Central Montana Regional Water Authority

2012 Minutes

Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Minutes (click to open links below)

September 2012   ~   November 2012


Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 1:30 p.m.
Ryegate Fire Hall , Ryegate, Montana

In Attendance: CMRWA members, Jim Schladweiler, David Picchioni, of Roundup; Jim Kalitowski, Harlowton; Thad Bassett, Melstone; Patti Bruner, Ryegate; Bob Church, Great West Engineering; Monty Sealey, Central Montana RC&D Coordinator; Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator/Snowy Mountain Development Corporation; Rick Duncan, DNRC; Pam Higgins, Midwest Assistance Program; and guests Roger Gantz of Ryegate, Linda Wilsman and Karen Fisher of Harlowton.

Call to Order and Introductions: Jim Kalitowski called the meeting to order and everyone introduced themselves.

Approval of May 8, 2012 Minutes: The minutes of the May 8, 2012 meeting were approved as presented following a motion by Thad Bassett, seconded by Dave Picchioni.

Treasurer’s Report & Current Bills: Jim Schladweiler, treasurer, anticipated the need to have checks signed quickly as invoices come in from the water well drillers. The board decided to add Dave Picchioni as a check signer and following a motion by Jim S., authorized Jim to write checks in between meetings upon approval of the executive committee by electronic means or conference call.

Jim reported a checking account balance of $281,131, including a deposit from DNRC of $143,000. Bills presented include $450 to Westwind Web Solutions, $1,637.28 to Great West Engineering for the Ubet well, Amendment #7; $525 from Jim Hubble, attorney, for meetings in Lewistown regading the water compact commission; $30.60 from Jim K. for mileage. This will leave a balance of $278,488.12. Jim S. made a motion, seconded by Dave P. and unanimously approved to pay the bills.

Audit Contract Documents: Loren Randall has a contract ready for audits services July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012, at a cost of $4,000-4,600 including filing of CMRWA’s tax return. Jim S. made a motion, seconded by Patti Bruner and unanimously approved to sign the contract.

Final Adoption of Revised Bylaws: Monty presented the revised CMRWA bylaws. One change was noted on the first page under Article I, Section 2, where “principle,” should read “principal.” Thad made a motion to approve the bylaws with the noted correction, seconded by Dave P. and unanimously approved.

Ubet Water Well Project: Bob said the driller will start the first week of August and suggested that he and Monty and other interested board members meet with landowner Cody McDonald about the drilling schedule one more time before the drilling starts in late July. Bob said the well location is staked out, and the drillers have 60 days to complete the drilling once they start. The drillers plan to complete it in two weeks and will work around the clock. Discussion continued about making sure the DNRC funds are available when needed. The first half of the biennium funds were already drawn down, and Monty said DNRC thought CMRWA could apply for the second half by mid-July so they shouldn’t have to borrow from the Montana Board of Investments for a short-term loan. Rick said the drawdown usually takes a month and CMRWA will need to submit a letter of justification and request. They will also draw down the DNRC grant for $300,000 that was awarded several years ago for the drilling project. Rick Duncan said this is a reimbursement, so these funds won’t be available upfront. Bob said they will need to pay the drillers (Hydro Resources) half of the mobilization fees and for materials right away. Bob said they will sign a notice to proceed before drilling begins and asked that someone be authorized to sign. Jim S. made a motion, seconded by Patti and unanimously approved to authorize CMRWA Chairman Jim K. to sign the notice to proceed.

Community Meetings: A community meeting to update the public about CMRWA activities is set for July 18, and meetings in other communities will follow. The purpose of the meetings is to let the public know where the project is at and also to let member communities know that they’ll need to financially commit to the project by the end of the year. Discussion continued about the history of this project and work by board members over nearly a decade. CMRWA needs to finalize the design and will need to know which communities are committed to moving forward. The board and guests discussed the need for good water, existing problems and needs for upgrades in some communities, water rate increases and the funding strategy for construction. Rick discussed the state’s priorities for funding, including hardship and demonstrated need. The group also talked about timeline when water would actually reach the communities if the project is funded (the first water could be on tap in two years after authorization, if everything were to go perfectly.) Rick said a discussion with bond counsel needs to be initiated by CMRWA soon and advised on a take or pay contract with communities. He said communities need to understand what a commitment to CMRWA will entail. Jim S. made a motion, seconded by Thad and unanimously approved that a letter be sent to communities asking them to give dates for a community meeting and to notify them that they need to decide to commit to being part of the project or not by Dec. 31, 2012.

Next Meeting: The next meeting will be held Wed., Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. in the Ryegate Fire Hall. 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
May 8, 2012
Ryegate Fire Hall

In Attendance: Dave Kojetin, Jim Kalitowski, Sandy Jones, Jim Schladweiler, Lon Sibley, Dave Picchioni, Bob Church, Monty Sealey, Patti Bruner, Rick Duncan.

Call to Order and Introductions: Jim Kalitowski called the meeting to order. Everybody introduced themselves and who they represented.

Approval of March Minutes: Upon motion by Dave Picchioni, the minutes from the March 14 meeting were accepted.

