Noecker to Retire after 40 Years

PRESS RELEASE Noecker to Retire After 40 Years with Central Platte NRD (GRAND ISLAND, NE) Sandy Noecker, data and compliance officer with the Central Platte Natural Resources District, will be retiring after 40 years of service to the Central Platte NRD. An open house retirement celebration is scheduled for Thursday, September 26, 2019, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the NRD office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, Nebraska. Noecker began her employment as a secretary in 1979 and has held several positions over the last four decades. In 1987 after the NRD purchased new computers, Noecker was promoted to data network specialist for the water quality and water quantity programs. Her title was changed to data and compliance officer in 2003 to better describe the work that she was doing. Noecker said the accomplishment that she’s most proud of is the NRD’s Groundwater Quality Management Program. The board implemented the phased program in 1987 to address high nitrates in the groundwater and went to online reporting in 2015. The Nitrogen & Irrigation Management Demonstration Project, initiated in 1984, is the longest-existing demo project in the nation and has utilized over 400 demonstration sites on producers’ cornfields to research nitrogen management.  Average nitrate levels have decreased from 19.4 parts per million (ppm) in the 1960s to 13 ppm in 2018. Noecker said, “Our management program has been a model for other NRDs in the state and entities nationwide who are looking to address water quality problems in their areas.” BOARD MEETING Prior to Noecker’s retirement open house, the board of directors will hold their monthly board meeting at 2:00...

Board Action -Aug. 29

NEWS RELEASE Central Platte NRD’s 2020 Budget Levy Down (GRAND ISLAND, NE)  The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors approved the levy for their 2020 fiscal-year budget at 0.023799; therefore, a homeowner with a home valued at $100,000 will pay $23.80 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. A property tax request of $4,204,344.77 was approved at the July board meeting; which is down $323,412.83 compared to the 2019 budget. The total valuation received from the district’s 11 county assessors increased .5122% to $17,666,288,850. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Schroeder Property  The board selected JEO Consulting to evaluate management alternatives for property purchased in Dawson County in the amount of $109,620. Proposals were also received by EA, Olsson, and the Flatwater Group.  The 157-acre property was purchased in April 2018 with the intention of retiring the pivot and gaining 107 acre-feet (AF). CPNRD intends to retire the groundwater irrigated acres to receive benefits from the retirement, but also wishes to evaluate other potential uses of the property to maximize the hydrologic benefit to meet requirements of the Integrated Management Plan, the Basin-Wide Plan for Integrated Water Resources Management for over-appropriated areas in the Platte River Basin, and Nebraska’s New Depletions Plan. -Recharge Agreement  A recharge agreement with the Nebraska Community Foundation for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program was approved. The agreement changes the way the CPNRD is paid for groundwater recharge via seepage through the Six Mile, Cozad, Thirty Mile, and Orchard Alfalfa canals in the non-irrigation season. The total...

Levy Hearing on August 29

Central Platte NRD to Hold Levy Hearing for 2020 Budget (GRAND ISLAND, NE)-  A levy hearing is scheduled at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2019, for the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s 2020 budget. The NRD board’s August meeting will begin at 2:00 with both being held at the NRD office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE. The 2020 fiscal year budget was approved at $20,896,780.63 last month with a tax request estimated at $4.2 million; which is down $323,412.83 compared to the 2019 budget. Based on last year’s valuation, the levy for FY 2019/2020 is approximately 0.02392 compared to 0.02576 last year. A homeowner with a home valued at $100,000 will pay $23.92 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. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Management Proposals  The Water Quantity Committee will review four proposals to evaluate management alternatives for property purchased in Dawson County adjacent to the Orchard Alfalfa Canal. A recommendation will be taken to the board. -Recharge Agreement  The Water Quantity Committee will review a recharge agreement for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program and take their recommendation to the board. -Elect Voting Delegates  The board will take action to elect a voting delegate and alternate for the Nebraska Association of Resources District’s annual conference in September. -Managers Report  Lyndon Vogt, general manager, will report to the board. -Nebraska Association of Resources District  Jim Bendfeldt will report. -Nebraska Natural Resources Commission  Mick Reynolds, Middle Platte Basin representative, will report. -Natural Resources Conservation Service  Joe Krolikowski,...

