UPPER ELKHORN NATURAL RESOURCES DISTRICT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

March 28, 2016 -- 2:30 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 at 2:40 P.M. by Chairman Gene Kelly.  The meeting was advertised and a copy of the Open Meetings Act was posted for public review.    

 

DIRECTORS PRESENT:

Mark Carpenter               Chris Dierks                     Curtis Gotschall             Keith Heithoff                  Ted Hughes

Jim Keller                        Gene Kelly                       John Meuret                   Michael Moser                Aaron Rice

Roy Stewart                    Chip Whitaker                  Dale Wiles                      

 

DIRECTORS ABSENT:

James Dvorak                  Gary Bartak                                                                            

 

STAFF PRESENT:

Dennis Schueth, General Manager

Sarah Nevison, Water Resources Manager

Jake Morten, Forestry, Wildlife & Resource Conservationist

Beth Walsh, Information & Education Coordinator

Andrea Fisher, Administrative Secretary

Tanner Jenkins, Bazile Groundwater Management Project Coordinator

 

GUESTS PRESENT:

Brandon Peterson – NRCS – O’Neill

Amy Timmerman – UNL Cooperative Extension – Holt County

 

ADOPTION OF AGENDA:

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

 

MINUTES: 

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

 

TREASURERS REPORT:

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

 

PUBLIC FORUM – INPUT:

None

 

AGENCY & STAFF REPORTS:

NARD Report:  Ted Hughes reported that he attended the quarterly NARD board meeting March 7.  He reported that they elected officers and Jim Bendfeldt was re-elected President; Larry Reynolds, Vice President; and, Shane Rippen, Secretary/Treasurer.  Foundations contributions were approved for the State Envirothon, ACE Camp and the Great Park Pursuit.  Ted reported that NARD submitted a bid to host the 2020 National Envirothon and that bid was accepted by the NCF Envirothon Committee.  As a result, the Association is looking into funding aspects of hosting the program.  Ted reported that Dean Edson feels this would be a great opportunity to showcase Nebraska NRDs which would mean that the NRDs would be the main financial contributor.  A breakdown of two options was reviewed by the board:  one is based on the dues structure; and, the other equal shares.  Discussion was held on the program and the possibility of soliciting corporate funding.  ]It was moved by John Meuret and seconded by Aaron Rice to support hosting the 2020 National Envirothon based on the equal share proposal up to $5,797 per year for 3 years.  AYE:  Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Rice & Whitaker.  NAY:  Carpenter, Dierks, Meuret, Moser, Stewart & Wiles.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:   Bartak & Dvorak.  MOTION CARRIED.  Following the board meeting, a meeting of the Risk Pool was held.  They elected officers and reviewed the financial reports.  They are anticipating a surplus by the end of the fiscal year. 

 

DNR Report:  No Report.

 

NRCS Report:  Brandon Peterson’s report was mailed out to the Directors.  Brandon reported that they are currently working on obligating EQIP contracts; ranking CSP contracts; and, working on CRP applications for both the SAFE and Grasslands programs.   Brandon also included the Cooperative Working Agreement between the NRCS and UENRD for the Directors review.    

 

RC&D Report:

North Central RC&D:  Jim Keller reported that they are working on recycling programs for 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.  Board of Director binder updates were placed in the directors folders.

                 

Water Resources Report:  Sarah Nevison’s report was mailed out in the Directors packets.  Sarah reported that she and Kelly Kloppenborg have been busy with Phase II compliance.  There are still approximately 600 reports to be submitted.  Sarah also reported that Wayne Frederick has approximately 25% of the static water level readings complete and approximately 50% of the flowmeters read.  Nitrogen certification classes were held this past month with about 50% completing their nitrogen certification.  Sarah also noted the NARD 5K run to be held April 1 in Lincoln; and, voting for the Nebraska state reptile.   

 

Bazile Management Area:  Tanner Jenkins’ report was mailed out in the Directors packets.  Tanner reported on his interview during the NARD Legislative Conference on the BGMA; the status of the 319 and NET grant and their funding opportunities; attending the NRD Water Tech Training and NRD Water Conference; attending the UENRD Nitrogen Certification classes; and, the AEM meeting on March 15 in Creighton.  The final summary report for the AEM flights was given by Jim Cannia, Aqua Geo Frameworks, to over 50 residents and producers in the area.     

