The Board meeting of the Columbia Irrigation District was called to order at 3:00 pm by President Jerry Sleater.  Present at the meeting were:

             Vince Shawver, President Howard Ellison, Interim Manager
             Matthew Morrell, Vice President Gary Weatherly, JUB Engineers
             Jerry Sleater, Director Pat Loftus, Operations Lead
             Jim Gose, Director Bonnie Kulp, Secretary, Recorder

GUESTS Sheila Thackham, Stan King, Donna Gose


Director Vince Shawver, Division #01 and Director Howard Ellison, Division #03 were administered the Oath of Office for their respective divisions. Director Ellison remains on a temporary leave of absence from the Board while filling in as interim manager.


Nominations for President of the Board were opened. Director Gose nominated Director Shawver and President Sleater nominated Director Morrell.  Director Shawver received three votes and Director Morrell received one.

Nominations were opened for Vice President. Director Gose nominated Director Morrell and immediately asked for nominations to be closed.  Director Morrell was unanimously elected.


Patron, Sheila Thackham made comments on the 2010 and 2012 audit. Discussion followed.


Minutes of December 4, 2015
Director Gose reviewed the minutes and ask several questions about the outcome of items addressed in the January meeting.  All but the leave without pay issue is on the agenda to address in this meeting.  The leave without pay issues was found to be included in the CID Employee Policy Book so no further action was necessary.

Director Gose asked when the clay will be put into the canal in West Richland.  Operations Manager Pat Loftus stated it will depend on the weather and should take two weeks to complete the project. Director Shawver suggested the District keep project logs and present progress reports at each meeting.

Director Morrell made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 4th Board Meeting.  Director Sleater  seconded the motion and it was approved.  Director Gose made a motion to approve the December 14th and December 29th meeting minutes.  Director Sleater seconded the motion and they were approved.

December  Vouchers 

Voucher 01 Reimburse Revolving Fund $132,603.92


The Board reviewed and discussed the December Vouchers. Director Morrell made a motion to approve the Vouchers as presented and Director Sleater seconded it.  Motion approved.

Financial Statement

The Board reviewed the November Financial Statement. Director Gose questioned the office staff over time listed for the month of October.  Office Manager Kulp stated she would double check the figure and report back to him. He also questioned the expense in the education and training category and emphasized the need for field training for backhoe operators.  Operations Foreman, Pat Loftus stated field crew need to have Competent Persons Training.  Interim Manager Ellison stated he would look into available training for confined spaces and get it scheduled.


Owens Pit
Manager Ellison talked with Benton County Road Engineer Matt Rassmussen but he has not heard back from him.  The County is required to have a permit to mine the rock in order to remove it.  According to Rassmussen the County is agreeable to allow us continued use of the pit and is trying to obtain the permit. Operations Foreman Loftus stated the hold-up on the rock was not an issue at this time.  Field crew was working on cleaning silt from the canal and winter maintenance.

Director Gose reiterated that field crew needed more training on the swallow and burning incident. Loftus confirmed he has spring meetings with the Benton County Clean Air Authority every spring and will have one this Spring. Director Gose directed Bonnie to give a copy of the swallow policy to each board member.  He is concerned about the responsibility to the Board if this incident is repeated.

Emergency Work
Manager Ellison stated according to RCW 87:03:046, the District can spend money on a project if it is within $300,000 without going out for bid. CID’s purchasing policy states projects estimated in excess of $100,000 shall be advertised in the local newspaper to accept bids.  Although the Poland bid for the traveling screen exceeded the $100,000 threshold, the Board approved the bid at the December board meeting based on the RCW for the Small Works Roster and due to the short time span when repairs could be made.

The Elite Sod Spillway is another project with a short time frame for repair. The spillway is in jeopardy of being washed out which could result in a canal breach. There has not been enough time to determine what needs to be done to make the repairs. Both projects are imperative to the integrity of the District’s canal system and there is not enough time to put them out to bid.

Ellison asked the Board to declare a state of emergency to enable the CID to begin repairs immediately. Director Sleater made a motion to declare a state of emergency and make funds available to construct the structure for the traveling screen and make the repairs to the Elite Sod spillway. Director Morrell seconded the motion and it was approved.