Treasurer’s Report and Bills: Jim Schladweiler gave the Treasurer’s Report. The checking account balance from the last meeting was $147,114.20. bills paid since included $75.00 to MT Rural Water. Bills to be paid include Hubble Law Firm for $825.00; Great West Engineering for $3,522.85; $30.60 mileage; $4,500.00 for land leases, leaving a balance of 138,131.00. Motion by Jim S., seconded by Dave P. to pay the bills; passed.

Ubet Water Well Project: Bob Church reviewed the bid for the Ubet well project, including the reduction in services required under the revised Scope of Work. Hydro Resources from Fort Collins, CO., was the low bidder. Bob C. recommended awarding the contract, upon receipt of the land lease contract documents from attorney Hubble. Motion by Jim S. and seconded by Dave P. to sign the contract; passed.

Water Rights and Reservations: Monty explained the process going on for federal water reservations and the potential impact to our water rights processes in the future. It was generally agreed to allow Sealey to continue to participate in the reservation debate and provide comments on behalf of the Water Authority. Sealey also noted future dates for meetings to be held in Lewistown and encouraged Board Members to attend if possible.

Community Meetings: Discussion was held about the need for informational meetings in each of the partner’s towns within the next very few months. Sealey suggested that each of the communities will need to make a binding commitment to the project before we approach Congress with an Appropriation Request. We will soon be at a point of no return, and will need to know who is in and who is not. Sealey also indicated that if either Roundup or Harlowton drops out, it will probably end our project.

By-Law Changes: Sealey had sent out copies of suggested by-law changes to the board members. The Board went through the changes one-by-one, then voted to adopt the changes. The most significant changes included a lower quorum threshold. Sealey will provide each member with an updated copy of the By-Laws.

There being no other business, the next meeting date of July 11 was agreed and set for a return to Ryegate. The meeting was adjourned.

Submitted by Monty Sealey, Project Administrator


Central Montana Regional Water Authority
Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System
Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 1 p.m.
Roundup City Office, Roundup, Montana

In Attendance: Jim Schladweiler, Lon Sibley, Bill Edwards, David Picchioni, of Roundup; Jim Kalitowski, Harlowton; Thad Bassett, Melstone; Bob Church, Great West Engineering; Dan Stremcha and Lenny Duberstein, Bureau of Reclamation; Monty Sealey, Central Montana RC&D Coordinator and Carrie Mantooth, Central Montana RC&D Assistant Coordinator.

Call to Order and Introductions: Jim Kalitowski called the meeting to order and everyone introduced themselves.

Approval of Dec. 14, 2011 Unofficial Minutes: The unofficial minutes of the Dec. 14, 2011 meeting were approved as presented following a motion by Thad Bassett, seconded by Jim Schladweiler.

Treasurer’s Report & Current Bills: Jim Schladweiler, treasurer, reported the following bills were paid since the last meeting: $4,200 to Loren Randall, CPA for the audit; $336 to the Roundup Record Tribune and $287 to the Harlowton Times-Clarion for public notices of the invitation to bid on the Ubet well; $175 to Realty Title in Lewistown and $6,529.55 to Great West Engineering. This left a balance of $153,312.13. Jim S. made a motion to approved, seconded by Dave Picchioni and unanimously approved. Dave P. needs to be added to the checking account. New bills presented include two invoices from Great West totaling $5,781.53 (for work on the test well, socio-economic section of the feasibility, and well bid), mileage for Jim S. for $71.40 and $520 from Hubble Law Firm. Jim also noted that Check #446 for $175 to Realty Title has been voided, as it was included in Hubble’s invoice. Montana Rural Water Systems annual dues will be $75. These new bills will leave a balance of $147,114.20. Jim S. made a motion to approve payment of the new bills, seconded by Dave P. and unanimously approved.

Audit: The audit was distributed and Monty will mail it out to the members not in attendance. Loren Randall is available to do an exit interview with the board if they desire.

Ubet Well Bid:

- Notice of Awards: Bob Church said he scaled back the bid specs in hopes of getting a bid this time that would fit the CMRWA budget. The only real impact from the well redesign is that pumping capabilities will fall from 800 gallons per minute to 400 GPM. They sent the bid notice to well drillers and advertised, held a pre-bid meeting with three drillers and ended up with just one bid from Hydro Resources, Rocky Mountain Inc., with a bid of $845,896. The engineer’s estimate was $816,800. Bob recommended that the bid be accepted. The bid is good for 60 days – April 22. Thad made a motion to send a notice of award to Hydro Resources – Rocky Mountain, Inc. for the Ubet test well, seconded by Jim S. and unanimously approved.

- DNRC Work Plan Requirement & Funding Agreements: Monty said that in order to draw down the DNRC 2011-2012 appropriation of $372,000, a work plan will need to be completed. However, the appropriation won’t be available yet, so CMRWA will request a short-term loan at 1.25% from the Board of Investments. A request will also be submitted to Bureau of Reclamation for $365,000 for the well project of the $500,000 award (the rest goes towards engineering, etc.)

