UPPER ELKHORN NATURAL RESOURCES DISTRICT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

June 27, 2016

O’Neill, Nebraska

CALL TO ORDER:

The regular meeting of the Board of Directors was called to order at 7:07 P.M. by Chairman Dale Wiles.  The meeting was advertised in the Holt County Independent, the official UENRD newspaper.  The Open Meetings Act was posted for public review.    

 

DIRECTORS PRESENT:

Gary Bartak                     Mark Carpenter            Chris Dierks                     Jake Dvorak                     Curtis Gotschall

Jerry Heithoff                  Ted Hughes                     Gene Kelly                       John Meuret                    Roy Stewart

Chip Whitaker                 Keith White                     Dale Wiles        

                           

DIRECTORS ABSENT:

Jim Keller                        Michael Moser                                                                                                

 

STAFF PRESENT:

Dennis Schueth, General Manager

Kate Tillotson, Water Resources Manager

Kelly Kloppenborg, Water Resources Technician

Beth Walsh, Information & Education Coordinator

Andrea Fisher, Administrative Secretary

Stephanie Butler, Bazile Groundwater Management Coordinator

 

GUESTS:

Myra Hipke Richardson, NRCS – Ainsworth

Bill Babutzke, Holt County Weed Superintendent

Bruce Ofe, Antelope County Weed Superintendent

Colin Nemec, O’Neill, NE

 

ADOPTION OF AGENDA:

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

 

MINUTES:

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

 

TREASURERS REPORT:

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

 

PUBLIC FORUM-INPUT:

None

 

NE NEBRASKA WEED MANAGEMENT REQUEST:     

Bruce Ofe, Antelope County Weed Superintendent, distributed pictures of Yellow Flag Iris which has been found in Antelope County.  This is only one of a number of invasive species which are threatening our stream and river beds.  As a result of LB 1038, matching grant funds have been set aside for the management of these invasive species in Nebraska’s waterways.  The NE Nebraska Weed Management is requesting $5000 from each of the local NRDs to use as a match to apply for the riparian vegetation grants.  Districts would not be obligated to provide the funds if the grant is not approved.  [It was moved by John Meuret and seconded by Keith White to reconsider the Upper Elkhorn NRD position on the NE Nebraska Weed Management request.  AYE:  Bartak, Carpenter, Dierks, Dvorak, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Kelly, Meuret, Stewart, Whitaker, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Keller & Moser.  MOTION CARRIED.  [It was moved by John Meuret and seconded by Ted Hughes to allocate $5000 in matching grant funds if they receive the Water Sustainability Fund grant.  AYE:  Bartak, Carpenter, Dierks, Dvorak, Gotschall, Hughes, Kelly, Meuret, Stewart, Whitaker, White & Wiles.  NAY:  Heithoff.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Keller & Moser.  MOTION CARRIED.  

 

AGENCY & STAFF REPORTS:

NARD Report:  Ted Hughes reported that he attended the June NARD meeting in York, June 13.  Ted reviewed the NARD awards and funds allocated for educational programs through the foundation.  The Association has also agreed to support the Platte River Time Lapse project; and, the Nebraska proposal to host the 2020 National Envirothon.  Dennis Schueth reported that the Managers discussed the National Envirothon proposal and the funding element of the program.  Approximately $400,000 will need to be raised for the program and, the Managers discussed the NARD leading the way with funds that they could be used to ask other sponsors to match.  NRDs may also be asked for funding and staff time.  Ted reported that the evaluations from the Washington DC trip were just okay.  These were mostly based on the speakers and presentations.  Ted also reported that they conducted a Risk Pool and Retirement meeting.  There will be an adjustment to the retirement program due to under performing stocks.  The risk pool at the end of May showed a shortfall of approximately $590,000.  There will be a 6.5% increase in premiums which is not designed to recover the loses but maintain the program; and, a 3.2% increase in the dental insurance is also expected.  Ted reported that they have also chosen a new reinsurance company.

 

DNR Report:  No report.  Dennis Schueth reminded the board that Garry Anderson’s term will be expiring at the end of this year.  Anyone interested in representing the basin  on the Natural Resources Commission should contact Dennis and he will submit the name.    

 

NRCS Report:  Myra Richardson, Ainsworth NRCS office, attended the board meeting.  Myra introduced herself to the board and reviewed her background.  Myra informed the group that Tessa Combs will fill the Soil Conservationist position in Spencer July 11; Molly Lakin will be the new Compliance Specialist in the O’Neill office; and, that they have advertised for the open DC position in the O’Neill office and should be making a recommendation soon.  The O’Neill office also has a summer intern working with the engineering staff; and, the Ainsworth NRCS clerk position is still vacant.  Myra also reviewed the special initiative through EQIP for soil health demonstration farms; and, the workload facing the Ainsworth field office consisting CSP, EQIP and WRP contracts. 

 

RC&D Report:

North Central RC&D:  No report.    

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.  Beth reported that we have received an ACE Camp report from Ashton Higgins which was distributed in the director’s folders.  She was also in contact with one of the camp organizers who spoke very highly of our other recipient Logan Sanford who took on a leadership role at camp.  We are still waiting for Logan’s report before his grant is allocated. 

 

Water Resources Report and ELM Update:  Kate Tillotson’s report was mailed out in the Directors packets.  Kate reviewed the static water level results from this past spring.  Four of the six sub-districts were showing a decline with only 2 rising 2 tenths of a foot.  Kate also noted that since we only recently increased the number of static water readings we are recording; it will take some time to integrate them into the district trends. 

 

Bazile Management Area – Stephanie Butler:  Stephanie Butler’s report was mailed out in the Directors packets.  Stephanie reported on the meeting held June 15 with all the four Bazile NRDs water committees.  There was good discussion and they reviewed the LNNRDs Phase III rules and regulations.  The Farm Tour is scheduled for June 30 and so far there are 19 people signed up.  An update on the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit was also distributed to the board.      

 

2016 UENRD Tree Report:  Andrea Fisher reported that the district sold approximately 75, 890 trees this year.  Approximately 14,431 hand plants and 61,459 machine plants.  The district also installed approximately 44 miles of weed mulch. 

 

EXCUSED ABSENCES:

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

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Legislative, Finance and Planning Committee:  The committee met prior to the board meeting. 

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

COALITION/TASK FORCE UPDATE:

Lower Platte River Basin Water Management Plan Coalition:  There is a meeting scheduled for July 6. 

Niobrara River Basin Coalition:  The contract is still being reviewed and they are planning a walkthrough of the facility August 15. 

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

Nebraska Ground Water Management Coalition:  No Report.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT:  Dennis Schueth’s report was mailed out in the Director’s packets.  A copy is included with the official copy of the minutes in the office.  Dennis reported that he has been contacted by Richard Uhrenholdt to participate in an Irrigation Management Field Day September 8.  The UENRD will plan to set up a booth and give a short presentation for the program.  We will be following up on the purchase of the Chevy Traverse from the ULNRD and will take possession in mid July. 

 

JULY BOARD MEETING:

The next regular board meeting will be held at 7:00 PM on July 25, 2016 at the NRD office in O’Neill.    

 

[It was moved by John Meuret and seconded by Jake Dvorak to adjourn at 8:25 PM.  AYE:  Bartak, Carpenter, Dierks, Dvorak, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Kelly, Meuret, Stewart, Whitaker, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  Keller & Moser.  MOTION CARRIED.