Management Committee Conference Call Summary

July 15, 1998
1:00 - 2:15 p.m.

Participants: John Shields, Peter Evans, Brent Uilenberg, Chris Karas, Larry Shanks, Robert King, Robert Wigington, Tom Pitts, Dave Mazour, Henry Maddux, and Angela Kantola, Don Glazier.

1. Review/revise agenda - The agenda was modified as it appears below.

2. FY 98 capital funds budget - The Committee discussed expenditures on FY 98 capital projects. Brent reported that FY 98 budget expenditures are generally going well, and that the delay in Utah billings seems to have been resolved. In FY 98, the Management Committee approved $6.645M in capital projects. $6.013M of FY 98 funds were available, in addition to $2.13M in carry-over funds, for a total of $8.143M (and resulting in a $1.498M surplus). After approving the de-obligation of $1.3M on the last Management Committee conference call, we're left with a surplus of $198,000. Major areas of likely non-performance this year are Grand Valley Water Management (nothing will be started until the 15-Mile Reach biological opinion is done, including spending $400K on Palisade pipeline), and we won't make much progress on Price-Stubb fish passage. Other possible projects of concern are Wahweap pond construction (but the funds will be obligated in FY 98) and land acquisition. Henry reported that he's spoken with WAPA regarding getting help from their land acquistion people so we can get those funds obligated faster, and so he believes we'll be able to spend the $910K. Brent said he thinks we'll come pretty close to obligating all the remaining FY 98 funds and previous-year carry over funds if we press on with currently approved scopes of work, so he recommends that we not turn back any additional funds. Norman has made minor modifications in scopes of work to reflect ongoing changes.

Henry recommended that the Committee consider Larry Shank's recommendations to fix the leak in the Old Charley outlet structure and to repair the opening to the Leota flooded bottomland (within the existing $2.1M floodplain restoration budget):

Repair of Lower Leota Levee Removal Site

The recent construction of the lower Leota levee removal site did not function as planned and needs immediate repair and modification. This levee removal site suffered major erosion in the form of a 5-foot deep gully which allows for the substantial loss of Pelican Lake and Green River water utilized by waterfowl and shorebirds during fall migration. The is leakage is currently ~5 cfs and has serious negative impacts on the primary objective of the Refuge. Total estimated cost: $150,000 (>Chris Karas will look into the cost estimate and make sure it will really require this much).

Repair Old Charlie Wash Drain Structure

The drain structure at Old Charlie Wash presently leaks. With the recent Biological Committee's decision to drain and harvest fish in October, comes the problem of not having enough water within Old Charlie, that late in the season, due to the leakage. The Refuge supports and prefers draining in October, which better meets the needs of migrating birds. If the leaks are not addressed, costly augmentation of water into Old Charlie via "Gator Pumps" would be necessary to facilitate an October fish harvest. Repairing the leaky structure would help meet the objectives of both the Program and the Refuge, as well as being cost effective. Total cost, as estimated by BOR: $15,000

The Committee agreed to these. The Service will provide scopes of work (which for Leota, will include a discussion of how the repairs will solve the problem long-term)..

>Brent will fax out the final capital projects budget tally later this week. Henry reported that his office has been working on an explanation for any funds turned back; and >he'll provide that at the August MC meeting.

3. Ruedi O&M Costs

Henry said he'd recommended to the CWCB that they approve the 1-year 21650 af contract with no conditions for other than us paying the o&M charge of $3/acre-foot (for a total of approximately $60K), the Board approved that for this year. Recommend we fund this with FY 98 capital funds (from the remaining $198K) this year. The Committee agreed. >Some sort of documentation / scope of work should be prepared for this.

4. Orchard Mesa Check Contract - Uilenberg outlined the issue. As part of the Orchard Mesa check water right settlement, to the extent a surplus storage condition is generated in Green Mountain Reservoir, Reclamation is supposed to develop a contract for delivery of that water to the grand valley power plant (which is operated by 3 difft. non-Federal entities). Begin negotiations with those entities last January for the delivery of the surplus water to the power plant. The only issue that's come up is the term of the agreement: two of the entities want a contract for the extent of the check agreement (which is basically in perpetuity). Reclamation, however, has a policy for a maximum of 25 years for contracting for ?, but agreed to go with 40 years, the term of the ?. The water users rejected that; Reclamation came up with another alternative to dev. an agreement between the great plains and upper colorado bor to do ? as long as the check agreement is in place. BOR thinks this solves the water users concerns, but the water users remain concerned that the agreement could be modified at any time between the two BOR regions, without the water users being party to it. Brent replied that he believes the draft's been written so that's not possible. Peter said a suggestion at the Board was to include the water users as third party benificiaries in the agreement between the two BOR regions. >Tom Pitts recommended BOR get their draft reviewed by their solicitor before sending it to the water users for their consideration. This item will be on the next MC meeting.

5. July 27-28 Ground Tour

The bus leaves the USFWS office in Lakewood at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, July 27th. Cars may be parked in the parking lot. The Recovery Program has made the lodging reservations in Dillon (and will cover the costs of lodging). Tom Pitts will call Dan McAuliffe to discuss inviting Colorado congressional staff.

6. Other

The Implementation Committee meeting could not be moved to September 17, so it remains scheduled for September 10.

7. Next meeting - August 12-13 (beginning at 9:00 am on the 12th and concluding at 3 p.m. on the 13th) in Cheyenne, Wyoming (which will include a catered barbecue [approximately $12/per person] the evening of the 12th). The meeting will be in the Barrett Building. John Shields will send out hotel information on the listserver soon. Pending items for the August meeting are: review of action items from recent meetings; approval of the draft FY 99 work plan; tracking system; extending the Program beyond 2003; discuss comments on the IMO's; how to avoid turning back capital funds in future years; and the Orchard Mesa/Green Mountain water delivery contract.