The $300,000 DNRC grant received several years ago will also finally be used for the well. With these funds, along with the existing bank balance, the funds available are $1.184 million. With a well bid of nearly $846,000 and a construction contingency of about $84,000, it’s a tight budget for the next two years.

Additional estimated expenses for the next two years will include: water leases for the landowner will be due ($2,000 option, plus $2,500 per year per test well), bond counsel and interest of about $5,000; legal fees for the next of about $5,000; audit expenses of approximately $10,000, water rights of about $30,000. Authorization activities/Great West assistance, $15,000; travel for Authorization work, $10,000; insurance, $5,000; board travel and meeting, $1,000; national Legislative assistance, $50,000 – totaling approximately $1.168 million. Monty asked the CMRWA board for a resolution to authorize borrowing up to $375,000 from the Board of Investments. Jim S. made a motion to approve the resolution, seconded by Dave. P. and unanimously approved.

- Land Lease: The landowner leases haven’t been signed yet, and Monty explained that the hold-up was that the lease agreement said CMRWA was responsible for title insurance (that’s the Realty Title charge under the financial report). This was complicated by easements, pipeline, etc. Another wrinkle was that an oil landman wants to lease the landowner’s property, so the solution was to exclude the well sites out of the lease with the oil company. Bob distributed a map of the Ubet well site and the landowner’s property.

Bob said the feasibility report is 95% complete and once the test well results from Ubet are in, he will finish and submit to Reclamation. The driller will tentatively begin work June 1 and the well and test results should be finalized sometime in July and the feasibility with those results completed in August.

By-law Changes: The By-Law changes and election will be acted upon at the annual meeting. Monty went over the proposed changes discussed at the last meeting as well as other proposed changes as follows:

Title: Add “Musselshell-Judith Rural Water System” project.
Article I:

• Section 1: Add Broadview to the list of entities and removed Town of Moore in the water authority and add Yellowstone County to the counties’ list.
• Section 2 should read: “The principal place of business of this Authority shall be where the current chairman resides…”

Article VII:

• Section 2: Should read, “Each director’s full term may not be less than 1 year.” (Strike, “or more than 4 years…”)

Article VIII:

• Section 2: To the sentence regarding “Notice of meetings shall be given by first class mail to each Director of record, add, “or shall be given by electronic notice.”
• Section 4: Change first sentence to, “Five members with no more than two proxies shall constitute a quorum at any meeting…”

Article IX, Executive Committee:

• Section 1: Take out the sentence, “The Executive Committee cannot consist of two directors from the same participating system.”
• Section 4: Change second sentence to read, “Such call shall consist of written notice or notification by electronic means…”

Article X, Duties of Directors:

• Section 8: Correct typos.

Article XIII, Amendments:

• Section 1: Strike “annual” from first sentence, to read, “….a majority vote of the members at any meeting…”

Monty will send hard copies of the proposed changes to every jurisdiction in the water authority in preparation for a vote at the next meeting.

Water Reservation Requests: Monty attended a meeting in Lewistown on the draft Federal Reserved Water Right Compact appurtenant to the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and he distributed a list of the proposed basins if Legislation is passed. The Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a federal reserved water right for the CMR of all water remaining in the 157 streams that flow onto the Refuge as of the date of the Compact, which means that all water reservations would be ceased after July 1, 2013 unless reappropriated. (Statutory exemptions would include household groundwater and small stock ponds.) There’s also a request for the Upper Missouri Monument. Discussion continued about the impacts and potential problems of such Legislation. Another meeting will be held in Lewistown tomorrow and Monty is attending. Monty said the water right process on the next well should be started right away. The concern is that if the basin is closed, the process for obtaining a water right will be extremely difficult. Discussion continued that CMRWA should comment on these compacts. Bob has been working on a draft letter and will work with CMRWA’s attorney Jim Hubble. Jim is planning on attending the meeting tomorrow in Lewistown. Dan S. with Reclamation said he will talk to a Department of Interior attorney with BLM about FWS’s intent with this proposal. Monty noted that the Compact Commission has been very receptive to receiving public input, and there have been large crowds attending public hearings.

Other Business: Bob had summaries of the Socioeconomic Surveys conducted last year for households, businesses and rural residents along the proposed route. He also has the comments and will share those with the members. The results will be published on the CMRWA website at www.centralmontanawater.com. Dave P. said his IGA store in Roundup sells an average of 300 gallons per day of water from the water machine (this doesn’t included bottled water sold.) The survey data will be included in the feasibility study.

Discussion continued about when the communities along the proposed route will need to make a decision to be part of the project or not. The group agreed that once the final feasibility is completed and approved (in about six months), communities will need to make a decision, as the next step will be an authorization request. CMRWA members will be going to the towns to update citizens about the project. Carrie will also prepare press releases to remind people that the project is still moving forward.

The board also discussed the process to get a recommendation from Reclamation. Dan said once the feasibility is submitted to them, they have six months to review at the regional level before it’s submitted to the Denver office, then to policy review and up the chain of command – all of which could take a year or more. CMRWA could also go directly to Congress with an authorization request while they are waiting for approval from Reclamation.

Next Meeting: The next meeting will be held Wed., May 9 at 1 p.m. in Ryegate. With no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

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