Prairie Rural Water System about the authorization and appropriations process. Manager Clint Jacobs said he felt that legislative support is absolutely necessary in order to get a project authorized and funded. Discussion continued about using DNRC funds to hire a legislative support specialist and that this needed to be done right away. Monty will check with DNRC about procurement regulations, but the group agreed with Bob that they should do a Request for Proposals. Jim S. made a motion to move forward to hire a legislative support specialist through an RFP process, seconded by Lon and unanimously approved.

Clint also recommended that CMRWA join the Natural Water Resources Association (NWRA) and attend the upcoming conference in Washington, D.C. April 4-6. Jim S. made a motion that CMRWA join NWRA, seconded by Jack and unanimously approved. Bob said he thinks Great West will send him to the conference, but recommended that other CMRWA representatives attend as well. Jim S. made a motion, seconded by Lon and unanimously approved to authorize Monty and interested board members to work out among themselves who will attend the conference.

Other Business: Monty said the federal RC&D program under NRCS is on very shaky ground and is still zeroed out in the President’s budget and is under a continuing resolution for two more weeks. Monty is a state employee under DNRC, but told the board that if the federal RC&D program is eliminated, the state-funded Central Montana RC&D program will likely also be eliminated. He can retire anytime, but was giving CMRWA a heads-up that if this happens they would have to pay him to keep working as project administrator if DNRC chooses not to pay for him to continue working on the CMRWA project.

Next Meeting: The next meeting is set for Wed., April 13 at 1 p.m. in the Harlowton Library. With no other business the meeting was adjourned.

Minutes prepared and respectfully submitted by:
Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator

Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 1 p.m.
Harlowton Library, Harlowton, Montana

In Attendance: Jeff Sell, Harlowton; Jack Thoreson, Broadview; Jim Schladweiler, Lon Sibley, Roundup; Bob Church, Susan Hayes and Joel Pilcher, Great West Engineering; Monty Sealey, Central Montana RC&D Coordinator and Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator; Brianne K. (Rogers) Dugan, Field Representative, Sen. Max Baucus, Bozeman; and Stephanie (Helleckson) Micek and Samuel Yimer, Bureau of Reclamation, Billings.

Call to Order and Introductions: Jim Schladweiler welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order in absence of Chairman Joel Marking. Everyone introduced themselves. Monty noted he had a proxy for Thad Bassett of Melstone and Jim Kalitowski of Harlowton, and Lon is the proxy for Bill Edwards, Roundup.

Approval of Jan. 12, 2011 Minutes: The minutes of the Jan. 12, 2011 meeting were approved as distributed following a motion by Jeff Sell, seconded by Lon Sibley and unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report & Current Bills: Jim Schladweiler gave the treasurer’s report, noting a checking balance of $137.582.19. Bills were presented including, Judith Basin Press, $44; Stogsdill Law Office, $896; Great West Engineering, $21,042.73; Montana Rural Water, $75; Browning, Kaleczyc, Berry and Hoven Attorneys of Law in Helena, $2,750 (for regional water tour), leaving a balance of $112,774.46. Lon made a motion, seconded by Jeff and unanimously approved to accept the treasurer’s report and pay the bills.

Audit: The audited financial statements for June 30, 2010 and 2009 were distributed. Monty said there were no significant findings and urged board members to look it over and decide if they want to bring auditor Loren Randall to a meeting.

FOA Request to Bureau of Reclamation: Bob Church said he submitted a statement of interest to Bureau of Reclamation for $500,000 for feasibility study grant funding. Reclamation will determine eligibility and then may or may not invite CMRWA to apply. However, as CMRWA already established eligibility in the last round, it’s expected that CMRWA will be invited to submit a full proposal in March.

Before the statement of interest was submitted, the CMRWA board held a conference call to discuss what they would request and funding priorities. In summary, the board felt the priorities are to finish the feasibility study, have Reclamation review it, followed by drilling the Ubet well. Bob said they also had a conference call with Sen. Max Baucus staff, including a staffer from Washington, D.C. and were encouraged to start the process now for authorization – even if CMRWA is still finishing the feasibility. The board also discussed the importance of getting legislative support services, which can be paid for using DNRC funding. A Request for Proposals will be presented at the next meeting.

