UPPER ELKHORN NATURAL RESOURCES DISTRICT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

July 25, 2016 -- 7:00 P.M.

O’Neill, Nebraska

 

CALL TO ORDER, STATEMENT OF ADVERTISEMENT AND OPEN MEETING LAW NOTIFICATION:

The regular meeting of the Board of Directors was called to order.  The statement of advertisement in the Holt County Independent, Rock County Leader and Neligh News were noted; and, the open meetings law posting were all noted at 7:08 P.M. by Chairman Dale Wiles.

 

DIRECTORS PRESENT:

Mark Carpenter            Chris Dierks                     Curtis Gotschall             Jerry Heithoff                  Ted Hughes

Jim Keller                        Gene Kelly                       John Meuret                    Michael Moser             Roy Stewart

Keith White                     Dale Wiles        

                           

DIRECTORS ABSENT:

Gary Bartak                     Jake Dvorak                     Chip Whitaker                

 

STAFF PRESENT:

Dennis Schueth, General Manager

Beth Walsh, Information & Education Coordinator

Andrea Fisher, Administrative Secretary

Kate Tillotson, Water Resources Manager

Kelly Kloppenborg, Water Resources Technician

Jake Morten, Water Resources Technician

Collin Nemec, Summer Intern

Tanner Jenkins, Bazile Groundwater Management Project Coordinator

 

GUESTS PRESENT:

John Ludwig – NRCS, O’Neill

Mark Pavlik - Creighton

Christina Quiring - Creighton

Martha Shulski – Lincoln – High Plains Climate Center Mesonet

Stonie Cooper – Lincoln – High Plains Climate Center Mesonet

 

ADOPTION OF AGENDA:

]It was moved by Roy Stewart and seconded by Ted Hughes to adopt the amended agenda.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Stewart, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Bartak, Dvorak & Whitaker.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

MINUTES:

The minutes of the June Meeting were reviewed by the Directors. ]It was moved by Gene Kelly and seconded by Chris Dierks to approve the minutes of the June Meeting.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Kelly, Meuret, Stewart, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  Keller & Moser.  ABSENT:  Bartak, Dvorak & Whitaker.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

TREASURERS REPORT:

The June treasurers report was reviewed by the Directors. ]It was moved by Curtis Gotschall and seconded by John Meuret to approve the June Treasurers Report.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Stewart, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Bartak, Dvorak & Whitaker.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

HIGH PLAINS CLIMATE CENTER MESONET – MARTHA SHULSKI & STONIE COOPER:

Martha Shulski, Director of the Nebraska State Climate Office, presented an overview of the Nebraska Mesonet program for the UENRD Board members.  The Nebraska State Climate Office began operations in 1981 and have 66 weather stations operating throughout Nebraska; with, five of those weather stations located in the UENRD.  There is one near Brunswick, Newport, Chambers, Elgin and O’Neill of which the first four are funded by the UENRD.  They reviewed the observations from the weather stations which include air temperature, humidity, wind direction, precipation, solar radiation, soil temperature, soil moisture and barometric pressure; and, some of the new features they will be offering their partners through the Nebraska Mesonet program.  They also noted that the data they collect is certified data and used by various agencies.  Discussion was also held on the cost to sponsor a weather station and why it has increased to its current level.  When the program began, the cost  to sponsor a weather station was $500 and raised to $1000 in 1987 due to the cost of maintaining the weather stations.  In 2014 the program was evaluated again and it was not sustaining the costs of maintaining the current equipment and upgrades, so they developed a three year fee increment to get the program back to a breakeven level.  2013-2014 at which time they needed to set an increment increase to keep the equipment upgraded and serviced.  If the Nebraska Mesonet program is not able to secure sponsors for the weather stations, they are removed and the parts stored and used on the currently working weather stations. 

