BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING – ACTION
THURSDAY, AUGUST 31, 2023
1:45 PUBLIC HEARING TO SET LEVY | 2:00 BOARD MEETING
Central Platte NRD Board Sets Levy for 2024 Budget
The Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) held a public hearing on August 31st to receive public comments on the proposed fiscal 2023/2024 levy. With the District’s total assessed valuation at $20,642,169,013, the required 2023/2024 levy was set at 0.02338 compared to last year’s levy of 0.02344. Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, said with the total requirements for the general fund and sinking fund at $34,955,785.23, the required property tax is $4,826,226.75 – an increase of $430,764.62 from 2023.
A home valued at $100,000 can expect to pay $23.38 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 natural resources education. Central Platte NRD includes all of Dawson County and parts of Custer, Buffalo, Hall, Howard, Nance, Merrick, Hamilton, Platte, Polk and Frontier counties.
The Board of Directors meetings are held at the CPNRD office located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island.
-Subdivision Reassessment Luke Zakrzewski, GIS Image Analyst, reported on the boundaries set for Sub-Areas 7a, 7b, 9a, and 9b for the CPNRD’s Groundwater Management Program. The Board subdivided Groundwater Management Areas 7 and 9 in the updated Groundwater Management Plan due to differences in irrigation development that have occurred in the two areas and to address groundwater levels in parts of those GWMAs that have some decline concerns. The original management plan and boundaries were developed using surface topography, soils, aquifer-saturated thickness, and government boundaries (section lines, county boundaries, etc.). Zakrzewski said 2,853 wells, including 113,000 readings for static water levels, were used to reassess the new sub-areas. Maps with the new sub-areas are available on CPNRD’s website at: cpnrd.org/water-resources/groundwater-quantity
-Manager’s Report Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, reported the following:
Groundwater Management Plan Rules & Regulations The Rules and Regulations were provided to the Board for review. Vogt said committee meetings will be held to review the updates. The plan is to hold a hearing on the updated Rules and Regulations in November.
Nebraska Research District Agronomist The budget for this position was recently approved. CPNRD will advertise for this position when the agreement with UNL is finalized. The position will assist Dean Krull, UNL/CPNRD Demonstration Project Coordinator, and will collect data for USDA research.
Integrated Programs Coordinator The Rainwater Basin Joint Venture received a grant for a shared position between the CPNRD and Tri-Basin NRDs to assist NRCS and the NRDs in promoting USDA conservation programs. The position will be advertised in the next few months.
B1 Reservoir Staff has met with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources concerning the future use of B1 Reservoir in Lexington to determine how it may be used to retime flows back to the Platte River. The benefits of not diverting the water is being assessed.
Stream Flow Enhancement Alliance The Stream Flow Enhancement Alliance met on August 8th to review and approve the Thirty Mile Irrigation District’s budget and discuss its operations.
Mesonet CPNRD sponsors six MESONET weather stations within the District at a cost of $3,000 per station year annually. UNL and other entities are interested in increasing the network to up to 200 stations statewide. The construction and operations/maintenance costs are being finalized; however, funding has not been determined at this time. A listening session is being hosted by Senator Dorn on September 5, 2023, to discuss the current MESONET system, how the data is used, and the need for expansion.
Domestic Well Grant Conservation Nebraska requested the NRD’s support for a grant application to assist in promoting the State of Nebraska’s reverse osmosis cost-share program and assist private well owners in testing their drinking water. CPNRD provided a letter of support in August.
Nebraska Farm Bureau Proposed Policy The Nebraska Farm Bureau is currently providing a survey about taking taxing authority away from Natural Resource Districts. If introduced as a Legislative Bill and approved by the Legislature, the NRDs would no longer be able to use local funding sources to match state grants to provide municipal protection for flood reduction, water quality, water use management, etc. The survey is available at www.nefb.org/08/04/2023/nrd-taxing-authority
-Annual Water Use Report Jess Mintken, Assistant Manager, presented the 2022 Annual Report of Water Use Activities in the CPNRD. Mintken said in 2006, the district began certifying historic groundwater and surface water irrigated acres. The NRD has 1,018,829 certified acres with the additions and decertifications to the certified irrigated acres database that have occurred through December 31, 2022.
Mintken reported that 114 transactions of water use transfers occurred between January 1 and December 31, 2022, resulting in 1,349 acres of new irrigated lands. 1,100 certified acres were used to offset the new uses. CPNRD issued 106 well permits in 2022 and retired 177 certified acres in Dawson County. The estimated accretion to the Platte River from groundwater retirements is 116 acre-feet. By the close of 2022, the CPNRD Water Bank had a balance of 2,760 acre-feet of water rights available for offset in the over-appropriated area. Mintken said the Plan was provided to the NeDNR for review.
-Long Range Implementation Plan Marcia Lee, Information/Education Specialist, provided the draft Long Range Implementation Plan for the Board to review. The Plan summarizes district activities from 2023-2028 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. Lee said the Plan was provided to the NeDNR for review. The Board will consider action on the Plan at their September meeting.
-Building Committee On August 11, 2023, Downey Drilling drilled a borehole (test hole) for a well at the proposed education center/office being considered at the Prairie Silver Moores flood reduction site northwest of Grand Island. Costs for the proposed building are expected in December with the bid letting to be held in January 2024.
-Voting Delegate Deb VanMatre was elected voting delegate for the Nebraska Association of Resources District’s annual conference to be held in September. Jay Richeson was elected as the alternate.
-Natural Resources Conservation Service Joe Krolikowski, District Conservationist, reported that Sydney Wagner started her duties as the district secretary in Grand Island in July.
-Cost-Share Applications for brush management, planned grazing, windbreak renovation, burn preparation, and well decommissioning were approved in the amount of $65,590.77 through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and Central Platte NRD cost-share programs.
-Upcoming Board Meetings September 28, October 26, November 16, December 21