Two budget scenarios for the coming year were developed and distributed to the board – one including the Ubet well, with a total cost of $1,280,000, and the other without the well, with a total of $275,000. Mark Cunnane with Groundwater Services worked up a new estimate for the Ubet well and figured it would cost $1 million, rather than the previously estimated $1.1 million. Discussion continued on the $300,000 grant for the well from DNRC that’s under contract. The new Scope of Work allows for drilling as deep as they can and capping it if they don’t have the funds to finish it. If they don’t get enough funding from Reclamation to begin drilling, they will have no recourse but to turn the money back.

The board discussed when they would need commitments from the communities to hook on to the regional water project. CMRWA won’t need official commitments before they are authorized, but will before a federal appropriation. Stephanie with Reclamation and Brianne with Baucus’ office agreed. The timeline will be to request authorization by June, in preparation for a June hearing.

Contract Options – Amendment: Great West has a contract amendment for $107,000 in additional work including socio-economic studies report, real property studies and report, completion of the environmental assessment, and other work items to finish the feasibility. This would change the total contract amount from $558,972 to $665,972. Jeff made a motion, seconded by Lon and unanimously approved to approve the contract amendment. The board also discussed the socio-economic study, which would include a survey, which will need to be started soon. RC&D staff will mail and tabulate the results, but Jim S. felt some pre-publicity would be necessary. Press releases, notes in water bills and a post card announcement were suggested methods.

Environmental Assessment Status: Bob said Tetra Tech is making good progress on the EA and will have a conference call soon with Reclamation to discuss it.

Renewable Energy Alternatives Status: The draft of the report is under review and will be reported on at the next meeting. The report will be submitted to Reclamation.

Water and Energy Conservation Plan Status: This plan is 50 percent complete. Susan Hayes, a principal engineer with Great West, presented the results of the Water Conservation Plan to board members and distributed the report. The plan is intended to ensure water use efficiency within the system, but she stressed that the recommendations are voluntary. She gave an overview including water demand forecasts, goals of water conservation and what conservation measures can be used to best achieve the conservation goals of the system. Included in the report are:
- EPA guidelines for basic or capacity development, intermediate and advanced conservation measures. CMRWA with 5,800 people falls into the basic guidelines category, but the report included recommendations for intermediate.
- The overall system design is based on 153 gallons per capita per day (gpcd), however, she noted that current demands for systems with water meters varies from 70 gpcd up to 243 gpcd. The weighted average is 167 gpcd - close to the design number, but in order for CMRWA to serve 7,500 people in 2062, the average usage would need to be reduced to 153 gpcd.
- Water demand: metered vs. unmetered. The board agreed that the ability to make people aware of the amount of water they’re using, as well as accountable through billing, encouraged conservation. Reduced usage allows for lower water supply costs.
- A proposed conservation goal of the use of an increasing tiered rate, which is the most common rate structure for fully metered, conservation oriented systems.
- A proposed conservation goal for response time to maintenance issues (leakage) of 24 hours.
- Conservation of water will naturally keep operating costs level. The less water used by each person will lower the number of gallons pumped, which in turn will lower operation and maintenance costs associated with pumping and disinfection.
- Public information and participation is a goal and will help customers understand how water conservation can be achieved and how it directly affects their monthly bill.
- A modified demand forecast table illustrated the estimated cost savings of reducing demand from 153 gpcd to 140 or 130 gpcd if the design population of 7,500 is reached by 2040. The annual pumping cost savings at 140 gpcd are $14,349 and $27,901 in 130 gpcd.

Innovative Approach/Technology Status: Bob reported that is about 50 percent complete.

Formal Letter of Request for Authorization: CMRWA will send Montana’s delegation a history of the project with key points. Brianne with Baucus’ office recommended that CMRWA send a formal letter of request for authorization.

