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...

April 23 Board Meeting

Central Platte NRD Selects College Scholarships Recipients (GRAND ISLAND, NE)- The Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) board of directors selected five recipients for the Ron Bishop-CPNRD College Scholarship Program at their meeting held via conference on Thursday.  The students selected are Amanda Fay of Grand Island, Jason Line of Miller, Myles Mendell of Gothenburg, Klint Gill of Cozad, and Joshua Wiese of Shelton.  The students were selected based on their natural resources major and will receive $1,000 scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year. Other Action/Reports -Nitrogen Management Reports The board approved issuing 92 cease and desist orders to producers who are in violation of the CPNRD’s Rules and Regulations for failure to submit their 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 annual reports online at cpnrd.gisworkshop.com by March 31st annually.  The 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 each of their fields. The cease and desist will be violated if the producer irrigates. Penalties for violation are potential fines ranging from $1,000 – $5,000 per violation and/or loss of irrigated acres, ineligibility for NRD cost-share, and restriction from transferring irrigated acres.  For more information about the crop reporting form or the Groundwater Quality Management Program, visit cpnrd.org or contact Tricia Dudley at (308) 385-6282 or dudley@cpnrd.org. -Watershed & Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) NRCS has approved a grant application for 100% of the cost for completing a watershed and flood prevention operations...

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...