58 Producers to Receive Cease & Desist Orders
(GRAND ISLAND, NE) – On Thursday, the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors approved issuing Cease and Desist Orders to 58 producers for failure to submit crop report forms for the CPNRD’s Nitrogen Management Program. The number of violations represents less than two percent of the 5,500 forms submitted annually. Producers in Phase II/III program must file reports for all crops grown including corn, sorghum, potatoes, beans, alfalfa, and all small grains. The form includes actual crop results for the 2018 crop year and planning for the 2019 crop year.
The annual report forms are due March 31st as part of the District’s Groundwater Quality Management Program. Irrigated acres under a cease and desist order cannot be irrigated until they are compliant with the Program. Potential penalties for violation are: the possibility of a fine not less than $1,000 and up to $5,000 per violation and/or a loss of irrigated acres, ineligibility for NRD cost-share, and restriction from transferring any irrigated acres. Violators may request a hearing in front of the Board within ten (10) days of receiving the certified Cease and Desist notification.
BOARD ACTION ITEMS
-Dianne Miller to Retire Dianne Miller, administrative director, will retire effective November 30, 2019. Miller has been employed by the Central Platte NRD for 47 years, since the NRDs were established, and worked for the Mid-Platte Valley Watershed which was merged into the NRDs. Dianne oversaw the accounting system, District operations insurance, NRD elections, and board meeting minutes. She served on the NRD/NARD Employees Benefits and NARD Intergovernmental Risk Management Pool Association Loss Control committees. Kelly Cole, programs coordinator, has been training under Miller and will take over the administrative director position effective December 1st.
-Board Officer Nominating Committee- The board elected Alicia Haussler, Keith Ostermeier, and Ed Kyes to serve as the board officer nominating committee to make recommendations for secretary and treasurer. Board officers may serve two, two-year terms. Deb VanMatre, Gibbon, has served one full term and is eligible for re-election as secretary. Charles Maser, Grand Island, has served two full terms and is not eligible for re-election as treasurer.
-Change Order for Levee- The board approved Change Order #2 as requested by JEO in the amount of $7,424.30 for the Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores Creek Flood Risk Reduction Project. The change order included topsoil, tree removal, crushed rock, seeding, and rip rap to complete the levee.
-Hazard Mitigation Plan The board authorized JEO to pursue a FEMA grant application for funding to update the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.
-Audit Report- The board accepted the 2018/2019 audit as presented by Jake Klabenes, Lutz Accounting.
-Long Range Implementation Plan The board approved the Long Range Implementation Plan for 2019-2024 as presented by Marcia Lee, information/education specialist. An annual update of the Plan is required under the Nebraska Natural Resources District Act to summarize planned district activities and project finance, staff, and land right needs of the district for the next five years.
-Natural Resources Conservation Service Joe Krolikowski, district liaison, reported that field office staff are receiving a new conservation planning and application ranking software system. Following staff training on the system, the FY2020 applications will be ranked and contract offers will be extended to the highest-ranked applications so fund obligations can be completed in 2020. The board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with NRCS for a continued working agreement. The MOU specifies responsibilities for the Central Platte NRD and the NRCS.
-Managers Report Lyndon Vogt, general manager, reported the following:
- Flood Planning Grants CPNRD was selected to receive $1.35 million through the Watershed & Flood Prevention Operations Program from NRCS to identify what is needed to address flooding within the Spring/Buffalo Creek Watershed and the Lower Wood River Watershed and to design specific watershed plans.
- RCPP Extension A one-year extension was approved for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) through May 2021. CPNRD producers have received $1.7 million through RCPP.
- Soil Health Grant Vogt is currently in discussion with The Nature Conservancy and Upper Big Blue NRD to partner in applying for an RCPP grant for soil health.
- Phragmites Endowment The local UNL Leadership Group is discussing an endowment for invasive Phragmites management on the Platte River.
- NeDNR Levee Inventory The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources is currently conducting a levee inventory throughout the state.
- Water Programs Update CPNRD will host the annual Water Programs Update on February 12, 2020, at the Dawson County Extension Building. The public is encouraged to attend.
-Nebraska Natural Resources Commission Mick Reynolds, Middle Platte Basin representative, reported that the scoring committee has completed ranking the Water Sustainability Fund applications and the committee will present their recommendations to the Commission in December.
-Cost-Share Nine applications were approved in the amount of $25,754 through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD cost-share programs for planned grazing, underground pipeline to pivot, burn preparation, and well decommissioning.
-December Meeting The December board of directors meeting will be moved to Thursday, December 19, 2019, to observe the Christmas holiday.