Longitude 103 Amendment Approved

May 23, 2024

Central Platte NRD Board Approves Longitude 103 Amendment for Water Management Software

GRAND ISLAND, NE – The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s (CPNRD) nitrogen management software program will be available online again for producers following the approval of an amendment with Longitude 103. At their monthly meeting on Thursday, the Board of Directors approved a $25,000 amendment with Longitude 103 to continue facilitating the transfer of existing nitrogen management and transfer tools from GWorks. This program allows producers to input data for the Nitrogen Management Crop Reports and receive recommendations on nitrate applications. Currently, 850 producers participate in CPNRD’s Nitrogen Management Program, submitting 4,700 reports annually. The data provided by the producers is used for the Groundwater Management Program.

Tricia Dudley, Water Quality Specialist, updated the Board on recent letters of intent sent to 105 producers out of compliance with the Program. These letters are the initial step in notifying producers and landowners in Phases II or III that they are in violation of the NRD’s Rules and Regulations. Violations occur when producers fail to submit annual crop reports or provide the required water and soil samples. The Board will issue Cease and desist orders next month to the landowners who do not resolve their violations.

The CPNRD Board meeting was held on Thursday, May 23rd at the Central Platte NRD office, located at 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE.


Platte Valley Industrial Park (PVIP)  The Board approved an amendment not to exceed $31,100 with Olsson to evaluate additional routes to evaluate and design an alternate ditch route along the north side of Schimmer Drive to South Locust Street and north to the drainage ditch for the Platte Valley Industrial Park in Grand Island. The new route design is expected to be completed within 90 days.

In 2019, the board approved a request from the City of Grand Island and Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation to allow water to be diverted into the south side channel of the Wood River Flood Project to alleviate drainage issues at PVIP between South Locust Street and Hwy 281. In 2021, Olsson designed a drainage ditch from Wildwood Drive to Locust Street that included grading existing county road ditches from Blaine to Schimmer Drive, easements, and 36″ storm sewer pipe was installed to drain into the south channel of the Wood River Project. Last year, an amendment was approved for easement acquisition and appraisal services to complete geotechnical services including a seepage analysis and an archaeological study on 15.6 acres. The $650,000 project cost will be shared by partners: CPNRD, Grand Island EDC and the City of Grand Island.

Building Committee  The Committee reviewed bids and discussed options for the proposed office and education center at the Prairie Silver Moores Flood Reduction Project, located northwest of Grand Island. The Committee’s recommendation is to consider the Rogge General Contractors Inc. base bid of $13,300,000 with the additions of Alternate #1 ($90,000), Alternate #5A ($86,000) and Alternate #5B ($67,000) and removing Alternate #4 (-$70,000) for a total $13,473,000. The Board will consider the Committee’s recommendation at its June 27th Board meeting.

Based on the schematic design and development plans, the building will be approximately 20,000 square feet on the main level, with a lower level of the same size. The education center will offer both indoor and outdoor learning experiences, with demonstrations on water, forestry, grasslands and soil. Outdoor sites will provide hands-on learning opportunities, including wetlands, walking trails, windbreaks, pollinator habitats, irrigation and crop demonstrations, monitoring wells and other features.

The center would be open to the public and host workshops and training sessions for agricultural producers, groundwater technicians, well drillers and students. These sessions will cover topics such as water and soil sampling, testing wells, using irrigation equipment, earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and exploring new technology and research.

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

Surface Water Memorandum  Vogt reported that CPNRD has signed the multi-year agreement allowing it to store water in Lake McConaughey as controllable water, which is added to the Environmental Account for use by the Platte River Program. This water helps the NRD meet its IMP goals. Additionally, any portion of the water not needed for compliance can be sold to the PRRIP to help them meet their water goals.

Instream Flow Review  CPNRD is currently advertising the review of instream flow appropriations granted to CPNRD in 1994 and previously reviewed in 2009. These water appropriations are instream flow appropriations on various reaches of the Platte River generally between Lexington and Columbus, Nebraska, for the maintenance of habitat for four bird species including the whooping crane (endangered), sandhill crane, least tern and piping plover (threatened).  The flows specified are either a factor in providing bird habitat in the Platte Valley or a factor in providing habitat for food sources consumed by the birds.

NRD Health Insurance  Nebraska Association of Resources District’s (NARD) Benefits Committee interviewed Mid-American Benefits, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and United Healthcare to administer the NRDs health insurance. The NARD Board will consider their recommendation at their next meeting.

Budget Committee  The Budget Committee reviewed proposed budgets from the Eastern Projects, Western Projects and Programs committees for FY 2025.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)  Joe Krolikowski, District Conservationist, reported that 120 applications met eligibility for the FY 2024 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds in CPNRD, and 154 applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CStP) were preapproved for $18.5 million. He said the competition for these funds continues to be extremely high. Krolikowski also reported on the Pathways Internship Program. There will be 13 Pathways interns across the state this summer, including four to be placed in offices in the central area. Kylie Jerabek will work in NRCS’s Grand Island Field office.

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

Upcoming Board Meetings  June 27, July 25, August 29
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.