Old pump to be replaced for irrigation

by Sharon Michaels 

BALLANTINE – Brian Bisbee with Pine Ridge Enterprises attended the Huntley Project Irrigation District’s meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10, to advise the board on prices of pumps needed for the replacement of the Ballantine pump.

After hearing three different quotes and specs, the board voted unanimously to purchase a Cascade 7.5-horsepower pump at $9,021.45. The pump being replaced is a 1935 model and it would cost more to repair (over $15,000), the board was informed by Falcon Pump. Falcon took the pump apart and charged the district $1,174.

After reviewing the time and labor charges, the district decided to postpone payment until Manager Mel Brozek could talk with them about the high price.

President Dale Bilyeu and Brozek entered into a discussion on the purchase of ram pump bearings the district needed. Dale thought they were already ordered and Brozek informed him he hadn’t been given the approval and he doesn’t spend the district’s money without approval.

The bearings had been discussed at the last meeting but the supplier needed a credit card to ship them to the district. It was decided Brozek needed to check and see if the company would take a money transfer rather than a credit card because the board does not have a credit card and doesn’t want one. The company later reconsidered and decided to go with the money transfer.

Bilyeu said to order them immediately because the district needed them now. “We appreciate the fact that you wanted our approval but you can call Bilyeu and he could have approved the purchase or contacted the board,” said board member Cody Kuntz.

The board approved the purchase of pipe for High Line Farm to repair a ditch. Brad Smith will install it at his expense and the district will supervise.

Brozek returned $185 in cash that had been overpaid to him on his trip to the convention in Denver in January. A $100 check for his stay at the Hilton was returned because he stayed at a relative’s house while attending the convention.

After discussing the price of electricity and charges for pumps that are not running, Brozek will speak to Yellowstone Valley Electric to see if changes can be made.

The district’s air compressor needs a new motor, Brozek reported to the board. After discussion, the board gave the go-ahead to shop for a new motor and purchase one.

The board voted that delivery of water to existing head gates would stay the same. If someone subdivides a farm unit, it is their responsibility to develop an irrigation system for the subdivision. This has happened to the district many times, where the subdivider has failed to inform the owner. Board member Russell Becker thought the district should consult an attorney to help them write the rule. The board agreed.

Board member Elmer Kembel asked the board to rent a shredder in the spring to help keep ditches clean. “This way we can try out different types and pick the one we like.”

The district’s annual meeting is scheduled on Thursday, March 18, at the school at 7 p.m. The next regular board meeting is Wednesday, March 10, at 2 p.m.

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