NRD Receives Awards for Groundwater Festival

NEWS RELEASE Central Platte NRD Receives Izaak Walton League Awards for Groundwater Festival (GRAND ISLAND, NE)  Mike Gaghagen, Izaak Walton League of America member, presented the Grand Island Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) award to the Central Platte Natural Resources District for outstanding contributions to the conservation of our nation’s natural resources through the Nebraska Children’s Groundwater Festival. The award was presented at the Central Platte NRD’s board of directors meeting on Thursday. Grand Island IWLA members present an activity at the Festival each year titled Critter Cube Count which teaches students how to identify macroinvertebrates then use math to calculate the health of a stream and how it affects groundwater. This was the second award presented this month to the Central Platte NRD for the Nebraska Children’s Groundwater Festival. On July 17, 2019, the Izaak Walton League presented their National Honor Roll Award to Kelly Cole and Marcia Lee, festival coordinators, at a ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa, for efforts to educate youth about natural resources through the Groundwater Festival. Over 30,000 students from across the state have attended the annual Festival that has been replicated in 42 states in the United States, and in Mexico, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s Fiscal Year 2019/2020 budget of $20,896,780.63 was approved at the board of directors meeting on Thursday. The property tax request estimated at $4.2 million is down $323,412.83 compared to last year.  Based on the District’s total valuation from last year, the estimated levy would be approximately 0.02392. A levy hearing will be held at 1:45 p.m....

NRD to Consider Approval of IMPs

Central Platte NRD to Consider Approval of Integrated Management Plans (GRAND ISLAND, NE)  The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors will consider approval of the Basin-Wide and CPNRD Integrated Management plans at their monthly meeting to be held on July 25, 2019. Public hearings for the plans were held on July 15, 2019, with a public information meeting held just prior to the hearings at the Central Platte NRD office. The original plans were approved in 2009 with a requirement that the same parties develop a second increment within 10 years after the adoption of the first increment plans.  The Basin-Wide and CPNRD Integrated Management plans were implemented to ensure that Nebraska is following the Nebraska New Depletions Plan included within the Platte River Recovery Implementation Plan. Additional details are available on the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources website at dnr.nebraska.gov/iwm. The board of directors meeting will begin at 2:00 p.m. at the CPNRD’s office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE. BUSINESS 1. NRCS Report   Joe Krolikowski, district liaison, will report. 2. Budget   Adopt proposed or amended 2019/2020 Fiscal budget. Schedule levy hearing prior to the August 29th board of directors meeting. 3. Water Quantity Committee   Review proposals to rewrite the NRD’s Ground Water Management Plan and take recommendation to the board. The board will take action. 4. Integrated Management Plan   The board will consider approval of the second increment CPNRD Integrated Management Plan. The Plan will be effective on September 11, 2019. 5. Basin-Wide Management Plan   The board will consider approval of the second increment Basin-Wide Management Plan. The Plan will be effective on...

Spring Water Levels Increase

Spring Water Levels Increase Throughout Central Platte NRD (GRAND ISLAND, NE)  Luke Zakrzewski, GIS image analyst for the Central Platte Natural Resources District, reported at the June board of directors meeting on Thursday that the average spring 2019 groundwater levels across the District increased 2.08 feet since 1982. These levels are averaged from the 437 wells that NRD staff read this year from mid-April to mid-June.  Zakrzewski said all 24 GWMAs saw increases because of timely rains during the 2018 irrigation season that continued throughout the fall, and 200 to 300 percent above normal precipitation this spring. A comparison of the 1982 levels were established as the standard for the NRD’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 (GWMA). Four of the 24 GWMAs are currently in the 25 percent decline suspension that does not allow transfers of irrigated acres into the areas or supplemental wells.  The NRD’s rules and regulations require the areas to stay in suspension for five years. Two of the four areas in suspension are above the 25 percent decline for the second consecutive year, while the remaining two areas are showing an increase for their first year.  If the water table would fall to 50 percent of the maximum decline, Phase II would go into effect requiring mandatory reductions in irrigated acres. Central Platte NRD serves 11 counties including all of Dawson and parts of Frontier, Custer Buffalo, Hall, Howard, Nance, Merrick, Hamilton, Platte and Polk. Interactive maps are available at cpnrd.gisworkshop.com. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Budget  The board...

Board Agenda-June 27

The Central Platte NRD board of directors will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, 2019, at the CPNRD office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, Nebraska. BUSINESS AGENDA 1. NRCS Report   Joe Krolikowski, district liaison, will report. 2. Dams Repair Contract  Eastern Projects Committee will have a recommendation on a contract with JEO Consulting to rehabilitate several of the NRDs dams. 3. Budget Committee   Review preliminary 2020 fiscal year budget and act on the budget of expenditures for the purpose of holding a public hearing in July. 4. Spring Water Levels   Luke Zakrewski will report spring static groundwater levels compared to 1982. 5. Cease & Desist   Luke Zakrzewski will request issuing a Cease & Desist Order for a landowner in Dawson County. 6. Platte River Recovery Implementation Program   Mark Czaplewski will give an update on the Program. 7. Tree Report   Kelly Cole will report the annual tree and weed barrier sales. 8. Managers Report   Lyndon Vogt will report. 9. Nebraska Natural Resources Commission   Mick Reynolds will report. 10. Nebraska Association of Resources Districts   Jim Bendfeldt will report. 11. Cost-Share   Action on cost-share requests through Central Platte NRD and the Nebraska Soil & Water Conservation Program. 12. Financial Report   Action on the June financial report. 13. Other   As may develop prior to the board...

