March 26 Board Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting     Thursday, March 26, 2020     2:00 p.m. Conference Call PRESS RELEASE Central Platte NRD Board Votes to Continue Funding for GeoCloud Project (GRAND ISLAND, NE- The Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) held its monthly board of directors meeting via conference call on Thursday. The CPNRD’s physical office is closed to the public to monitor the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation; however, all calls are being answered. Action Items -Nebraska GeoCloud Project   The board approved the 2020 GeoCloud Interlocal Cooperative Agreement to continue the project through 2022 in the amount of $6,800. The annual project collects airborne geomagnetic imagery with the intention to correlate that data with sub-surface geology and hydrogeology.  Central Platte NRD has been a partner since 2016 when the project was initiated as a joint effort with the following NRDs: Lewis & Clark, Lower Elkhorn, Lower Platte North, Lower Platte South, Nemaha, Papio-Missouri River, Lower Loup, Upper Elkhorn, and Twin Platte. Other partners include USGS, Aqua Geo Frameworks, and the University of Nebraska’s Conservation and Survey Division.  The project received $247,437.60 from the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission in December of 2016; that funding period will conclude on June 30, 2020. -Monitoring Well Bids   The board awarded Sargent Irrigation the contract to construct 18 monitoring wells in the amount of $107,971.15. The monitoring wells will be drilled within one year in Buffalo, Custer, Dawson, and Frontier counties to provide additional data for the District’s Groundwater Management Program. Four bids were received. -Platte River Resilience Fund   The board appointed Deb VanMatre, Gibbon, to represent CPNRD on the Platte River Resilience Fund Advisory Committee. The fund will...

Feb 27 Board Action

Central Platte NRD Board Selects Fire Contractor (GRAND ISLAND, NE)-  The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) board of directors selected Scholl Fire and Fuels Management to implement 10-17 burns within the District this spring at their board meeting on Thursday. Landowners have applied for prescribed burns on up to 6,000 acres. Scholl had the low bid of $64,441 to supply a fire crew and equipment for 26 days. The CPNRD’s Prescribed Fire Program’s goal is to control undesirable vegetation, prepare sites for harvesting, planting or seeding; reduce wildfire hazards, improve wildlife habitat and plant production, remove slash and debris, and to restore and maintain ecological sites. Other Board Action -Outdoor Classroom Application  The Programs Committee approved an Outdoor Classroom Community application in the amount of $2,000 from Success Academy of Grand Island Senior High to plant 23 trees on Grand Island Boulevard. The trees will replace those lost to disease and storms. Students will be partnered with the City of Grand Island Parks and Recreation Department to receive hands-on training to learn how, when, and why it’s important to have a diversified tree canopy for our community. -Project Amendment  The board approved Amendment #9 in the amount of $135,539.97 from JEO Consulting Group to align an access road for a berm extension, install staff gauges, implement a flood alert modeling program, and develop an ArcGIS online map viewer for the Upper Prairie/Silver/Moores Creek Flood Risk Reduction Project. -Grant Application The board authorized staff to apply for a Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program (WFPO) grant for the Turkey Creek Watershed (49,011 acres) through the USDA- Natural Resources Conservation...