Other Business: Monty received a letter from the State Lands office in Lewistown regarding the land use permit at the Utica test well site. As no work was being done there since 2006, CMRWA didn’t file an annual permit so it has expired. As the Bureau of Mines wants to put a probe at the Utica well and keep a well log, CMRWA will pay the $25/per year to get the permit up to date.

Monty also discussed the potential of using Attorney Jim Hubble’s services (he’s on retainer) in response to some frivolous actions taken by a group in Roundup in filing CMRWA member communities’ names with the Secretary of State.

Jack asked about negotiations with the landowner for the Ubet well and Monty said they have a “gentleman’s agreement.”

Monty said there were several negative letters submitted for the EA, including one from the Big Spring Creek Watershed Partnership with inaccurate information. Their letter (which was copied to Montana’s Congressional delegation) said the project would use 27 trillion gallons per water in the next 50 years, while in actuality; the project will use 20 billion gallons in 50 years. CMRWA will respond to the letter and copy it to the delegation. Discussion continued about the importance of getting accurate information out to officials and the public.

Next Meeting: The next meeting will be in Wed., March 9 at the Broadview Senior Citizens Center at 1 p.m. With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Minutes prepared and respectfully submitted by:
Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator

Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 1 p.m.
Roundup City Hall, Roundup, Montana

In Attendance: Jim Kalitowski, Harlowton; Jack Thoreson, Broadview; Jim Schladweiler, Lon Sibley, Roundup; Thad Bassett, Melstone; Bob Church and Susan Hayes, Great West Engineering; Monty Sealey, Central Montana RC&D Coordinator and Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator; Rick Duncan, DNRC; Rachel Court, Field Director, Sen. Jon Tester, Billings; Liz Ching, Field Representative, Sen. Max Baucus, Billings; Phil Noland, Field Representative, Sen. Dennis Rehberg, Billings; and Stephanie Helleckson and Samuel Yimer, Bureau of Reclamation, Billings.

Call to Order: Jim Kalitowski welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order in absence of Chairman Joel Marking.

Approval of Nov. 10, 2010 Minutes: Thad Bassett noted that his name was misspelled in the minutes under “approval of Oct. 13, 2010 Minutes,” and Jim Kalitowski noted that under the scoping meetings, the Dec. 7 meeting should’ve read in Roundup, not Harlowton. Lon Sibley made a motion to accept the minutes with the noted corrections, seconded by Thad and unanimously approved.

Public Comment: None

Treasurer’s Report & Current Bills: Jim Schladweiler gave the treasurer’s report following the renewable energy alternatives evaluation that follows. He reported that three reimbursements from Bureau of Reclamation had been received totaling $45,730. Bills presented include Central Montana Publishing (Lewistown and Stanford newspapers), $96; Roundup Record Tribune, $132; Harlowton Times, $75; and Billings Times, $132, for the legal notices prior to the December scoping meetings. A mileage reimbursement request from Jim K. for $34.34 was also presented. Great West invoices include $14,303.75 and $31,151.34. The checking balance after paying these bills is $137,582.19. Jim made a motion, seconded by Lon and unanimously approved to accept the treasurer’s report and pay the bills. Monty said Reclamation prefers monthly drawdowns by task and said that the advertising for the scoping meetings was paid by DNRC, not Reclamation. CMRWA will also request another $149,000 from DNRC with a 2 percent holdback.

Environmental Assessment Scoping Meetings-Status: Scoping meetings were held in Roundup, Harlowton and Lewistown, Dec. 7, 8 and 9. About 45 people attended the Roundup meeting, 16 in Harlowton and 22 in Lewistown. Bob Church, Cameo Flood with Tetra Tech and Monty presented information and answered questions at the meetings. Written comment forms were distributed at the meetings and were available on the CMRWA and Central Montana RC&D websites. The comment period was extended to Jan. 31. Many comments submitted were very positive, particularly by landowners along the route. Negative comments came primarily from the Lewistown area out of concern of the cause and effect on Big Springs, whose water source is also the Madison Aquifer. Legal notices and/or press releases on the scoping meetings for the environmental assessment were sent Great Falls, Billings, Roundup, Harlowton, Stanford and Lewistown newspapers and letters were sent to nearly 50 agencies and 400+ landowners. The environmental assessment should be completed by summer.

