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 Service. The grant would identify what is needed to address flooding within the watershed and allow the NRD to move into a two-year planning phase.

-Storage/Office  The board approved the construction of office space on a proposed storage shop for the Thirty Mile Irrigation District (TMID) in Gothenburg, NE.

-Johnson Lake Trail  The board approved the purchase of native seed up to $150 to reseed 15,000 square feet along the new trail at Johnson Lake.

-Legislative Report  Mark Czaplewski, biologist, reported on LB 1072 – NRD General Obligation Bonding, Senator Hughes’s priority bill. The bill proposes to grant NRDs not encompassing a city of the metropolitan class, the authority to issue general obligation bonds, entitled flood protection bonds. The purposes of the bonds would be used to pay costs of design, rights-of-way acquisition, and construction of flood protection projects and practices within the natural resources district issuing such bonds. The flood protection projects and practices would include but are not limited to, low-impact development best management measures, conveyance channels, dams, reservoir basins, and levees.

To issue the bonds, the bill would require approval by two-thirds of the members of the board. Further, such special bond levy would be includable in the computation of other limitations upon the district’s existing tax levy authority.  Similar bonding authority already exists for the Papio Missouri River NRD, which encompasses a city of the metropolitan class (Omaha).

-Managers Report  Lyndon Vogt, general manager, reported the following:

* The Programs Committee will consider appointments to the Platte River Resilience Fund Advisory Committee; which will implement long-term funding for invasive phragmites and potential future invasive species.

*  Nine producers remain out of compliance for failure to submit 2019 crop reports for the Nitrogen Management Program. The 2020 crop report forms are due March 31st.

* The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) dismissed an interbasin transfer request from the Platte River to the Republican River Basin submitted by Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District (Central). The NeDNR found that Central cannot be a valid applicant or appropriator under the application because neither Central nor any of its customers will be making beneficial use of the water for compact compliance purposes in the Republican River Basin.

-Primary Election  Kelly Cole, administrative assistant, reported that the following directors have refiled for the CPNRD board: Jay Richeson, subdistrict 1; Dwayne Margritz, subdistrict 2; Marvion Reichert-subdistrict 3; Lon Bohn, subdistrict 4 for 2 years; Jim Bendfeldt, subdistrict 5; Mick Reynolds, subdistrict 6; Jerry Wiese, subdistrict 7; LeRoy Arends, subdistrict 8; Doug Reeves, subdistrict 9, and Barry Obermiller, subdistrict 10. Keith Stafford of Subdistrict 4 has decided not refile for the board, persons interested serving subdistrict 4 must file with the Nebraska Secretary of State by Monday, March 2nd.

-Check Signing Policy  The board adopted a policy to require dual signatures of the general manager and the treasurer on checks written over $50,000.

-Cost-Share The board approved 16 cost-share applications in the amount of $45,294.29 through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD cost-share programs for center pivot incentive, grazing deferment, capacitance probes, streambank stabilization, soil moisture sensor, tree planting, and well decommissioning.

-Natural Resources Conservation Service  Joe Krolikowski, district conservationist, provided a summary of EQIP and CSP contracts. Janelle Taubenheim, resources conservationist in the Lexington office, updated the board on the USDA-NRCS’s new conservation assessment ranking tool that is being implemented in all NRCS offices.

-Chairmen Selections  The following directors were selected to serve as chairman for the NRD’s committees: Chuck Maser-Water Quality, Keith Stafford-Water Quantity, Ed Kyes-Programs, Jerry Wiese-Eastern Projects, and Marvion Reichert-Western Projects.

-Upcoming Events
– Board of Directors Meetings: March 26, April 23, May 28.
– Nebraska Children’s Groundwater Festival: Tuesday, May 12 @ Central Community College and College Park in Grand Island, NE.