February 2011 Minutes

Sterling, Colorado, February 9, 2011

MINUTES of a meeting of the Board of Directors of The North Sterling Irrigation District held at their office in Sterling at 12:30 P.M., February 9th, 2011.

Directors David Hernandez, David Breidenbach, James Aranci, Secretary James Yahn, and Leon Rose were present.

The group immediately left for lunch.  During lunch Secretary Yahn highlighted the brief report of the Colorado Water Congress convention that he previously sent to the Board.  The group also discussed the legislation that is of interest to the North Sterling.  The bills discussed were HB 1231 (Water Study Bill), HB 1165 (County Treasurer/Irrigation District Bill), and HB 1068 (Arkansas River Temporary Transfer Bill). Secretary Yahn stated that HB 1068 was postponed indefinitely, HB 1165 will be heard in the local government committee, and HB 1231 has just been recently introduced.  Secretary Yahn stated that he is monitoring these pieces of legislation.

Minutes of Board meeting held January 7th, 2011, were approved as received.

Expense for the month of January was allowed in the total amount of $37,012.22 and ordered paid as shown on sheets attached to and made a part of these minutes by due action of the Board, all Directors present voting aye.

The update from our attorney was discussed.  Mr. Yahn stated that he reviewed this month’s water resume’ and gave an overview of the filings.  No action was taken.

Secretary Yahn informed the Directors of a meeting he had with Attorney Levi Williamson concerning the District’s election. Mr. Yahn met with Mr. Williamson for an hour and had him review the District’s election rules.  It was Mr. Williamson’s opinion that the rules of election the District is currently using are correct. Mr. Williamson stated that according to the Irrigation District Law of 1905 the District is required to have an election each year.  He said that the law does not prohibit us from having a mail in ballot but that we must also have a polling place on the day of the election.  Secretary Yahn and Mr. Williamson also discussed the voting of an LLP and the Irrigation District Law of 1905 and 1921.  It was his opinion that an LLP would be handled in the same manner as a corporation.  He also stated that the 1905 and 1921 law could be adopted on a piecemeal basis.  After some discussion it was the consensus of the board to develop a mail in ballot in time for the next election.

Secretary Yahn stated that he had been contacted by Kinder Morgan regarding a proposed boring under the outlet canal to replace a pipeline that currently is located over the ditch north of Proctor.  Mr. Yahn stated that in their right of way they have the right to construct and replace as needed.  Secretary Yahn informed them that the boring could only be completed when there was no water in the ditch, which would be after October and before April.

Mr. Yahn informed the directors that he had been contacted by the engineer for East Cheyenne Gas Storage, for whom we are currently providing recharge credits, regarding the need for additional water for hydrostatic testing and other construction related activities. The engineer stated that they would need a maximum of 10 acre feet and was wondering if we had the water and what the price would be. After some discussion it was moved by Director Aranci and seconded by Director Breidenbach to set the price at $1,000 per acre foot. Upon being put to a vote the motion passed.

Secretary Yahn brought before the board proposed salary increases for employees.  Mr. Yahn presented the directors with a printout of a spreadsheet which contained current salaries and benefits of each employee along with a recommended increase.  Mr. Yahn stated that no raises were requested or given last year.  After some discussion it was the consensus of the board to approve the recommended raises, however, Director Aranci asked if the employees would be interested in a retirement plan where the District would match contributions by the employee up to a certain percentage the individual’s salary.  Mr. Yahn stated that he could ask the employees if such a plan would interest them.  It was decided to table the salary increases until Mr. Yahn could investigate a retirement plan and incorporate the matching amount into the employees raise.

Mr. Yahn gave an overview of a billing, water management, and web access software which was presented to him at Water Congress. Mr. Yahn stated that the software, from True Point Solutions in California, is used by other irrigation districts, but that it would cost $50,000 – $70,000 to implement.  Mr. Yahn thought that the software would work for the district but was too expensive.  The board agreed.

Secretary Yahn stated that the annual meeting was set for February 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Tennant Art Gallery on Northeastern Junior College campus.  The Point of Rocks meeting would be held just prior, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Secretary Yahn stated that the current storage in the reservoir is 66,584 acre feet or 90% of the reservoir’s capacity and that current flow in the inlet canal is approximately 300 cfs. Mr. Yahn stated that at the current rate the reservoir should be to a winter fill level in approximately 9 days.

With no further business to come before the Board the meeting was adjourned at 2:55 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

James T. Yahn, Secretary

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