CPNRD to Select Fire Contractor

PRESS RELEASE Central Platte NRD Board to Select Fire Contractor (GRAND ISLAND, NE)-  The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors will review bids and select a fire contractor at their meeting at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 27, 2020. The NRD hires a contractor and crew to implement burns within the District for landowners who have applied for a prescribed burn. The program’s goal is to control undesirable vegetation, prepare sites for harvesting, planting or seeding, to control plant disease, reduce wildfire hazards, improve wildlife habitat, improve plant production quantity and/or quality, remove slash and debris, enhance seed and seedling production, to facilitate distribution of grazing and browsing animals, and to restore and maintain ecological sites. Other Board Agenda Items -Outdoor Classroom Application  The Programs Committee will review an Outdoor Classroom application from the Success Academy of Grand Island Senior High to plan 23 trees down Grand Island Boulevard to replace trees lost to disease and storms. -Chairmen Selections  Board members will select a chairman for the Water Quality, Water Quantity, Variance/Appeals, Programs, Eastern, and Western committees -Groundwater Management Plan   Update on Olsson’s rewrite of Central Platte NRD’s Groundwater Management Plan. -Legislative Report  Report on bills relating to natural resources introduced in this session. -Managers Report  Lyndon Vogt, general manager, will report to the board. -Natural Resources Conservation Service  Joe Krolikowski and Janelle Taubenheim will report. -Nebraska Association of Resources District  Jim Bendfeldt will report. -Nebraska Natural Resources Commission  Mick Reynolds, Middle Platte Basin representative, will report. -Cost-Share  Applications through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD cost-share programs will be considered. -Primary...

Jan 23 Board Action

PRESS RELEASE VanMatre and Ostermeier Elected as CPNRD Secretary & Treasurer (GRAND ISLAND, NE)-  The Central Platte Natural Resources District board of directors elected Deb VanMatre (Gibbon) for board secretary and Keith Ostermeier (Grand Island) for board treasurer at their meeting on Thursday. Officers may serve two, two-year terms. VanMatre has served one term as secretary and Keith Ostermeier took the seat held by Chuck Maser who had served two full terms as treasurer and was not eligible for re-election. Other Board Agenda Items -Violation Reports  Luke Zakrzewski, GIS image analyst, reported that 12 landowners/producers irrigated land that isn’t certified or approved for irrigation through a transfer in 2019. Zakrzewski said the number of violations has continued to drop each year. Violation letters will be mailed next week notifying violators that they must contact the CPNRD by February 27th to resolve the violations. If the land continues to be irrigated without certifying the acres in question, a cease and desist order will be issued and violators could face action in District Court. Tricia Dudley, water quality programs assistant, reported that 10 producers who received cease and desist orders in December had not resolved their violations for failure to submit their 2019 Nitrogen Management forms and/or tests. CPNRD legal counsel will contact the following individuals about potential penalties: Andrew Blessin, Kenesaw; William/Hazel Johnston, Vacaville CA; John Kearney, Overton; Mike Munsterman, Glenville; Jeff Perry, Shelby; Donald Santin Jr, Fullerton; William Soll, Columbus; Tim Sullivan, Lincoln; Richard Urban, Silver Creek; Quincy Week, Kearney. Irrigated acres under a cease and desist order cannot be irrigated until they are in compliance with the District’s...

December 19 Board Mtg

PRESS RELEASE Central Platte NRD Reports Historic Groundwater Level Increases from Spring to Fall (GRAND ISLAND, NE)- The Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) saw historic groundwater level increases in 2019. On Thursday, Luke Zakrzewski, data image analyst, reported to the CPNRD board of directors that of the 363 wells read by staff in both the spring and the fall this year, there was a district-wide gain of 0.76 feet from Gothenburg to Columbus. With crop irrigation that normally takes place from May until August in central Nebraska, it is unusual to have wells that record an increase from spring to fall. The historic precipitation that the District received attributed to 210 of the well levels increasing an average of 2.51 feet; and 153 wells that declined an average of 1.65 feet. Zakrzewski said 20 of the wells recorded their highest groundwater level and 50 wells had readings in the top 10% of their respective historic range. Most of the wells have been monitored each spring and fall by the CPNRD since the mid-1980s. Other Board Agenda Items -Board Secretary & Treasurer  Deb VanMatre, Gibbon, was nominated for a second term as board secretary by the NRD’s board nominating committee. Keith Ostermeier, Grand Island, was nominated for board treasurer. Officers may serve two, two-year terms. Chuck Maser, Grand Island, has served two full terms as treasurer and is not eligible for re-election. The election will be held at the January 23rd board meeting. -Funding Request  The board approved assisting Hall County with funding up to $30,000 for a portion of the County’s Amick Acres subdivision project. -Cease & Desist...

