(GRAND ISLAND, NE)-  The Central Platte Natural Resources District’s board of directors approved the Fiscal 2021 budget on Thursday. A public hearing was scheduled prior to the board of directors meeting. Total requirements for the general and sinking fund are $24.7 million with the required property tax of $4,059,000; a decrease of $147,325 compared to the 2020 budget. The major expenditures in the proposed budget are $4 million to meet future Integrated Management Plan compliance, and $2.1 million in Watershed Flood Prevention and Operations grants to complete watershed assessments.

The tax levy hearing will be held at 1:45 p.m. on September 3rd just prior to the August board meeting. The board meeting is being held a week later to accommodate the advertising requirements; since the valuations are not available from the counties until August 20th.

OTHER ACTION/AGENDA ITEMS

-Board Meetings Policy  Monthly board meetings are held the fourth Thursday of each month at 2:00 p.m. The Board approved permanently moving the August meeting a week later due to the timing of information to advertise for the budget levy hearing, and the November/December meetings a week early to accommodate Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  Additional board meetings may need to be moved throughout the year but would require board action.

-Appeal  The board denied an appeal from a landowner in Hall County.

-Managers Report  Lyndon Vogt, general manager, gave the following updates to the board. 

  • Five producers who were issued cease and desist orders in May remain out of compliance with the Groundwater Quality Management Program including Bernard Katzberg, Artie Moeller, Mike Munsterman, William Soll, and Richard Urban. Katzberg and Moeller violated the cease and desist order and have been turned over to legal counsel.
  • The Nebraska Legislature reconvened with 17 days left in the session. Vogt discussed an amendment to LB 1167 which would allow board meetings to be handled by video or audio conferencing during a pandemic. 
  • CPNRD will advertise a virtual public meeting to be hosted by JEO from 5:00-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, for the Watershed Flood Prevention and Operations (WFPO) watershed assessment of Lower Wood River. HDR plans to tour the Elm and Turkey Creek watershed areas next week and will hold a public meeting on that WFPO later this summer.

-Natural Resources Conservation Service  Joe Krolikowski, district liaison, reported that NRCS has three Pathway Students in the offices in the Central Platte NRD this summer. Andrew Weigel, a Civil Engineering Student in the Grand Island Area Office, Jaden Russell, a Soil Conservationist in the Kearney Office, and Mekenzie Beattie, a Soil Conservationist in the Lexington Office. The USDA Pathways Internship Program provides paid work experiences for students who are in high school or pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an accredited college or university.

Janelle Taubenheim, resource conservationist, provided updates for the Dawson County field office. 

EQIP: 43 Total Applications 

           State Funding: 3 contracts–  2 pivots, 1 irrigated to dryland

                                      2 contracts–  1 grazing system improvement, 1 pivot

                                      1 contract–  animal feeding operation

           Local Funding: 12 contracts – irrigated to dryland

                                       1 contract– grazing system improvement

CSP 2020 Renewals   2 applications, 2 funded

CSP 2020 Classics  19 applications – 3 ranked after prioritization CAP (waiting on funding)

CSP 2021 Renewals  10 applications to be ranked early September

-Cost-Share  19 applications through the Nebraska Soil and Water Conservation and the Central Platte NRD cost-share programs were approved for brush management, pipeline to pivot, planned grazing, diversion, center pivot incentive, cover crops and well decommissioning in the amount of $84,575.52.

-CP Rangeland Alliance Mark Alberts, Brock Anderson, Terry Crawford, and Mickey Fischer of the Central Platte Rangeland Alliance thanked the board of directors during the public forum for the NRD’s in-kind and financial support. Alberts said the Rangeland Alliance especially appreciates staff assistance from David Carr, Shane Max, and Bill Hiatt in conducting prescribed burns. Over 50,000 acres have been treated with prescribed burns to reduce red cedar encroachment and rejuvenate grasslands and rangelands in the western area of the District.

-Upcoming Board Meetings  

  August meeting on September 3rd, October 22, November 19, December 17

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