Spring Water Levels Report

Central Platte NRD to Report Spring Water Levels (GRAND ISLAND, NE)  Luke Zakrzewski, GIS image analyst for the Central Platte Natural Resources District, will report the spring 2019 static groundwater level results at the June board of directors meeting, with a comparison of groundwater levels in 1982. The 1982 levels were established as the standard for the NRD’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 (GWMA). Central Platte NRD serves 11 counties including all of Dawson and parts of Frontier, Custer Buffalo, Hall, Howard, Nance, Merrick, Hamilton, Platte, and Polk. Interactive maps are available at cpnrd.gisworkshop.com. The CPNRD Board meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, 2019, at the NRD office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE. OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS -Budget  The Budget Committee will review the 2020 fiscal year budget.  At the board meeting, directors will review and act on the budget of expenditures for the purpose of holding a public hearing in July. –Variance Request  The Variance/Appeals Committee will discuss and recommend action on a variance request from Dawson County. -Dams Repair Contract  The Eastern Projects Committee will review and make a recommendation to the board on a contract with JEO Consulting to rehabilitate several of the NRDs dams. -Platte River Recovery Implementation Program  Mark Czaplewski, biologist, will give an update. -Tree/Weed Barrier Sales  Kelly Cole, programs coordinator, will report on the number of seedlings and the miles of weed barrier sold through the Conservation Tree Program. -Managers Report  Lyndon Vogt, general manager, will...

Board Action- May 23

NEWS RELEASE CPNRD Board Approves Plans for Public Hearings (GRAND ISLAND, NE) – The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors took action to approve the Basin-Wide and Individual Integrated Management Plan drafts to hold public hearings on July 15, 2019, at 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. respectively. A public information meeting will be held at 2:30 p.m. just prior to the hearings. The original plans were approved in 2009 with a requirement that the same parties develop a second increment within 10 years after the adoption of the first increment plans.  The Basin-Wide and CPNRD Integrated Management plans were implemented to ensure that Nebraska is following the Nebraska New Depletions Plan included within the Platte River Recovery Implementation Plan. Additional details are available on the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources website at dnr.nebraska.gov/iwm. Other discussion and action items: -Water Exchange MOU  The board approved a water exchange Memorandum of Understanding with the Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District for the second year. -Cover Crop MOU  A Memorandum of Understanding with Lower Loup NRD for a three-year cover crop study in Sub-Area 9 of CPNRD’s Ground Water Management Program to determine the amount of water required to grow cover crops. -NRCS Watershed Planning Grant  The board approved submitting two grant applications to NRCS through the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program for the Wood River and Buffalo Creek. They also approved the funding to contract for the grant application. –Cease & Desist  The board approved issuing a Cease and Desist Order to a landowner in Hall County if the landowner does not submit required documents by May 31, 2019....

April Board Action

April 25th Board of Directors Meeting (GRAND ISLAND, NE) – Five students were selected to receive $1,000 through the Ron Bishop-CPNRD College Scholarship Program for the 2019-2020 academic year at the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of director’s meeting on Thursday. Students awarded scholarships: Klint Gill, Cozad; McKinley Harm, Gothenburg; Sage Williams, Eddyville; Juan Arellanes Gallorzo, Grand Island; and Jason Line, Miller. Applications are ranked on natural resources major, essay, and applicants must be a junior, senior, or 5th-year college student. Other discussion and action items: -TAPS Program  Chuck Burr, UNL, presented the Testing Agriculture Performance Solutions (TAPS) program which facilitates farm management and education through real-life farm management competitions. Participants test a large variety of strategies and technologies and are provided access to a large dataset from the competitions at the end of the year. This program is supported by the University of Nebraska extension, natural resources districts, non-profit organizations, industry leaders, and financial industries. -Nitrogen Management Reports  Six producers who have not submitted their 2018 Crop Report forms and/or Nitrogen management tests will receive a letter reminding them that irrigated acres under a cease and desist order cannot be irrigated until they are in compliance with the District’s Groundwater Management Program. CPNRD legal counsel will be contacting the individuals who have been issued cease and desist orders about potential penalties. Potential penalties for violation are: 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. Crop report forms are due March 31st each year. Producers who...