Nov 21 Board Meeting

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...

Oct. 24 Board Meeting

PRESS RELEASE Buyout Options in Flood-Prone Areas Presented to Central Platte NRD Board (GRAND ISLAND, NE)  – Katie Ringland, chief floodplain manager with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, presented several buyout options and requirements in flood-prone areas at the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors meeting on Thursday. Ringland provided information on three Hazard Mitigation Assistance grants that give communities an avenue to purchase flood-prone structures and maintain the land as open space.  Each program provides cost-share that is typically 75% federal and 25% local. The State of Nebraska is the applicant for each of the grants with sub-applicants (local sponsors) that would include state agencies, villages, cities, counties, natural resources districts, some 501C nonprofits, or federally recognized tribes. Following the March-July 2019 Presidential disaster declaration, Nebraska received approximately $50 million for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program that must be allocated within one year from the date of the disaster declaration. Two buyout or acquisition options are available for property owners. The first includes property acquisition and home demolition with the second including property acquisition and home relocation. Application requirements needed for each property are the scope of work, statement of assurances, sample of deed restriction, citizenship documentation, voluntary interest documentation, title search, budget, schedule, and benefit cost analysis. BOARD ACTION ITEMS -Eastern Project Committee  Chairman Ed Stoltenberg reported that the committee met with area citizens and Wood River Mayor Greg Cramer on October 1, 2019, to discuss what is needed to reduce flooding risks within the town of Wood River due to storm runoff.  Landowners interested in replacing riprap or dirt berms may apply for...

Sept. 26 Board Action

Central Platte NRD Board Supports Platte Valley Industrial Park Request (GRAND ISLAND, NE)- On Thursday, the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors approved a request from the City of Grand Island and the Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation to allow water to be diverted into the south side channel of the Wood River Flood Reduction Project. The request was made to determine a plan to alleviate drainage issues between South Locust Street and Highway 281. OTHER BOARD ACTION -Drop Structure Repair  The board approved a contract with JEO Consulting Group in the amount of $43,500 to survey, design, permit, and construct a new drop structure on the Upper Prairie Silver Moores Creek Flood Reduction Project to protect the streambed of Silver Creek upstream of the detention cell.  The new control structure will be built to replace a concrete structure that failed during the March flood event and will consist of a sheet pile weir with grouted riprap plunge pool. The streambank will be strategically regraded and protected with riprap in eroded areas, estimated at 1,000 linear feet of the streambank. If left unprotected, a headcut will spread upstream, threatening Schauppsville Road, farm ground, and other infrastructure.  CPNRD applied for cost-share for the repair through the NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection Program. -Managers Report  Lyndon Vogt, general manager, gave the following updates: – Oct. 24, 2019: Katie Ringland, Floodplain Management Section Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, will present buyout options and requirements in flood-prone areas. – Oct. 3, 2019: Senator Smith is hosting an Infrastructure Event in the Student Union at Hastings College. – Vogt said the NRD...

Board Agenda September 26

The Central Platte NRD board of directors will meet on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at the NRD office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE. The board meeting is open to the public. BUSINESS 1. NRCS Report   Joe Krolikowski, district liaison, will report. 2. Variance/Appeals Subcommittee   Review and make recommendations on a variance request from Buffalo County. 3. Eastern Projects   Review and possible action on: A) Platte Valley Industrial Park drainage request. B) Future programs discussion. 4. Platte River Program   Mark Czaplewski will have an update on the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program. 5. Managers Report   Lyndon Vogt will report. 6. Nebraska Natural Resources Commission   Mick Reynolds will report. 7. Nebraska Association of Resources Districts   Jim Bendfeldt will report. 8. Cost-Share   Action on cost-share requests through Central Platte NRD and the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation Program. 9. Financial Report   Action on the September financial report. 10. Award  Sandy Noecker will be presented a certificate for 40 years of service. Sandy’s open house retirement party will follow the board meeting from 3:00-5:00 p.m. 11. Other   As may develop prior to the board...

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...