Board Meeting_June 27

June 14, 2024

Thursday, June 27, 2024
CPNRD Office, 215 Kaufman Avenue  Grand Island NE

Central Platte NRD Board Selects Rogge General Contractors to NRD Build Office/Education Center

GRAND ISLAND, NE – After nearly five years of planning, the Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) Board of Directors approved the low bid from Rogge General Contractors Inc. of Lincoln to build a new office with an education center at their monthly meeting on Thursday. The overall cost will be $13,473,000. The building will be located on the Prairie Silver Moores Flood Reduction Project site, northwest of Grand Island.

The Board received seven bids for the proposed building, ranging from $13.47 to $15.29 million. With the multi-year planning process, the NRD has funds available to begin construction, including nearly $4 million expected from other sources. The build time is expected to be 16-18 months.

The education center will offer both indoor and outdoor learning experiences, demonstrating the relationship between water, forests, grasslands, and soil. The outdoor sites will provide hands-on learning opportunities that complement topics presented at the indoor learning center. These sites will feature wetlands, walking trails, windbreaks, pollinator habitats, irrigation and crop demonstrations, monitoring wells, and other educational resources.

At the new facility, CPNRD plans to host workshops and training sessions for agricultural producers, groundwater technicians, well drillers, and students. These sessions will cover topics such as how to sample and test wells, use irrigation equipment, earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and explore new technology and research.

Southern Public Power District   The Board approved an Electric Power Service Agreement for $166,170.68 with Southern Public Power District to build the necessary interconnection facilities to supply electric power and energy to the approved building.


2025 Budget  The Board approved the 2025 Fiscal budget of expenditures to hold a public hearing at 1:45 p.m. on July 25, 2024, just before the Board of Directors July meeting. The proposed budget is $35,757,815 million with an estimated tax of $5,316,196.  A hearing to set the tax request and levy will be held on the same day as the August board meeting.

Groundwater Model Review Agreement  The Board approved an agreement with Black & Veatch for $34,917 to retain engineering services to assist with the COHYST Modflow 6 project model updates.

Water Strategies  The Board approved a rate increase for the monthly retainer of $1,500 for lobbying and federal representation services, effective July 1, 2024.

Nitrogen Program Violations  The Board approved filing Cease and Desist orders on 56 producers and landowners in Phases II or III of the Ground Water Quality Management Program who are not in compliance with the NRD’s rules and regulations. Tricia Dudley, Water Quality Specialist, explained that violations occur when producers fail to submit annual crop reports, do not provide required water and soil samples, or do not maintain their Nitrogen certification requirements.

Variance Request  The Board approved an appeal from a landowner in Merrick County to allow an acre-to-acre transfer to be finalized after September 1, 2024.

Manager’s Report  Lyndon Vogt, General Manager, reported on the following:

– Lobbying Fees – Membership dues paid and lobbying fees are available on CPNRD’s website at:

– WaterSmart Grants  CPNRD has received a WaterSMART grant in the amount of $95,542 to update checks and gates for irrigation efficiency on the Thirty-Mile Irrigation District canal through the Bureau of Reclamation’s Small-Scale Water Efficiency Grant. The remaining cost of the project will be covered by a 50% match from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources.

Vogt mentioned that other grant applications are pending, including the Southside Irrigation District and Cozad Ditch Company Flow Measurement and Canal Efficiency Project for irrigation efficiency, submitted under the Water and Energy Efficiency Grant.

Additionally, the Flowmeter, Telemetry, and Data Management System Project, also submitted under the Water and Energy Efficiency Grant, aims to meter approximately 100 wells to support COHYST data on average annual irrigation amounts in the CPNRD. This application is also pending.

Eastern Projects Committee  The committee discussed two flood reduction easement issues in Grand Island. They are currently monitoring both situations and plan to provide a report in July.

Groundwater Levels  Luke Zakrzewski, GIS Image Analyst, reported that the spring 2024 static groundwater levels showed a District-wide accumulated loss of -1.26 feet compared to the baseline levels in 1982. The 1982 levels were established as the standard for the NRD’s Groundwater Management Plan, which includes maximum acceptable declines and a margin of safety calculated for each of the Groundwater Management Areas (GWMAs).

Since last spring, changes in the NRD’s 26 Groundwater Management Areas (GMAs) ranged from an increase of 2.39 feet in GMA 7A, attributed to precipitation gains in the western part of the District, to a decrease of 2.29 feet in GMA 17, due to drought conditions in the central and eastern areas.

Zakrzewski also provided an update on the Groundwater Monitoring Network. He reported that CPNRD staff reads 386 irrigation observation wells, including 65 dedicated monitoring wells, each spring and fall for the Groundwater Management Program, with an average of 405 wells assessed annually since 2000. Zakrzewski mentioned that the NRD will focus on adding new monitoring wells in GMAs 9B and 10 to improve data collection in areas where more readings are needed.

Tree Report   Kelly Cole, Administrative Assistant, reported that tree sales were up this spring with 37,900 trees and shrubs sold through the NRD Conservation Tree Program, bringing the total sales to 3,922,262 since 1973. CPNRD also sold 6.26 miles of fabric weed barrier this year, bringing the total to 629.19 miles since 1991.

Natural Resources Conservation Service Report  Joe Krolikowski, District Conservationist, reported that NRCS conducted the annual status reviews for potential wetland and/or highly erodible land issues across the state for the 2024 crop year. NRCS staff within the CPNRD completed 56 status reviews this year.

Nebraska Association of Resources District (NARD)  The Board approved a resolution to increase the employee contribution from 5.5% to 6.5% and the employer contribution from 6.0% to 7.0% for the NARD 414(h) plan, effective January 1, 2025.

Cost-Share  Two applications were approved for grazing deferment and well decommissioning, totaling $3,603, through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and Central Platte NRD cost-share programs.

Upcoming Board Meetings  July 25, August 29, September 26
Central Platte NRD’s Board of Directors meetings are held at 2:00 p.m. at the CPNRD office located at 215 Kaufman Ave in Grand Island.