NRD Proposes No Increase in Tax Levy

NRD Proposes No Increase in Tax Levy


The Board of Directors of the Papio-Missouri River NRD held their monthly meeting August 11, 2016. Actions include:


        Budget Proposed
        Rhea Selected for Subdistrict 1 Seat
        Lakeland Community to be served by NRD Rural Water Project


NRD Proposes No Increase in Tax Levy


     At its August 11th meeting, the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors heard public comments and then voted to propose a fiscal year 2017 general operating budget that will require no increase in the NRD property tax levy.

     “The NRD continues to hold the line on tax levy increases. This would be the 11th year out of the past twelve that the NRD has decreased or held steady its tax levy,” said NRD General Manager, John Winkler.

     “We have a number of vital projects that need to be built for flood control throughout our six-county region, especially the levees that protect Offutt Air Force Base and the brave men and women of the Fighting 55th . We must also construct additional flood control reservoirs that will not only save lives and property but will ultimately lead to the removal of thousands of hard working families and businesses out of the federal flood plain saving them thousands of dollars a year. Simultaneously, we continue to place emphasis on projects to protect water quality in our lakes and streams, construct extremely popular recreational trails and water-based recreation areas, and provide cost sharing to rural landowners to build soil and water conservation projects and wildlife enhancement,” said Winkler.


      The proposed budget calls for a Fiscal Year 2017 property tax levy of .038034, the same as in FY 2016. The levy would mean that the owner of property valued at $100,000 would pay a total of $38.34 in property taxes next year to support NRD projects. 


“The District, like all government entities, is experiencing increased costs for construction services, maintenance materials, wages, and vendor costs. Maintenance of our aging flood control levees and other infrastructure is costly but absolutely necessary. Levees, dams and trails are no different than streets and bridges, as they age they need maintenance,” he said.


     The NRD’s property tax levy amounts to less than two percent of the total property tax bill for residents living within the District’s six-county area. “This NRD serves more residents than any other government body, with the only exception being the State of Nebraska,” said Winkler.


The budget calls for an estimated $23 million in revenue from the NRD’s property tax levy. Total spending is estimated at $70.6 million. “One of the NRD’s strengths is our ability to leverage federal and state cost sharing on projects such as improvements to Missouri River levees south of Bellevue,” said Winkler. “These federal and state cost sharing efforts save local taxpayers millions of dollars,” he said


      The levy is based on an estimated 4.5 percent increase in valuations across the district. The Papio-Missouri River NRD area includes all of Sarpy, Douglas, Washington and Dakota Counties plus the eastern 60% of Burt and Thurston Counties.


     The NRD Board of Directors will hold a public hearing, approve a final budget and set the tax levy at its September 8th board meeting in Dakota City.



NRD Board Selects Bill Rhea to Complete Scott Japp Term on Board


     The NRD Board of Directors has selected Bill Rhea, a lifetime resident of Washington County, to fill the vacancy left by the death of NRD Subdistrict 1 Director Scott Japp. Rhea will complete Japp’s term of office that ends in December. Scott Japp died in a farm accident in June. Rhea was sworn into office at this meeting.


     The Board’s Executive Committee nominated Rhea. Vince Kramper of Dakota City, a former board member, was nominated for the seat by board member, Patrick Bonnett. Bonnett indicated
that Kramper had said he wouldn’t run for the seat in the November election. Rhea prevailed over Kramper 5-3

     Bill Rhea is also running for the subdistrict 1 seat in the November election. He is a fifth-generation farmer and has been active on two national executive committees – the National Beef Assoc. and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. He has also served as treasurer of the Nebraska Beef Council and currently serves as resource chairman of the NE Ag Leadership Council.


     A total of seven individuals applied for appointment to the Subdistrict 1 seat. In addition to Rhea, other applicants for the seat include Ted Japp of Blair, Vince Kramper of Dakota City, Shawn Melotz of Bennington, Brian Smith of Kennard, Tanna Wirtz of Arlington, and Dennis Zolck of Arlington. Subdistrict 1 includes a portion of Douglas County, all of Washington and Dakota Counties, plus portions of Burt and Thurston Counties within the Papio-Missouri River NRD area.


NRD Rural Water Supply Project to Add Service to Lakeland Estates


     The NRD Board has approved an agreement with Lakeland Estates Water Company to supply water to the Lakeland community along with numerous other subdivisions near the intersection of Hwy 133 and County Rd. 34 in central Washington County. Over 500 households are served by the Lakeland Estates Water Company. Water from the NRD’s Washington County Rural Water Supply Project will replace water currently obtained by Lakeland Estates from four wells the Lakeland system owns. Operating the system’s wells is costly and the water produced from them is high in iron. 


     “Every citizen of this country deserves access to clean, safe and reliable water and our staff, despite numerous road blocks, worked tirelessly to make this a reality for the residents of this part of Washington County,” said John Winkler, NRD General Manager.


     “Our NRD staff and the Lakeland Company have been investigating this possibility for some time and the agreement will well-serve both the NRD’s Washington County Rural Water Project and our new customer, Lakeland Estates,” said John Winkler, NRD General Manager. “The Lakeland-area community will be very pleased with the improved quality of water consumed in their homes,” he said.

     Lakeland will connect to the NRD Washington County Rural Water Project as a wholesale customer and will be responsible for all engineering costs associated with the connection plus a portion of the construction cost.


     In a separate action the Board approved a $226,362 contract with Ericksen Construction to complete the connection to the Lakeland Estates Water Company

Emmett J Egr, APR

Information/Education Coordinator

Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District

8901 S 154th St, Omaha, NE 68138


eegr [at]