Renewable Energy Alternatives Evaluation: Susan Hayes, a principal engineer with Great West, presented the results of the initial evaluation for the Funding Opportunity Announcement with Reclamation and distributed the report to those in attendance. The report looked at four types of renewable energy including wind, geothermal, solar and bio-fuel, evaluating each for applicability, feasibility, capital and operations and maintenance costs and overall energy savings. (The full report will be posted on the CMRWA website). Solar and wind offered the most promise and will be evaluated more thoroughly. Geothermal was deemed to not be a viable option, as the groundwater at the Utica Test Well was only about 50F and would required groundwater about 212F. Biofuel was also screened from further analysis, as it works in backup generators (which aren’t used very often), but the gel temperature of biofuel is typically 25 degrees higher than petroleum diesel, it’s not readily available and delivery costs would be very high.

The report discusses the 14 pressure reduction valves to be located along the water system, however not all are close to grid hookup, so hydro-power generators with battery backup will be considered during the design phase of the project for lights, remote terminal unit (RTU – for communication and data collection), valves and heater at these sites.

The report included estimated monthly power bills for summer and non-summer months in 2012 and 2062 using Fergus Electric Cooperative rates, net metering, and estimated solar and wind costs and savings.

Other conclusions and recommendations include:
- Measure wind near the wellfield for one year;
- Open a dialogue with Fergus Electric Cooperative about utilizing a larger generator (i.e., 50kW per site instead of 25kW. Solar gets cheaper the more it is scaled up); formulate a plan to ensure the power lines aren’t overloaded (i.e. always have a pump turned on if producing more than 25kW onsite);
- Watch solar panel prices – they’re predicted to fall by 10-20 percent in 5-10 years;
- Open dialogue with landowners on the impacts of alternatives;
- Board input on preferred alternative.

Bob said they will finish this draft report and will likely recommend solar as the preferred alternative as wind is less predictable. This report will be incorporated into the final feasibility report.

Water and Energy Conservation Plans: Great West is working on these and should have a progress report at the next meeting.

Bureau of Reclamation Contract-Progress Summary Recap: Monty reported that payments are up-to-date and CMRWA was asked to bill monthly from now on.

Bureau of Reclamation Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)-Next Round: If CMRWA decides to move forward, the next FOA closes Jan. 31, 2011. The grant ceiling is $500,000. The request will likely include drilling of the production well at Ubet, along with work to finish the feasibility, but the cost of the well drilling needs to be obtained before they can proceed. Bob said once he has the estimate, he will get the information to Monty and the board will be canvassed about the request. The Scope of Work on the $300,000 DNRC grant award for the production well was amended, stating that even if no federal funding is awarded to match these funds, CMRWA will drill as deep as they can and case and cap the well with the intent of finishing the job when funding allows. Monty said the amendment was accepted.

Other Business: Monty welcomed the Congressional staffers to the meeting. CMRWA will request authorization this fall and he asked for advice on how to proceed. Liz said the Washington, D.C. staff should be alerted of CMRWA’s intent and said they can help with the process. Bob noted that by the end of the year, CMRWA plans to have the feasibility study complete and approved by Reclamation. However, the group agreed that now is the time to start gearing up for authorization. Liz suggested CMRWA send something in writing to Montana’s representatives.

The Montana Association of Conservation District’s Legislative Reception is Jan. 20 in Helena and Monty invited board members to attend. Carrie is updating a presentation board and brochures for the meeting.

Next Meeting & Adjournment: The next meeting will be Wed., Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. at the Harlowton Library. With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Minutes prepared and respectfully submitted by:
Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator