Nemaha NRD Board Meeting Report

Nemaha NRD Board Meeting Report


Tecumseh - After just a few months of advertising, the vacancy on the Nemaha Natural Resources District board of directors was filled during their regular meeting Thursday, April 10. Jim Gerweck from Falls City applied for the opening that occurred following the resignation of Ted Godemann earlier this year. Gerweck indicated his father's conservation mindset influenced his decision to apply.

He also recently retired as Richardson County Emergency Management Director, so he has the time to devote to the position. Because of a new state law, since the vacancy occurred early in Godemann's term, Gerweck will serve only through the end of 2014. Subsequently, since no one filed to run in the general election to fill out the remaining two years of the term, it will then be necessary for the board to appoint someone at their January, 2015, meeting to fill the remainder of the term through the end of 2016.

Four bids were considered for repair work at Spring Creek structure 5-2 located in Johnson County northwest of Johnson. Work includes some shaping and excavation to repair erosion to the dam face and emergency spillway. The bid of $4,100.00 from B.A.B., Inc., Adams, was approved; work is expected to be completed within the next month or so.

With the passage of the new Farm Bill, a substantial allocation was included for dam rehabilitation projects. Therefore, the board reviewed a list of 12 potential projects submitted to the Natural Resources Conservation Service to be considered for assessment and/or full rehabilitation.

Eight applications for well permits were on the agenda for review and potential approval. Two pairs of wells will be comingled to provide the desired flow rates. All eight permits were approved with four in Nemaha County, two in Johnson County, and one each in Gage and Richardson Counties.

Much discussion took place on potential revisions to the District's groundwater management rules and regulations, which underwent a significant overhaul about a year ago. Since then questions have arisen from producers, board members, and staff that prompted a look at refining some areas of the rules. Before the May board meeting, staff will collect comments and input from board members and work on prioritizing possible changes. Any changes made to the rules would require a public hearing before becoming final.

After considering the various conservation awards available, the board voted to submit one nomination for this year's Omaha World Herald Master Conservationist Award. The identity of the nominee will be announced at a later date.

Regarding the Steamboat Trace trail, requests for proposals were authorized to be sought for engineering services related to a problem area of the trail. The project would include assisting with preliminary design and finding and developing grant applications to address an erosion and drainage issue that impacts the trail surface north of Brownville between Honey Creek and Weldon Creek. Proposals should be available for board review at the May meeting.

Five directors volunteered to serve on a committee to help develop the FY2014-15 budget. Committee members will include Mike McDonald, Steve Sugden, Dan Hodges, Scott Kudrna, and Lisa Beethe.

Another request for proposals was authorized, this time to hire a qualified surveyor to complete property survey work on the Duck Creek project. Once land rights are secured for this multi-purpose project, which will include a public recreation component, it will be necessary to survey new property lines associated with the project. Those proposals are also expected to be available for review at the May board meeting.

The next regular meeting of the Nemaha NRD board of directors will be Thursday, May 8, 2014, beginning at 8:00 p.m. at the NRD headquarters in Tecumseh. Committees will meet prior to the board meeting.