 

PUBLIC FORUM-INPUT OR COMMENTS: 

Mark Pavlik, crop consultant, for the Bazile Groundwater Management Area Project demonstration site at NE 25-29-5, attended the meeting to review his results from last year on the project.  Mark explained the layout of the field project and how they broke down the field to assess using Optix technology to apply nitrogen fertilizer and the results.  A handout was provided to the board members.    

 

AGENCY & STAFF REPORTS:

NARD Report:  The next meeting will be held in conjunction with the fall conference September 26 & 27, 2016.  A sign-up sheet was passed around to get a head count for the conference and hotel reservations.  Hotel accommodations were also discussed since the hotel we normally stay in was full. 

 

DNR Report:  Dennis Schueth reported that cost share for variable rate irrigation and variable frequency drive has been added to the NC-17 practices on the NSWCP docket.             

NRCS Report:  Jim Mathine’s report was mailed out to the Directors.  John Ludwig attended the meeting from the O’Neill NRCS office.  John reported that they are working on finishing up EQIP contracts and contracts for the Water Quality Initiative area.  They have also re-advertised for the District Conservationist position for the O’Neill office.  Molly Lakin is the new Compliance Specialist in the O’Neill office; and, they also have an engineering trainee working with Bob Atkeson this summer.

 

RC&D Report:

North Central RC&D:  Jim Keller reported that the North Central RC&D is still active and looking for projects to support in the area.   

 

Loup Basin RC&D:  No Report.  

 

Northeast RC&D:  No Report.  

 

Information & Education Report: Beth Walsh’s report was mailed out in the Directors packets.    

 

Water Resources Report and ELM Update:  Dr. Kate Tillotson’s report was mailed out in the Directors packets.  Kate requested a count for the number of Directors who are planning to attend the Spencer Hydro Dam tour August 15.  There may also be a Niobrara River Basin Alliance meeting in conjunction with the tour.     

 

Bazile Management Report:  Stephanie Butler’s report was mailed out in the Directors packets.  The new Bazile Groundwater Management Project Coordinator, Tanner Jenkins, was introduced to the Board.  Tanner briefly reviewed his background with the board members; and, reported that the electromagnetic data flights over the Bazile area have been completed. 

 

Jake Morten, Water Resources Technician and summer intern Collin Nemec were also introduced to the board.       

 

EXCUSED ABSENCES:

[It was moved by Ted Hughes and seconded by Jim Keller to excuse the absence of Gary Bartak, Jake Dvorak and Chip Whitaker.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Stewart, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Bartak, Dvorak & Whitaker.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:

Legislative, Finance and Planning Committee: 

 

Water Resources & Watershed Committee:  The Committee met prior to the board meeting.

 

Personnel, Equipment, Promotion and Education Committee:

Chairman Dale Wiles reconvened the regular board meeting at 10:30 PM. 

]It was moved by Ted Hughes and seconded by Gene Kelly to approve the salary recommendations for FY 16-17.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Stewart, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Bartak, Dvorak & Whitaker.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

COALITION/TASK FORCE UPDATE:

Lower Platte River Basin Water Management Plan Coalition:  There is a meeting scheduled for August 22.  A draft of the plan should be ready at that time for review. 

Niobrara River Basin Coalition:  There is a meeting planned for August 15. 

Nebraska Habitat Conservation Coalition (Piping Plover):  No Report.

Nebraska Groundwater Management Coalition:  No Report. 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT: 

Dennis Schueth’s report was mailed out in the Director’s packets a copy is kept on file at the NRD office.  Dennis also read an e-mail that was sent to Stephanie Butler, Bazile Groundwater Management Coordinator, about the validity of the data collected on the Condon demonstration site. 

 

The next Board Meeting is scheduled for August 22, 2016 at 7:00 PM. 

 

]It was moved by Curtis Gotschall and seconded by Michael Moser to adjourn at 10:40 PM.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Stewart, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Bartak, Dvorak & Whitaker.  MOTION CARRIED.