Lower Platte South Natural Resources District Reduces Tentative Budget

Lower Platte South Natural Resources District Reduces Tentative Budget


Lincoln (NE) July 20, 2017 – The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District Board of Directors has tentatively approved a budget for its 2018 fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).  The balanced budget of revenues and expenditures totals $25,620,085, or about $470,000 less than the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget.  Before approving the tentative budget, the Board approved a recommendation from its Finance and Planning Subcommittee to lower the budget and the property tax requirement by $250,000 when it met Wednesday.  Board Chair Ray Stevens said, “The Finance and Planning Subcommittee, along with the NRD staff, worked diligently to produce a balanced budget designed to lower our tax levy and to meet our responsibilities to conserve and protect the natural resources entrusted to us.”  With property valuations across the district’s six-county area expected to increase approximately 5%, the resulting tax levy would be reduced from last year.  The property tax requirement is $9,502,263, about 2.6% more than for the previous budget. 

A multi-year plan to keep Lincoln’s Salt Creek flood control levees safe and reliable would continue under the proposed budget.  After two years of planning, an NRD proposal for updating the 13-miles of levees that help protect Lincoln neighborhoods and businesses from flooding was recently approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).  The plan includes spending approximately $500,000 per year for the next 15 years to make the updates.

Initial work toward reducing the threat of flooding in Lincoln’s Deadman’s Run Watershed, north of UNL’s East Campus, is also anticipated in the tentative budget, as the NRD and the City of Lincoln continue working with the Corps to develop a plan that currently totals about $25.5 million.  The Corps would provide $10 million and the remainder would be up to the NRD and the city, over a period of several years.  The NRD’s total share of the project costs would be $7.75 million.  It is estimated over 500 homes would no longer be in the floodplain.  The benefit-to-cost ratio is 1.54 to 1.0.

About $1 million is in the budget for cost-sharing with landowners who make conservation improvements to their land.  The budget for construction and maintenance of flood control dams and for maintaining waterways and stormwater facilities totals about $4.5 million.  Nearly $1 million is set aside for the management of ground water.

Final consideration of a Fiscal year 2018 Budget is expected when the NRD Board meets on August 16th.

The Board also appointed Bob Andersen to represent Subdistrict Nine on the Board.  The vacancy was created when Larry Zimmerman recently moved out of the subdistrict.  Andersen will serve the remainder of the four-year term, through December of 2018.  He is a 27-year veteran of the NRD Board, having also served from 1987 to 2014.  He was a Board Chair and held several other Board offices.  Subdistrict Nine includes a portion of southeast Lincoln, generally between Pioneers Boulevard and Pine Lake Road, 27th Street to 84th. 

The NRD will begin construction of another portion of the Salt Creek Levee Trail soon.  The trail (going downstream) currently ends at 14th Street, on the south side of Salt Creek near the Devaney Sports Center.  The new extension will begin at 14th, on the north side of the creek and end at approximately 23rd Street and Cornhusker Highway.  The Board approved a low bid of about $295,000 from Stephens and Smith Construction, of Lincoln.

In other business the NRD Board:

- approved a bid of $36,135 from Tim Sisco Construction, of Firth, for repairs to Weeping Water Watershed Dam 5h, three miles northeast of Elmwood, in Cass County.

- authorized submitting an application on behalf of the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment for nearly $2 million to the Nebraska Water Sustainability Fund for airborne electromagnetic surveys to determine the geology of sites throughout eastern Nebraska.

- approved three agreements with JEO Consulting related to Salt Creek Levee improvements.

- approved NRD cost-sharing with three landowners to make conservation improvements on their land, totaling $25,581.

- Awarded a construction contract for the repair of the Oak Creek Weir at First Street to High Plains Enterprises, of Martell.