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LPSNRD board holds line on taxes in FY 2021 budget

LPSNRD board holds line on taxes in FY 2021 budget

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LINCOLN – The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (LPSNRD) Board of Directors has approved a $33.5 million fiscal year 2021 budget. The approval on Aug. 26 followed public hearings on Aug. 19 and other opportunities for public input since June.

While the budget increased five percent from fiscal year 2020, the property tax requirement is the same, $10,156,870, and with a three percent increase in property valuations across the district’s six-county area, the tax levy of $0.030024 per $100 of actual valuation, is three percent lower than in 2020.

“The Board put together a strong 2021 budget. It continues our conservation programs, important education initiatives, maintenance of aging infrastructure and critical projects like the Deadman’s Run Flood Reduction Project, without increasing property taxes,” said LPSNRD Treasurer Dan Steinkruger.

The budget includes $2.6 million for the non-federal $15 million portion of the Deadmans Run Flood Reduction Project. The design phase is expected to continue through 2021. The multi-year project will remove about 500 homes and businesses from the 100-year floodplain. LPSNRD is a partner in the $25 million project, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Lincoln.

The budget supports many other programs and projects to manage and protect natural resources through next June. Continued updating of Lincoln’s Salt Creek Levee, which protects many Lincoln businesses and neighborhoods from flooding, is approximately a $1.25 million budget item. Approximately $1.9 million is budgeted for the rehabilitation of a flood control dam near Sprague, Upper Salt 3-A. The project will begin this fall and includes the realignment of Southwest 2nd Street.

About $1.4 million is budgeted for groundwater studies, permitting, monitoring and best management practices. Planned stream stability projects along portions of Beal Slough and Salt Creek are expected to cost the district about $1.1 million and $1.6 million is in the budget for landowner cost-share assistance for surface water quality practices (terrace systems, buffer strips, cover crops, etc.). Nearly $2 million is budgeted for repairs along Antelope Creek at 39th Street and $500,000 is budgeted for Lied Platte River Bridge repairs and trail maintenance district-wide.

The complete budget and other budget information are available at LPSNRD.org.

In other action, the board:

- Approved 88 surface water quality cost sharing applications for work this fiscal year, $862,773

- Accepted the 2019 Annual Integrated Management Plan Report

- Extended the Platte River Consortium Interlocal Agreement for one year

- Extended a vadose zone study agreement with UNL for one year

- Approved a permanent drainage easement and temporary construction easement within the MoPac East Trail corridor for a Village of Elmwood street improvement project

- Approved a Preliminary Engineering Services Agreement with BNSF Railway company to review bridge plans for the Deadmans Run Flood Reduction project, $8,000

- Approved entering into a professional Services agreement to design repairs of two bridges on the MoPac East Trail and two more along the Homestead Trail, $59,000

- Pledged matching funds for a Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) grant prairie maintenance project by Wachiska Audubon, $3,000/year for three years

- Pledged matching funds

for a Prairie Plains Institute NET grant application for grassland diversification, $25,000

- Approved an amendment to the Wilderness Hills South and Wilderness Hills Commons Settlement Agreement

- Updated three district policies related to anti-discrimination

- Approved a request from Lincoln Public Schools to obligate funds for outdoor classrooms at two new high schools, $10,000/year for three years, starting in Fiscal Year 2022

- Approved Prairie Immersion Program virtual tours with Pioneers Park Nature Center and Spring Creek Prairie

- Approved a school virtual tour program with Pioneers Park Nature Center

  The public is encouraged to attend the next meeting of the LPSNRD Board of Directors on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, starting at 7 p.m. at the Lancaster Event Center, 4100 North 84th Street, Lincoln. The meeting will be in the Lincoln Room. The public is invited to attend the meeting in-person. COVID-19 health recommendations will be observed. No public teleconference will be offered. An agenda will be posted one week prior to the meeting at LPSNRD.org.

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