Central Platte NRD Board Sets Levy for 2023 Budget

Central Platte NRD Board Sets Levy for 2023 Budget


GRAND ISLAND, Nebraska –  The Central Platte Natural Resources District held a public hearing on Thursday to hear public comments on the proposed fiscal 2022/2023 levy, just prior to the Board of Directors monthly meeting. Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, said with the total requirements for the general fund and sinking fund at $28,448,376.11, the required property tax is $4,395,462.13 - an increase of $411,839.44 from 2022. The counties within the Central Platte NRD include all of Dawson and parts of Custer, Buffalo, Hall, Howard, Nance, Merrick, Hamilton, Platte, Polk and Frontier.  With the District’s total assessed valuation at $18,752,221,861 the required 2022/2023 levy was set at 0.023440 compared to last year's levy of 0.022196. With this levy, property owners with properties valued at $100,000 would pay a total of $23.44 in property taxes next year to support conservation benefits provided by the Central Platte NRD including flood reduction, water quality management, water use management, soil health, cost-share for producers for conservation practices, forestry, land management, recreation and education.


-Manager’s Report  Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, provided reports on the following:
Nitrogen Use Efficiency Dashboard  The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts requested that staff present the Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) Dashboard created by Central Platte NRD at their Fall Conference. UNL and Corteva are also giving presentations on their nitrogen dashboard programs at the conference. UNL has expressed interest in meeting with CPNRD about the dashboard and assisting each other.

Proposed Groundwater Management Plan  The updated Groundwater Management Plan has been sent to the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources for review. They will forward it to all appropriate agencies for review and have 90 days to respond with comments. Public information meetings to review the changes with the public will be held from 9:30-11:30 on November 10th at the Merrick County Youth & Agricultural Center in Central City and November 15th at the Buffalo County Extension in Kearney. The board will likely consider approval in December or January.

Water Programs Update  CPNRD’s annual Water Programs Update has been scheduled for February 16, 2023, at the Merrick County Youth & Agricultural Center in Central City.

Violations  Seven producers remain out of compliance with the CPNRD’s Groundwater Quality Management Plan.  One of the producers previously out of compliance, Richard Urban, has paid his fine for violating the cease and desist order and is currently in compliance with the Groundwater Quality Management Program; however, the NRD has sent him a cease and desist order for irrigating acres that were not certified.

Platte River Recovery Implementation Program  Central Platte NRD staff has been in discussions with the Platte River Program to enter into a longer-term agreement concerning water leasing.  Currently, the water from three surface water irrigation districts that CPNRD partners with allows the NRD to meet IMP goals and sell the portion of water not needed for compliance to the Platte River Program to assist them in meeting their water goals. The water is stored in Lake McConaughey as controllable water that is added to the Environmental Account for Platte River Program use. This will likely be discussed further at our September board meeting.

-Long Range Implementation Plan   Marcia Lee, Information/Education Specialist, presented the 2022-2027 Long Range Implementation Plan which summarizes district activities including projections of financial, manpower and land right needs of the district for the next five years. The Plan is required to be updated annually under the Nebraska Natural Resources District Act and has been sent to the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources for review.  The Board will review the updates and consider approval of the Plan at the September 22nd board meeting.

-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)  Joe Krolikowski, District Conservationist reported the NRCS along with other partners participated in the Nebraska Soil Carbon Project Kick-Off Event on August 11th.  The Nebraska Soil Carbon Project is a collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, NRCS, Central Platte NRD, Upper Big Blue NRD, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC), Cargill, Target, and McDonald's.  The event was held in Grand Island and two producer sites to discuss their project participation. The evening event took place at the Raising Nebraska Building on the State Fair Grounds, it was attended by project applicants, current project participants, and the project partners. Since the agreement expires in 2025, producers who are interested in signing up have three more years to install soil health practices in central Nebraska for this Project.

-Voting Delegate  Deb VanMatre, Gibbon, was elected voting delegate and Jay Richeson, Gothenburg, was elected as alternate for the Nebraska Association of Resources District’s annual conference to be held in Kearney, NE September 26-27, 2022.

-Building Committee  The Building Committee met to discuss the most recent schematic design of the proposed Education Center and Office. Staff will provide a detailed presentation to the full Board in September.

-Nebraska Natural Resources Commission  Mick Reynolds, Middle Platte Basin Representative, reported that 13 applications were received for the Water Sustainability Fund (WSF). Projects totaling $23,986,383 were submitted with $9 to $11 million available.  The Nebraska Natural Resources Commission oversees WSF operations including application review, scoring and ranking, and awarding funding to successful applicants.  Applications are reviewed in the fall with final determination made on each application by the end of the year.

-Cost-Share  Three cost-share applications were approved in the amount of $1,823.36 through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD for phragmites control and well decommissioning.