 

UENRD Tree Program Update:  Jake Morten reported that the district has sold approximately 40,000 trees.  This number is down from last year because there are not as many SAFE plantings this year.  They are currently working on equipment and trailers for tree season; and, plan to begin flagging trees next week.  Tentative tree pick-up will be the second week in April. 

 

EXCUSED ABSENCES:

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

 

HEARING OFFICER FOR GROUNDWATER RULES AND REGULATIONS PUBLIC HEARING: 

]It was moved by Ted Hughes and seconded by Mark Carpenter to appoint John Meuret Hearing Officer.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Moser, Rice, Stewart, Whitaker & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  Meuret.  ABSENT:   Bartak & Dvorak.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

3:30 PM PUBLIC HEARING ON AMENDMENTS TO UENRD GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN RULES AND REGULATIONS: 

]It was moved by John Meuret and seconded by Mark Carpenter to suspend the UENRD board meeting.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Moser, Stewart, Whitaker & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  Rice.  ABSENT:   Bartak & Dvorak.  MOTION CARRIED.  Public Hearing Officer John Meuret opened the Upper Elkhorn NRD Groundwater Management Plan Rules and Regulations Public Hearing at 3:32 P.M.  John Meuret explained the purpose of the public hearing; reviewed the process which would be used for testifying during the hearing; and, entered exhibits into the public hearing record.  Dennis Schueth, UENRD General Manager, made a slide presentation outlining the changes to the UENRD Groundwater Plan Rules and Regulations.  Following the presentation, no testimony was given.  The public hearing was suspended until Agenda Line Item #12 on regular monthly board meeting agenda.  The regular board meeting was reconvened at 3:44 PM.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Legislative, Finance and Planning: 

 

Water Resources & Watershed:  John Meuret reported that the Committee met prior to the board meeting and discussed the GWMP Rules and Regulations Public Hearing; Phase II reporting issues with the Beehive program; and, the potential of scheduling a joint meeting between the UENRD and LENRD regarding water issues. 

 

Personnel, Equipment, Promotion & Education Committee:  The Committee met prior to the board meeting and appointed Curtis Gotschall Chair. 

 

COALITION/TASK FORCE UPDATE:

Lower Platte River Basin Water Management Plan Coalition:  Dennis Schueth reported that there has not been any correspondence regarding the draft integrated groundwater management plan. 

Niobrara River Basin Alliance:  Dennis Schueth reported that the group met with Jeff Fassett, DNR during March to discuss the status of the Niobrara River Basin.  It was concluded that before any designations can be made DNR needs to establish their Rules and Regulations.  The Alliance has received the information from the DNR regarding their determination of flows. 

Nebraska Habitat Conservation Coalition (Piping Plover):  Dennis Schueth reported that there is a meeting scheduled for April. 

Nebraska Ground Water Management Coalition:  No Report.

 

CLOSING OF PUBLIC HEARING ON AMENDMENTS TO GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN RULES AND REGULATIONS:  ]It was moved by Ted Hughes and seconded by Jim Keller to close the Public Hearing at 4:37 PM, Monday March 27, 2017.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Rice, Stewart, Whitaker & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:   Bartak & Dvorak.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

ACTION ON PUBLIC HEARING ON AMENDMENTS TO GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN RULES AND REGULATONS:  ]It was moved by Ted Hughes and seconded by Jim Keller to adopt the proposed changes to the UENRD Groundwater Management Rules and Regulations to implement the UENRD Groundwater Management  Plan; accept grammatical recommendations made by NDNR; and, to adopt an Order and properly advertise the order.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Rice, Stewart, Whitaker & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:   Bartak & Dvorak.  MOTION CARRIED. 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT:

Dennis Schueth’s report was mailed out in the Director’s packets and a copy is kept on file at the NRD office. 

 

APRIL BOARD MEETING:

The next board meeting is scheduled for April 24, 2017 at 7:00 PM.

 

]It was moved by John Meuret and seconded by Curtis Gotschall to adjourn at 4:42 PM.  AYE:  Carpenter, Dierks, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Rice, Stewart, Whitaker & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:   Bartak & Dvorak.  MOTION CARRIED.