UPPER ELKHORN NATURAL RESOURCES DISTRICT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

September 12, 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 7:05 P.M. by Chairman Dale Wiles.

 

DIRECTORS PRESENT:

Gary Bartak                     Mark Carpenter            Chris Dierks                     Jake Dvorak                     Curtis Gotschall

Jerry Heithoff                  Ted Hughes                     Jim Keller                        Gene Kelly                       John Meuret

Michael Moser             Roy Stewart                     Chip Whitaker                 Keith White                     Dale Wiles

 

DIRECTORS ABSENT:    

None

                                                                     

STAFF PRESENT:

Dennis Schueth, General Manager

Andrea Fisher, Administrative Secretary

Beth Walsh, Information & Education Coordinator

Kelly Kloppenborg, Water Resources Technician

Kate Tillotson, Water Resources Manager

Jake Morten, Water Resources Technician

Tanner Jenkins, BGWMA Coordinator

 

GUESTS PRESENT:

Brandon Peterson – NRCS O’Neill

Garry Anderson – DNR Basin Representative

 

AGENDA:

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

 

AUGUST BOARD MEETING MINUTES:

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

 

TREASURERS REPORT:

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

 

PUBLIC FORUM-INPUT OR COMMENTS:

Jim Keller addressed the group regarding a book he read entitled Flat Water:  A History of Nebraska and Its Water.  The book is an overview of Nebraska's water history and looks at as many aspects of the state's water history as possible. Chapters examine climate and hydrology; industry; technology; economics and finance; extension and education; environmental quality and changes in ecosystems; conservation management and environmental protection; politics and policy; and a farm family's history of irrigation.  It was published in 1993 through the University of Nebraska and a copy will be provided for any Director who is interested.  Jim reported that the publication was very interesting and offered good information regarding Nebraska’s water.  Jim is pro-water and concerned about being responsible with our water resources for future sustainability. 

 

UENRD FY 16-17 BUDGET HEARING:

Chairman Dale Wiles reconvened the regular monthly board meeting at 7:22 PM.

 

AGENCY & STAFF REPORTS:

NARD Report:  The fall conference is scheduled for September 26-27 in Kearney.  Ted Hughes reported that David Potter who was serving as the Treasurer has resigned his position to become the assistant manager at LPSNRD.  Ted will be helping with the NARD financials this month.  They will also be holding committee conference calls next week prior to the annual conference. 

 

DNR Report:  Garry Anderson, basin representative, attended the meeting.  Garry reported that due to the state’s reduction in spending all Commission funds will be cut by 4%.  July 16 meeting he attended the meeting  in which they obligated Resources and Development funds in the amount of $6,140,325 of which $3,140,325 are from the general fund and $3,000,000 are from the Water Sustainability Fund.  They also discussed changes to the rules for the Water Sustainability fund.  The Comprehensive Planning Committee met and discussed comments from the public hearing; and, recommended changes to the Draft Rules Title 261.  On August 1, a meeting was held to discuss the scoring system for the Water Sustainability Fund.  After discussing the scoring system, a motion was made to add one point for addressing federal mandates and what was included in the mandates. 

 

NRCS Report:  Jim Mathine’s report was mailed out to the Directors.  Brandon Peterson, who will be the new District Conservationist for the UENRD, attended the meeting and reviewed the report.  Brandon reviewed the EQIP program; and, personnel issues.  Adam Nolan and Jesse Hahn, from the NRCS office in Neligh, will both be moving on to other opportunities with NRCS.  Their final dates have not been announced; and, hopefully there will be a plan in place when they leave.  The area range judging contest will be held in the Battle Creek area September 15 with the 2016 contest scheduled for the Butte area. 

 

RC&D Reports:

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 Director’s packets.  Beth reviewed the annual conference reservations with the Directors. 

 

Water Resources Report:  Kate Tillotson’s report was mailed out in the Director’s packets.  Kate also provided information in the Directors folders regarding water quantity trends discussed last month.  Kate explained the trend data and how it was formulated.  She also noted that for this year’s determination by DNR, they will be using a 20 year trendline.  Next year they are planning to use the new INSIGHT model which has a 25 year trendline.  Both incorporate two wet and dry cycles to analyze the data. 

 

UENRD FY 15-16 BUDGET HEARING:

Legislative, Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Roy Stewart noted that the specified time for the FY 16-17 Budget Hearing had expired.  ]It was moved by Ted Hughes and seconded by Roy Stewart to suspend the Board meeting at 7:45 PM for the closing of the budget hearing.  AYE:  Bartak, Carpenter, Dierks, Dvorak, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Stewart, Whitaker, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  None.  MOTION CARRIED.

 

UENRD FY 16-17 SPECIAL BUDGET HEARING:

]It was moved by Jim Keller and seconded by Ted Hughes to suspend the Board meeting at 7:47 PM for the special budget hearing to set the tax asking and mill-levy.  AYE:  Bartak, Carpenter, Dierks, Dvorak, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Stewart, Whitaker, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  None.  MOTION CARRIED.

Chairman Dale Wiles reconvened the regular monthly board meeting at 7:49 PM.

 

AGENCY AND STAFF REPORTS CONTINUED:

Bazile Groundwater Management Area Report:  Tanner Jenkins’ report was mailed out in the Director’s packets.  Tanner reviewed his report and then discussed the Garden Cover Crop bags put together and distributed across the Bazile Groundwater Management Area to promote cover crops.  He also reviewed the seed mixture contained within the bags and the process for planting.  Tanner also attended the irrigation field day September 8. 

 

EXCUSED ABSENCES:  

None

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Legislative, Finance and Planning: 

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

UENRD FY 16-17 SPECIAL BUDGET HEARING:

COMMITTEE REPORTS Continued:

Water Quality and Watershed Committee continued:

COALITION/TASK FORCE UPDATE:

Lower Platte River Basin Water Management Plan Coalition:  Dennis Schueth reported that there is a meeting scheduled for October 17 at which time there may be a tentative plan for review by the members. 

Niobrara River Basin Alliance:  Dennis Schueth reported that the staff alternate voting position for the Alliance needs to be updated.    ]It was moved by John Meuret and seconded by Jake Dvorak to appoint Dr. Kate Tillotson as the UENRD staff alternate voting member for the NRBA.  AYE:  Bartak, Carpenter, Dierks, Dvorak, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Stewart, Whitaker, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  None.  MOTION CARRIED. 

Nebraska Habitat Conservation Coalition (Piping Plover):  Dennis Schueth reported that one of the Coalition members has requested that their position on the Coalition be terminated. 

Nebraska Ground Water Management Coalition:  No Report. 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT:

Dennis Schueth’s report was mailed out to the directors prior to the board meeting in their packets.  A copy is included with the official copy of the minutes in the office.  The Administrative report was covered under the previous agenda items. 

 

OCTOBER BOARD MEETING:  The next regular meeting of the Upper Elkhorn NRD Board of Directors will be held October 24, 2016 at the NRD office in O’Neill.

 

]It was moved by John Meuret and seconded by Michael Moser to adjourn at 9:38 PM.  AYE:  Bartak, Carpenter, Dierks, Dvorak, Gotschall, Heithoff, Hughes, Keller, Kelly, Meuret, Moser, Stewart, Whitaker, White & Wiles.  NAY:  None.  ABSTAIN:  None.  ABSENT:  None.  MOTION CARRIED.