Nemaha NRD Board Meeting ReportNemaha Natural Resources District administered the oath of office to newly elected members at their regular meeting Jan. 10.
Two new members who joined the board as a result of the 2012 general election are Michael McDonald of Palmyra in Subdistrict 2 and Jon Keithley of Falls City in Subdistrict 9.
The board also reorganize its officers with Rob Bohling of Johnson elected chairman. Other officers are Steve Sugden of Adams, vice-chairman; Don Siske of Table Rock, secretary/treasurer; Orval Gigstad of Syracuse, Nebraska Association of Resources Districts.
Ron Theis from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources was present to administer the caucus for selecting a new representative to the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission. Former director Dan Watermeier resigned this position after his election to the Nebraska Legislature in November.
Two years remained on Watermeier's term on the commission. Steve Sugden, the only nomination, was elected.Last month the board considered a temporary, 180-day stay on the construction of new, high capacity wells.
This month directors approved an immediate stay by an 11-3-1 vote.
The reason for the stay was to allow time to revise present groundwater rules and regulations to better manage future well development and evaluate new permit applications.
A public hearing will be required sometime during the 180-day term to explain any new rules or regulations that would go in place once the stay is lifted.
If work progresses sooner than the full term, the stay could be ended early.Following the vote to institute the 180-day stay, five well permits that had been received since last month were reviewed.
On an 8-7 vote the board approved the permits though construction cannot begin on these wells until after the stay is lifted. In the same motion they also voted not to accept any additional permits during the 180-day time period.
In action from the executive committee, Don Siske and Duane Sugden were selected to serve as voting delegate and alternate at the upcoming legislative conference of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts. This annual, two-day meeting is held in Lincoln at the end of January.
Some minor changes to the district's policy for hiring consultants was reviewed.
The change that was subsequently approved allows the board to waive the normal selection process and limit negotiations to one firm if the project is for the rehabilitation, repair, or maintenance of a project for which the firm was originally used.
Approval of the consultant policy change then allowed the board to consider approving a contract with JEO Consulting to update the district's hazard mitigation plan since they had prepared the initial plan.
However, no action was taken at this meeting to allow time to contact the other governmental entities that are partners in the plan to request their help in funding the cost of the updates.
Page 2 of 2 - Cost-share funds to provide 75 percent of the estimated maximum of $126,000 for the plan have also been requested through the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.
Action was taken to officially accept the resignation ofWatermeier as director in Subdistrict 3 effective Dec. 31.
The motion also declared vacancies in both Subdistrict 3 and Subdistrict 4, which was left open after the realignment of subdistricts due to the 2010 census. Letters of interest will be sought from residents of each subdistrict, which are both within Otoe County, and considered by the board at their Feb. 14 regular meeting.
Because of the substantial increases experienced last year in liability insurance premiums, the board began discussions on how to proceed this year with obtaining affordable coverage. More information will be collected prior to the February meeting regarding options available.