Office of the Secretary Manager

Kittitas Reclamation District Board of Directors Meeting

February 4, 2020 Minutes

 

The Board of Directors of the Kittitas Reclamation District (KRD) met in Regular Session on February 4, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Attending the meeting were Division Three Director and Chairman Fred Schnebly, Division One Director and Vice Chairman Mark Hansen, Division Two Director Ed Wakkuri, Division Four Director Larry Bland, Division Five Director Brad Haberman, Secretary Manager Urban Eberhart, Assistant Manager Kevin Eslinger, Field Supervisor Bob Main, Treasurer Stacy Berg, Lands Clerk & RRA Specialist Sara Vickers and Legal Counsel Jeff Slothower. Also, in attendance were KRD land owners Mark Charlton and Janeice Jump.

The amended agenda was approved with the addition of an executive session for reasons consistent with RCW 42.30.110(1)(i):(i) and (iii). The motion was made by Director Hansen and the second was made by Director Bland. The motion passed unanimously.

 

The minutes for the January 7, 2020 Board Meeting were approved with a motion made by Director Bland and the second was made by Director Wakkuri. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Public Comment: Mark Charlton attended a Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) Meeting where they discussed the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART). The United States Department of Agriculture is changing the way they are handling funding and Mr. Charlton expressed concern that the people at the meeting didnít seem to have a good understanding of irrigation districts. Mr. Eberhart explained that the KRD has been participating in the drafting of comments on this subject and they will be delivered to NRCS in Washington DC.  

 

Water Master Report: As of February 4, 2020, the five reservoirs were at 45% capacity which is 90.4% of average. Precipitation at the reservoirs from February 1st to date is 5.24 inches, or 196% of average and 20% of the months average. Precipitation for the Water Year to date is 149 inches, or 108% of average. The Snotel sites for the Upper Yakima are reporting 79% of average and the Lower Yakima Basin sites are reporting 100% of average.  

 

Maintenance Report: Field Supervisor Main reported that the excavator is being used to clean the North Branch Canal. Maintenance crews are continuing shop work and vehicle maintenance. A minor remodel of the office building bathrooms will start next week. The work on the Yakima Syphon is complete for the season. All of the anchors and steel panels on the discharge side of the syphon that were scheduled have been replaced. In the future, we will continue based on thickness testing.   

 

Secretary Managerís Activity Report: Mr. Eberhart participated in a panel presentation at the Oregon House of Natural Resources Committee on January 15th.

 

On January 23rd the Coho Habitat Advisory Team (CHAT) met to discuss Coho habitat in the Upper Yakima Basin and the 25 Coho Redds that have recently been identified in the KRD Wipple Wasteway.

 

Mr. Eberhart, Walter Larrick and Joel Hubble met in Toppenish on January 30th at a Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Columbia Basin Partnership Mid Columbia Meeting.

 

The Tri-State Irrigation Meeting was held in Portland, OR on January 31st. The meeting hosted several water associations and irrigation district managers from Washington, Oregon and Idaho who meet quarterly to discuss issues.

 

On February 6th, Mr. Eberhart will be in Yakima, presenting a TED Talk.

 

Mr. Eberhart will be presenting at the Kittitas County Hay Growers & Suppliers Meeting on February 18th.

 

The Family Farm Alliance Annual Conference is held in Reno, NV from February 19-21, 2020.

 

A Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Columbia Basin Partnership Meeting is being held in Boise, ID on February 25th-26th.

 

Mr. Eberhart requested permission to participate in a panel presentation at the 2020 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon School of Law on March 7th. Director Bland made a motion to approve the travel for Mr. Eberhart to attend the conference. A second was made by Director Wakkuri, the motion passed unanimously.

 

The KRD continues to work with Lobbyist Bill Clarke on legislative issues. The current areas of focus include the irrigation district elections process and the water banking and trust water legislative bills. Legal Counsel Slothower mentioned that the most impactful of the two current issues would be the changes to the election process. It would cause a financial impact to have the county auditor handle a mail in ballot process. There are additional changes within the bill that are still being worked out.