Ellison reported the boundary line adjustment is complete. The Assessor has to assess the taxes and CID will have to pay seven years of prorated taxes for the last seven years to remove the property from open space classification.  He stated we are waiting for the Assessor to get us the information and that will be after the property taxes have been generated. He suggested proceeding with design and permit processes but wait until later in the summer to January 7, 2016 solicit bids for the project to be done during the off-season.  JUB Engineer, Gary Weatherly stated the Dam Safety process is taking longer than anticipated and agreed it would be wise to bid the project next fall.  Director Sleater suggested contacting Senator Cantwell for possible funding.

Traveling Screen
JUB Engineer reported the traveling screen will be shipped January 8th and be at Ray Poland’s yard Monday, the 11th.

Duportail Bridge
Manager Ellison reported Attorney Mike Shinn is writing a letter to the City of Richland to resubmit their proposal.   Gary Weatherly reported the DNR found a map that clearly documents the canal right of way is 162.5 feet from the canal centerline in the southwesterly direction and 62.5 feet from the canal centerline in the northeasterly direction through much of Section 16 where the Duportail Bridge project is located.

Work Orders by Division
There were no work orders to discuss.


Administrative Report
Manager Ellison revisited the assessment issue on the condominium properties located in West Richland. Also affected would be the proposed townhouse development east of Cedar Street.  Ellison suggested the assessments for those types of properties where they are all structure with very little vegetative areas be assessed at a much lower fee. He proposed an annual assessment rate of $52.50 for each home unit. Director Sleater made a motion to approve an annual assessment rate of $52.50 for condominium type properties. Director Morrell seconded the motion and it was approved.

Manager Ellison presented the Board with a Capital Asset Policy, Resolution 2016-01 that was recommended in the 2012 audit. Policy attached.  Director Morrell made a motion to approve the policy and procedure and Director Gose seconded it.  Motion passed.

Manager Ellison reported he checked on post office boxes to rent for the next election. The cost is approximately $100 per month for a rental period of three months but can be cancelled if it isn’t necessary to use it for the entire duration. Director Gose made a motion to approve the rental of a post office box for use during elections.  Director Morrell seconded the motion and it passed.

Manager Ellison reported the District’s liability insurance, Enduris, has an “errors and omissions” clause and insures each member of the board for $5,000. Ellison stated he would check on obtaining more insurance.

Manager Ellison reported Mr. & Mrs. Klages and their attorney did not appear at the settlement conference for the lawsuit.  The court hearing is set for January 19th.

Operations Report
Manager Ellison reported the Lakes pump station is in desperate need of repair. The pipe that comes out of the pump station is thinning and needs to be replaced. Engineer, Gary Weatherly reported when the pump station was rebuilt in the 90’s and all pipe was replaced except the pipe that was embedded in concrete.  It’s estimated to be about 40 years old.

Weatherly brought up the two Cascade Natural Gas canal boring projects in the area of Belfair Street by Columbia Center Boulevard and by Moore Furniture for Less. This project began last year during water season and they were told they could not do their project when water was flowing in the canal. Weatherly brought agreements with him.  The agreements are for them to bore 10 feet under the canal when it is not operating and they will be required to cement line 25 feet of the canal on each side of the crossing.  Ellison stated he has reviewed the agreements and everything is in order.  He suggested the Board let them proceed with their project.

Ellison requested the Board make a decision on his temporary management and rate of pay. Director Gose made a motion to set the rate of pay at $60,000 per year.  Director Morrell seconded the motion and discussion followed.  Director Morrell stated before a decision was made on rate of pay and how long the interim manager would be in place, a decision needs to be made about posting for another manager.  He felt the position should be posted soon assuming it would take a minimum of four months to fill.

Director Sleater made a motion to increase the rate of pay to $6,000 per month ($72,000/year) and Director Gose countered with a rate of $65,000 per year. Director Shawver countered with $66,000 per year.  Director Gose changed his original motion to set Ellison’s rate of pay to $66,000 per year for the time he is the interim manager.  Director Morrell seconded the change in the motion.  Directors Gose, Morrell and Shawver agreed.  Director Sleater opposed.  Motion passed.  Ellison requested he be paid for the time worked since he stepped in as the interim manager.  Director Morrell made a motion to pay Ellison for the time worked from Dec 1, 2015.  Director Gose seconded the motion and it passed. A discussion was held on the benefits of rejoining WSWRA and what the fees might be.

There being no further business to present to the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00 pm.