Nemaha NRD Board Meeting Report

Nemaha NRD Board Meeting Report


Tecumseh - Another step was taken by the Nemaha Natural Resources District board of directors toward the Duck Creek Watershed project planned near Peru. During their regular meeting on Thursday, February 13, board members reviewed appraisals for purchase of land rights associated with the multi-use project that will integrate public recreation with flood control benefits. No action was taken as the review occurred within the confines of closed session as allowed by law to protect the public interest while discussing a strategy for acquiring the land rights. Construction of the dam is anticipated to begin by the fall of 2014.

A revised agreement with Randy Gyhra for a cost-share dam project on his land was brought before the board. Initial engineering on the project indicated that construction costs would exceed the limits allowed in the program policy. Since Gyhra is an experienced and reputable contractor, an agreement was reached wherein he would build the dam for $40,000, well below the estimated cost, if the NRD would pick up the cost of engineering, which is estimated to run about $20,300. Though still above the $50,000 normally allowed for such projects, the policy does give the board the option to approve larger cost-share amounts. It was pointed out that this structure will provide some important flood control within the Turkey Creek Watershed, so the board approved the revised agreement.

The NRD has been asked to partner with the other NRDs across the state in providing a contribution toward the new Nebraska Agricultural Experience Building at the state fairgrounds in Grand Island. The goal of this new building is to provide an interactive, educational opportunity to focus on agriculture and natural resources. Each NRD was asked to contribute $1,000, and the board agreed to participate in this amount. Overall cost of the building and exhibits is $5.5 million, and it is expected to be available to visitors year-round.

Four pre-applications were received for the next round of Urban Special Project funding. No action was required at this meeting, but the board did review the basic elements of each application. Applications were received from the City of Auburn for plantings and educational displays in conjunction with a new trail at the recreation complex, Auburn Public Schools for a nature explore playground area, and Village of Firth for native tree planting in a public park. The fourth application did not appear to qualify for funding under program guidelines. NRD staff will now proceed to work with the three qualifying applicants on their final application package which will be due May 1 and considered at that time for final approval and funding.

Bids to replace a 1998 Kawasaki ATV were reviewed by the board's executive committee. Their recommendation was to select a 2014 Arctic Cat from Schuster's of Beatrice at a net bid after trade-in of $4,811.00. This model met the minimum specifications and was under the budgeted allowance of $5,000.

In other action the board approved irrigation well permits submitted by the following applicants: Arlin Beethe in Johnson County, Ruth Wunderlich Trust in Lancaster County, and two permits each for Chad & Carol Herr and for Cade Herr in Richardson County.

No applicants came forward expressing interest in filling the vacancy in Subdistrict 10 created following the resignation of Ted Godemann. This position is entirely located within the city limits of Falls City, and the appointee would serve through the end of this calendar year. The board will continue to accept letters from interested people until the position is filled. As of February 13 there were still a few seats on the board for which no candidates had filed to run in the upcoming primary/general elections. Non-incumbents have until March 3 to get their paperwork in to the Secretary of State's office in Lincoln.

The next regular meeting of the Nemaha NRD board of directors will be Thursday, March 13, 2014, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the NRD headquarters in Tecumseh. Committees will meet prior to the board meeting.