 

On February 5th, Mr. Eberhart will be meeting at the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife for a discussion on Swauk Creek Supplementation. The concept is that KRD could supplement water to Swauk Creek which could then allow for additional ground water storage, surface storage, exchanges or direct supplementation. Director Hansen asked if the KRD would be responsible for additional structures. Mr. Eberhart said that the Integrated Plan has been asked to fund a study to analyze the design and cost of any potential projects in this area and outside funding would be found.

 

The Upper Yakima System Storage Phase II Contract is moving forward, Ecology is scheduled to have the contract done soon.

 

A USBR employee is being scheduled to conduct an updated analysis of some of the flip flop impacts to KRD. The KRD will also be reviewing additional impacts as part of the Upper Yakima System Storage study.

 

The recent Water Supply Framing Process meeting at the Bureau went well. Several entities are working together for future planning and creating a project ranking system that will include smaller system storage alternatives in the interim.

 

Work on the Water Marketing with Trout Unlimited is continuing. There is a Technical Work Group that will meet later this week. Legal Counsel Slothower stated that one of the legislative issues is how water is moved around the state which can greatly impact the water marketing. Further information will be forthcoming.

 

There was a Groundwater Storage Subcommittee Meeting on January 29th for the Yakima Basin Focused Managed Aquifer Recharge Assessment Phase II. KRD will resubmit an updated proposal.

 

Tributary Supplementation ended December 12, 2019. We are now working on the 2020 program, a Tributary Supplementation Committee Meeting will be scheduled in the next two months.

 

Field Supervisor Main provided a project update for the South Branch Phase I Reach 2-3 Construction Project. There were some groundwater issues that delayed the project by a few days while it was drying out. The underdrain and canal excavation are complete. The canal floor is completed on the 3,000 lineal feet and 1,400 feet of the walls. Work is expected to be complete by February 25, 2020. 

 

North Branch Phase IIIB and IIIC. On January 21st, the KRD notified past project Plan Holders and posted on the website, a Bid Invitation and Bid Documents for the North Branch Phase IIIB and IIIC. The invitation was also posted in the Daily Record on January 23rd and 30th. There was a Pre-Construction meeting on January 28th. The bid opening is scheduled for 2:00 pm on February 12th, at the KRD office.  

 

Treasurerís Report: The Directorsí monthly payroll vouchers were presented for signatures. Summary Vouchers for the December 2019 expenses and the January 2020 payroll which included check numbers 43919-43985, direct deposit numbers 9901822 through 9901834 in the sum of $921,001.63 were approved with a motion made by Director Wakkuri. The second was made by Director Bland, the motion passed unanimously.    

 

Old Business: Treasurer Berg presented the 2020 Foreclosure List to the Board. Further efforts will be made to collect on the accounts before submitting the list to legal counsel.

 

New Business: Director Bland made a motion to approve the Certificate of Records Destruction. A second was made by Director Hansen, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Director Bland made a motion to approve the payments Yakima River Basin Coalition Assessment in the amount of $32,638.10, Yakima Basin Joint Board Dues in the amount of $40,000.00 and Family Farm Alliance Contribution in the amount of $4,163.46. A second was made by Director Hansen, the motion passed unanimously.

 

Other Business: The Board adjourned to Executive Session at 2:04 p.m. for 15 minutes per RCW 42.30.110(1)(i):(i) and (iii) there was a motion made by Director Wakkuri and a second made by Director Hansen. The motion passed unanimously. Executive Session was extended an additional 5 minutes. The Board returned to Regular Session at 2:24 p.m. with a motion made by Director Wakkuri, and the second was made by Director Hansen. The motion passed unanimously.

 

All business having been concluded the meeting was adjourned.

 

______________________________________

Mr. Schnebly KRD Board of Directors Chairman

 

______________________________________

Mr. Eberhart KRD Secretary Manager