Central Platte Natural Resources District Approves Property Tax Request and 2016 Budget

Central Platte Natural Resources District Approves Property Tax Request and 2016 Budget


(GRAND ISLAND, NE) The Central Platte Natural Resources District's board of directors adopted a budget of expenditures in the amount of $20.5 million at their board meeting on Thursday. The budget is down from the 2015 fiscal budget of $25.1 million. The property tax request of $6,115,709.64 is up $384,719.61. A levy hearing will be held at 1:45 p.m. just prior to the August board meeting, to be held on September 3rd. Flood control projects and completion of the canal rehabilitation projects in Dawson County make up the majority of expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year.


-NRCS Report- James Huntwork, USDA-NRCS district liaison, reported that applications have been processed for several conservation cost share programs to help improve water quality and quantity in central Nebraska. Huntwork said approximately $350,000 is available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), with 68 application requests totaling nearly $3.4 million. $700,000 is available through the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative with 45 requests totaling $2 million. Huntwork said the final selection of applications will be completed by September 30, 2015.

Teri Edeal, resource conservationist, reported that 48 people attended the Central Platte Rangeland Alliance Prescribed Burn Tour that was held in Dawson County on July 8th. Edeal said there is a lot of interest in prescribed burns, especially with the success that landowners are seeing in the area. Nine burns have already been scheduled with the Rangeland Alliance for the spring of 2016.

-Clean Community System Request- Denise McGovern-Gallagher, executive director of the Grand Island Area Clean Community System, and Kira Erickson, household hazardous waste technician, requested funding towards a paint can crusher for the facility. They also reported on recent and proposed changes for future operations. The board will table the decision to fund the request until August; however, they did approve a letter of support for the CCS's grant application for the Department of Environmental Quality.

-Hazard Mitigation- The board approved a contract with JEO Consulting to update the NRD's Hazard Mitigation Plan in the amount of $120,000; which is required to be updated every four years. The Plan allows counties and communities within the CPNRD access to federal funding through the Nebraska and Federal Emergency Management Agencies (NEMA, FEMA). Hazard Mitigation Planning is a process designed to identify ways to reduce the loss of life and property damage resulting from natural disasters such as tornadoes, severe winter and summer storms, flooding and other events. The plan area includes parts of Dawson and Buffalo counties, and all of Merrick and Polk counties. Each county and community involved in the plan actively participates in the process.

-ATV Bids- The board approved the sealed bid of $3,275.00 from John Kugler of Cozad for the NRD's 2009 Yamaha Grizzly 550 ATV. Eight sealed bids were submitted.

-Nitrogen Management- The board reviewed Nitrogen management data which indicates some areas of the NRD have rising nitrate concentrations and may need to go into a higher groundwater management phase to apply additional regulations. NRD staff plans to take additional water samples this irrigation season in those areas showing higher Nitrate concentrations. The board will review the data this fall and make any necessary changes to management areas.

-Nitrogen Management- The Water Resources Committee updated the board on their search for a web-based approach for crop reporting forms.

-Canal Rehabs- Lyndon Vogt, general manager, reported that all three canals lost their sand dams. Cozad Canal and Thirty Mile Irrigation District were unable to take water for 3-4 days while repairs were taking place; and Southside Irrigation District had trouble diverting their entire allotment for about 10 days. Southside's sand dam repair is scheduled to be finished this week. Vogt also reported that the rededication and tour for Southside's Orchard Alfalfa Canal will take place on Thursday, August 27, 2015 from 10:00 a.m.-Noon.

-Cost Share- The board approved 21 cost share applications by landowners in the amount of $85,036.18 for well decommissioning, streambank stabilization, center pivot incentives, planned grazing, underground pipe, sub-surface drip systems, brush management and windbreak renovation.