Central Platte Natural Resources District Approves Lower Levy for Fiscal 2015 Budget

Central Platte Natural Resources District Approves Lower Levy for Fiscal 2015 Budget



Central Platte NRD Approves Lower Levy for Fiscal 2015 Budget

(GRAND ISLAND, NE) The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s levy is down for the FY 2015 fiscal budget.  The board of directors set the levy on Thursday at the rate of 0.04064; with the property tax request at $5,730,990.03. The levy is down from last year’s rate of 0.04215 due to average valuation increases across the District.  Homeowners living in a home valued at $100,000 within the District will pay $40.64 in property taxes for water quality and water quantity benefits such as nitrate management, flood control, snagging & clearing of streams, canal rehabilitation; as well as erosion management, recreation, cost share to landowners and other natural resources benefits.  Other discussion and/or action:


-NRCS Proposal Advances- James Huntwork, district liaison, reported that of the 500 pre-proposals submitted, the Ogallala Aquifer & Platte River Recovery proposal for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) was one 350 that advanced and are invited to submit full proposals.  Only four projects from Nebraska advanced.  The proposal would address excess/insufficient water, inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife, soil erosion, water quality degradation, inefficient energy use, and air quality impacts.  These resource concerns would meet environmental habitat needs under the Platte River Recovery and Implementation Program.  RCPP funds requested over the 5 year period from NRCS is $10,000,000; with $12,564,450 matching funds provided by all the partners including Central Platte NRD, Twin Platte NRD, Thirty Mile Irrigation District and Southside Irrigation District.  The full proposal must be submitted by October 2, 2014.

Joe Krolikowski, water management specialist, gave a presentation on the technical aspects of planting seedlings through the Conservation Tree Program.

-Variance/Appeals-   The board voted not to allow any new irrigated acres in the ‘Impact Below Chapman’ area this year due to the groundwater level measurements in that area.  The board also denied appeals from Polk and Dawson counties on certified acres.

-Eastern Projects-   Jess Mintken, projects manager, reported that two dams sites on the Prairie/Silver/Moores Flood Control Project in Hall County are scheduled to be completed in mid-November.  Mintken said a few design modifications were necessary to make sure that no land acquisition issues arise.  Changes were approved by the Nebraska Dept. of Natural Resources and new drawing files were submitted to the contractor.

-Programs-   The board approved the recommendation to provide $2,000 towards the City of Kearney’s Household Hazardous Waste Program. Changes were approved by the committee to have three categories for the NRD’s Conservation Awards Program including cropland, grassland and community.  Nominations will be accepted through November 5, 2014 with the award winners to be recognized on December 18, 2014.  Nomination forms are available on the CPNRD website at:   or at the NRD office in Grand Island.

-Western Projects-   A contract amendment from Olsson Associates was approved in the amount of $139,100 for additional observation hours required for completion of the Orchard Alfalfa rehab.  A change order from Miller & Associates was also approved on the Thirty Mile rehab with a deduct amount of $72,486.03; which left the remainder of the contract at $49,696.53.

The board approved a request from the City of Lexington for technical assistance with Kirkpatrick Memorial Lake; in which the NRD provided a letter of recommendation for submission of a Nebraska Environmental Trust grant application.

-Water Resources-   Duane Woodward, hydrologist, presented two maps showing the mean saturated thickness for Quaternary and Ogallala Deposits across the District and in each of the groundwater management areas.  The average saturation zone ranged from as much as 459 feet in Custer County to a range of 44 feet in Nance County.  The board approved the formation of a water quality subcommittee to review and update the current Ground Water Quality Management Program.  Board members who are interested in serving on that subcommittee were asked to contact board chairman, Ed Kyes. The board approved a contract with Water Strategies for professional consulting services.

-Cedar Control Grant App-   The board approved sponsorship for submission of a Nebraska Environmental Trust grant in the amount of $864,150 to reclaim and protect 12,000 acres from cedar tree encroachment and wildfire in Dawson County through mechanical removal and prescribed burning.  David Carr, range management specialist, reported that the CPNRD will provide $237,000 through in-kind services, with additional funding from the following partners: Natural Resources Conservation Service-$1 million; Nebraska Game & Parks Commission-$90,000; and landowner contribution of $531,822.  Cedar encroachment in the proposed area has affected land and grazing values, wildlife habitat and has the potential for a massive wildfire.

-COHYST Results-   Duane Woodward, hydrologist, reported that the Integrated Model results for the watershed, surface water, and groundwater models were within eight percent difference for calculated gage flows versus historic gage flows.  Woodward said that was a very positive indication that the COHYST models are calibrated correctly.  The following minor changes were made to the models: 
-Watershed: soil information and weather data from climate stations were added.
-Surface Water: seepage return from Sutherland Reservoir, seepage from Lake McConaughy, addition of runoff and irrigation demands; storage/natural flow and environmental storage account.   
-Groundwater: match evapotranspiration cells to expected locations, adjusted elevations, routed seepage to new discharge point, use groundwater model outputs for Lake McConaughy seepage.

-Voting Delegate- Jim Bendfeldt of Kearney was appointed voting delegate and Bill Vasey of Cozad as alternate for the Nebraska Association of Resources District’s annual conference to be held in September. 

-Cost Share- The board approved 15 applications for cost share.  Applications approved through the Soil & Water Conservation Program:  planned grazing and underground pipeline. Applications through CPNRD cost share program: flow meters, cover crop, phragmites control, well decommissioning. Funding approved through both programs totaled: $24,932.74.

-Financial Report-   The board approved the August financial report.

- Upcoming Events : 
September 18- Range Judging High School contest in Dawson County
September 22-23- Nebraska Association of Resources District annual conference in Kearney
September 25- Board of Directors meeting
October 23- Board of Directors meeting
November 4- Election Day
November 11- Veterans Day observed
November 20- Board of Directors meeting