May 28th Board Meeting

FEMA Releases New Flood Maps in Central Platte NRD for parts of Hall County and Northwest Grand Island

At Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) audio/video meeting on May 28th, assistant manager Jesse Mintken reported to the board of directors that FEMA released the new flood maps for parts of Hall County and northwest Grand Island.  The proposed map changes from the Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores Flood Control Project can be found at https://www.grand-island.com/departments/regional-planning/regional-planning/flood-maps.

FEMA released a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) consisting of seven revised map panels in northwest Grand Island and in Hall County north and west of Grand Island. This LOMR reduces the floodplain and ultimately requirements for flood insurance for hundreds of property owners.  FEMA is holding a 90-day appeal period to accept technical appeals, if no valid appeals are submitted the effective date for the new maps in the LOMR is September 25, 2020.

After September 25th, property owners in the revised areas should contact their insurance company about shifting their Flood Insurance Policy to a preferred rate policy if they are no longer in the regulatory flood plain and contact their lender to determine if their loan still requires a flood insurance policy. A low-cost preferred rate policy is recommended as additional insurance for property that may still be in or near the revised flood risk areas, as flooding impacts are not covered by other forms of insurance. For details about the impact on flood insurance contact Chad Nabity, Hall County Planning Director at (308) 385-5240.

Project details are available on CPNRD’s webpage http://cpnrd.org/flood-control and at https://www.floodsafe-cpnrd.org/. For information about the project and the structures that were built to modify the floodplain contact Jesse Mintken, CPNRD assistant manager at (308) 385-6282.

-Richard Plautz Crane Viewing Site  The board selected JEO to design upgrades to the Richard Plautz Crane Viewing site near Gibbon. The total cost of the project is estimated at $315,000 with Central Platte NRD’s share totaling $16,000. CPNRD has received two grants to assist with rehabilitation of the site located at the intersection of Elm Island Road and Lowell Road. The two grants received are:

  • Recreational Trails Program (RTP) $259,500.00 from the RTP administered by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, CPNRD is required to contribute a 20% matching share. CPNRD will remove the nearly 1,660 LF deteriorated asphalt nature trail and replace it with an 8’ wide, 6” thick concrete trail and pave the 1,033 square yard gravel parking lot with 8” thick concrete.
  • Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET)$50,000 from NET to be used exclusively for repairs on the streambank near the viewing decks. The NRD will remove two large trees, install 2,700 LF of erosion control silt fencing, install 803 ton of quartzite riprap on the southeast side of Lowell Road bridge, install 600 willow stakes (live pole plantings) for natural, ecologically-friendly bank stabilization, and 0.6 acres of seeding and mulching once the new nature trail has been reconstructed.

 -Managers Report  Lyndon Vogt provided reports on the following:

  • Cease & Desists 18 of the 92 producers who received cease and desist orders in April remain out of compliance with CPNRD’s Rules and Regulations. The orders were issued for failure to submit the 2020 Nitrogen management forms and/or Nitrogen management tests. Irrigators in Phases II/III of the NRD’s Groundwater Quality Management Program are required to submit the annual reports by March 31st. Reports are required prior to the irrigation season to allow producers to utilize UNL’s recommended nitrogen application rate; which is calculated as the producers fill out the forms for their fields. The cease and desist order will be violated if the producer irrigates while in violation of the Program.
  • Office Update We are working on a schedule to bring all employees back to working in the office but still maintaining social distancing standards. We have plenty of field work and maintenance issues that can keep all field staff busy without spending time in the office.
  • New Employee Brody Vorderstrasse will begin employment as a Communications Assistant on June 1st. This is a shared position between NRCS, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, and the Central Platte NRD.
  • On-Farm Conservation The Nature Conservancy applied for $4.4 million in Regional Conservation Partnership Project (RCPP) funding, in collaboration with NRCS, CPNRD and UBBNRD. This five-year grant will provide farmers in the two NRDs with technical and financial assistance to adopt soil health practices on an estimated 100,000 acres. Eligible producers will have the option of implementing three soil health practices: cover crops, reduced tillage, and diversified crop rotation. Ultimately the program would connect farmers with private sector payments for soil health practice adoption.
  • Rain Event The heavy rains over the last few days tested CPNRD’s flood control structures once again. Everything appears to be working as designed and many people would be in much worse situations if they had not been installed. Vogt said hopefully through the Watershed & Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) process, other measures or structures can be identified to assist the communities and rural areas in the Wood River and Buffalo/Spring Creek watersheds.
  • Draft Budget The Budget Committee reviewed the proposed water programs budget and the draft Fiscal 2021 budget. At their June 25th meeting, the board will take action to schedule a public hearing in July for the 2021 Fiscal budget of expenditures. The levy will be set at the August board meeting, which is normally held one week late to accommodate the advertising requirements as the valuations are not available from the counties until August 20th.

-Tree/Weed Barrier Sales  CPNRD sold 20,475 trees and 2 miles of weed barrier this spring. Kelly Cole, administration assistant, provided a report that showed that CPNRD has sold a total of 3,780,468 trees since 1972 and 593.4 miles of weed barrier since 1991.

-UNL Taps Sponsorship The board approved $1,000 towards sponsorship of UNL’s Testing Ag Performance Solutions (TAPS) program. TAP’s teams work together to find solutions through innovation, entrepreneurialism, technology, improved techniques and cutting-edge methodologies for farms to maintain profitability, sustainability, and productivity.

 -Natural Resources Conservation Service  Joe Krolikowski, district conservationist, provided reports on the FY 2020 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds. All the applications that were received before March 13thare being ranked. The NRCS will extend contract offers through August or early September until all the funds are allocated.

  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CStP) FY2020 classic applications received by May 29th will begin the ranking process to be completed by July 10, 2020. Krolikowski said the competition for these funds is high with approximately 750 applications in Nebraska and funding for approximately 100 applications.
  • Conservation Reserve Programs (CRP) NRCS will work on applications and conduct field visits through September for conservation planning and contracts for this FSA program.

-Cost-Share  Three applications for streambank stabilization, tree planting, and well decommissioning were approved through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD cost-share programs in the amount of $4,678.75.

-Upcoming Events
– Board of Directors Meetings: June 25, July 23