October 22 Board Meeting

JEO Consulting Group Presents Floodplain Maps to Central Platte NRD Board (GRAND ISLAND, NE)-  Lalit Jha, JEO Consulting Group, explained the new floodplain maps to the Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) board that were approved by FEMA to integrate flood reduction risks from the Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores Flood Risk Reduction Project. The project was completed in March 2019. The maps can be viewed and downloaded at https://www.grand-island.com/departments/regional-planning/regional-planning/flood-maps Chad Nabity, City of Grand Island, described his ‘relief’ when FEMA released the Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) in September that consists of seven revised map panels in northwest Grand Island and in Hall County north and west of Grand Island. The LOMR reduces the floodplain and ultimately requirements for flood insurance for 1,600 property owners and new areas to be developed. Project partners include the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Central Platte NRD, City of Grand Island, Hall County and Merrick County. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Soil Health Agreement  The board approved a subaward agreement with The Nature Conservancy that establishes terms for the $4.4 million Resilient Futures for Nebraska Soil Health initiative through the Resource Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The Upper Big Blue NRD is also partnering on the project to provide central Nebraska producers technical and financial assistance for soil health improvement practices. The funding for the RCPP is provided by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and matched by companies in the agricultural supply chain. The goal of the initiative is to improve soil health on 100,000 acres of cropland over the next five years by implementing cover crops, reduced tillage, and diversified crop rotations.  Partners plan to enroll 20,000...

September Board Meeting

PRESS RELEASE Central Platte NRD Selects JEO to Develop Elm/Turkey Creek Watershed Environmental Assessment (GRAND ISLAND, NE)-  The Central Platte Natural Resources District selected JEO Consulting Group to develop a Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Plan (WFPO)-Environmental Assessment to address flooding in the Elm and Turkey Creek Watershed at the board meeting on Thursday. JEO’s Plan approach will use a detailed hydrology and hydraulic model complemented with data from the Nebraska Department of Transportation studies, existing topographic surveys, field site visits, public input and 2019 flood event flow input. The model will illustrate anticipated inundation areas from various events, reductions from alternatives, and project screening. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Water Quality Committee  Chuck Maser, Director, reported that four of the five producers who were issued cease and desist orders in May remain out of compliance with the Groundwater Quality Management Program including Bernard Katzberg, Mike Munsterman, William Soll, and Richard Urban. Katzberg, Urban, and Artie Moller violated the cease and desist order with possible fines to be imposed through the District court process. Artie Moeller provided the required reports after the legal process had begun. -New Employees  Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, reported that Elison Wagner, Columbus, was hired as the CPNRD/NRCS/Rain Water Basin Joint Venture (RWBVJ) habitat specialist. Through an agreement with the Nebraska Community Foundation and the RWBJV, the Central Platte NRD will be reimbursed quarterly for the two-year position. Jackie Luebbe was hired as CPNRD/NRCS secretary in the Grand Island office. Both employees will work at the USDA-NRCS Service Center in Grand Island, NE. -ArcGIS   Jesse Mintken, Assistant Manager, presented information on the ArcGIS Solutions Platform used by...

Public Meeting- Lower Wood River Watershed Plan

The Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) is partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to hold a virtual public meeting regarding the Lower Wood River Watershed Improvement Project Work Plan – Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA). Due to social distancing requirements, the meeting will be held virtually through Zoom on August 18, 2020, from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to watch the live presentation online. The meeting will also be recorded and a link to the recording will be posted on the CPNRD’s website. The Zoom meeting information is as follows:  https://bit.ly/3fR6YDr Meeting ID: 819 2503 7780     Password: 141296 The Lower Wood River Watershed Improvement Project is located along the Wood River downstream of Riverdale to the confluence with the Platte River and is focusing on benefiting agricultural areas and the communities of Gibbon, Shelton, Wood River, and Alda. The purpose is flood prevention and the first step is a 24-month planning process to identify projects, such as berms, dams, channel cleanout, bridge and culvert improvements, and by-pass channels that will reduce flood damages and protect lives and infrastructure. Once the Plan-EA is approved, the CPNRD will work with NRCS and other funding agencies to move into the design and construction phases. During the meeting, attendees will be able to learn more about the Plan-EA from project personnel, as well as ask questions and provide feedback. Written comments will be accepted for up to 14 days after the meeting. The Plan-EA is being prepared to fulfill National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) responsibilities pertaining to federal financial assistance received through the NRCS’s Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO)...

August Board Meeting

PRESS RELEASE Central Platte NRD’s 2021 Budget Levy Down (GRAND ISLAND, NE)  The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors set the levy for their 2021 fiscal-year budget at 0.022982 at the August board meeting on Thursday.  With the levy set, a homeowner with a home assessed at $100,000 will pay $22.98 for conservation benefits provided by the Central Platte NRD including flood reduction, nitrate management, water use management, soil health, cost-share to producers, recreation and education. Total requirements for the general and sinking fund are $24.7 million with the required property tax of $4,059,000; a decrease of $147,325 compared to the 2020 budget. The total valuation received from the district’s 11 county assessors decreased 0.0734% to $17,653,315,322. The major expenditures in the 2021 budget are $4 million to meet future Integrated Management Plan compliance, and $2.1 million in Watershed Flood Prevention and Operations grants to complete watershed assessments. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Platte Valley Weed Management Request  The board approved a motion to invest $500,000 over three years in an endowment for the Platte Valley Weed Management Area (PVWMA) to fund the annual cost of maintaining water conveyance in the Platte River.  Since 2009, the PVWMA has treated approximately 26,000 acres of invasive plant species within flowing channels of the Platte River in Dawson, Buffalo, Hall, Merrick, Hamilton and Polk counties within the NRD. -Managers Report  Lyndon Vogt, general manager, reported that five producers who were issued cease and desist orders in May remain out of compliance with the Groundwater Quality Management Program including Bernard Katzberg, Artie Moeller, Mike Munsterman, William Soll, and Richard Urban. Katzberg, Moeller, and...

June 25 Board Meeting

PRESS RELEASE Spring Groundwater Levels Continue to Increase in the Central Platte NRD (GRAND ISLAND, NE)- On Thursday, Luke Zakrzewski, GIS image analyst, reported to the Central Platte Natural Resources District board that the average spring groundwater levels across the District had an accumulated gain of 3.29 feet from spring 1982 to spring 2020. Groundwater levels are averaged from the 413 observation and irrigation wells that NRD staff read annually from mid-April to mid-June; which consists of one well per every three miles. Additional observation wells will be installed this fall. A majority of the NRD’s 24 Ground Water Management Areas (GWMAs) saw increases because of above-average precipitation during 2019 that continued through this spring.  Last year’s groundwater levels were also up 2.08 feet compared to 1982 because of the above-normal precipitation. A comparison of the 1982 levels were established as the standard for Central Platte’s Groundwater Management Plan with maximum acceptable declines and a margin of safety calculated for each of the District’s 24 Ground Water Management Areas (GWMAs). Six of the 24 GWMAs are currently below the 1982 groundwater levels and subject to the 25% decline regulation that does not allow transfers of irrigated acres into the areas or supplemental wells. In 2012, the NRD’s Rules and Regulations began requiring the areas to stay in suspension for five years to lessen additional declines. If the water table would fall to 50% of the maximum decline, Phase II would go into effect requiring mandatory reductions in irrigated acres. For details on specific areas contact Luke Zakrzewski at (308) 385-6282 or luke@cpnrd.org. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -2021 Budget  The board...

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...