Nemaha Natural Resources District Approves Budget - Property Taxes Stay Same

Nemaha Natural Resources District Approves Budget - Property Taxes Stay Same


For Immediate Release
Date: September 12, 2014
Contact: Jane Kuhl, Administrative Assistant
Phone: (402) 335-3325
Fax: (402) 335-3265

Nemaha NRD Board Meeting Report

Tecumseh – Nemaha Natural Resources District board of directors voted Thursday, September 11, to approve a budget that held the property tax request at the same level as last year, which was just over $2.4 million. With no increase in the amount of the tax request, the resulting levy dropped from 4.37 cents to 3.88 cents per $100 dollars. No one appeared to testify regarding the budget at a public hearing held prior to the board’s regular meeting.

A final, total budget of $6.1 million is an increase over last year’s $5 million budget. However, the additional revenues needed will come from other sources including state and federal grants and funds. A large cash balance is also available for land rights required by the Duck Creek Watershed project, which combines flood control and public recreation components near Peru in Nemaha County. Other major projects in this year’s plans include rehabilitation of Upper Big Nemaha 25-C near Adams to upgrade the structure to high hazard standards. Conservation cost-share measures in the Buck and Duck Watersheds will come to a close this budget year. Repairs and major maintenance projects on several watershed structures are also planned.

Olsson Associates was selected to provide design and construction services on the Milton Buchholz cost-share dam. Though their estimated fee was not the lowest, their experience was rated highest of the four firms submitting proposals.

After considerable discussion and a motion to reconsider a well permit application that had previously been denied for Harlan Plager, the board voted to table action on the motion. Some board members felt more information was needed prior to acting on the motion to reconsider since the new permit might include special restrictions. The well in question is near the public water wells of the Pawnee County Rural Water District, who objected to approval of the well permit.

Chuck Wingert, Water Department Manager, and several board members reported on a meeting they attended with Barada area residents regarding domestic well issues. Wingert said he plans to investigate some questions further once crops are harvested and that NRD staff is also working with landowners in that area to measure their wells and help them register their domestic wells. Director Jon Keithley, Falls City, asked on behalf of some of the landowners to place an item on next month’s agenda to consider a moratorium on new wells in that area until the current issues can be further investigated.

Two separate agreements with the Natural Resources Conservation Service received board approval. One will provide federal assistance to complete rehabilitation assessment of 13 structures over the next two years. Federal funds will foot the bill for the assessments, which will be conducted by private consultants. The second agreement is for upgrading Upper Big Nemaha 25-C near Adams to meet a higher hazard classification. Total cost of this project is $3.9 million, and the NRD’s share will be about $846,000.

Following a short, closed session to discuss land rights for the Duck Creek project, the board voted to approve a recommendation of the Executive Committee regarding the land rights. NRD Manager, Bob Hilske, reported that he is hopeful a construction contract for this dam could be approved before the end of the year.

Three resolutions to be considered at the annual conference of natural resources districts later this month in Kearney were reviewed. Generally the board proposed approval for all three resolutions though they indicated delegates may have to use their judgment should additional information be provided at the conference to change the District’s stance on any resolution.

The next regular meeting of the Nemaha NRD board of directors will be Thursday, October 9, 2014, beginning at 8:00 p.m. at the NRD headquarters in Tecumseh. Committees will meet prior to the board meeting.