(HOLDREGE, Neb.) – The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District’s board of directors elected new officers at the first monthly meeting of 2019 on Thursday, Jan. 3.
David Rowe of Johnson Lake is the newly elected president. Rowe has represented Dawson County on Central’s board since 2005 and previously served as the board’s vice president. Other officers elected to two-year terms by their fellow board members were Ron Fowler of Johnson Lake, vice president; Marty Mueller of Ogallala, treasurer; and Robert Dahlgren of Bertrand, secretary.
Also in Thursday’s meeting:
• The board presented retiring General Manager Don Kraus with a formal resolution that was passed to recognize Kraus and his many accomplishments during his 46 years with the District.
• The board approved a storage upgrade for a data server for $17,336.64.
• The board approved purchase of a 2019 Caterpillar long-arm excavator for $256,532.50 from NMC of North Platte.
• The board approved a total of 2,948 total acres contracted for the Water Leasing Program with the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program for the 2019 irrigation season. This will be the fourth year the water leasing program has been in place. The Program leases the water from Central’s irrigation customers and the water is added to the Environmental Account of water stored in Lake McConaughy and is then available for release to benefit wildlife habitat along the Platte River. Most of the leased acres are from pivot corners and irregularly shaped fields that are more difficult to irrigate. Under the agreement, the acres will not be irrigated during the one-year term of the lease.
• Newly appointed General Manager Devin Brundage notified the board that the tree removal project that began at Kingsley Dam last year will continue this winter. Trees are being removed on the Lake Ogallala side of Kingsley Dam as a requirement for assuring the safety of the dam. This allows for proper inspections to occur on a regular basis without any hindrances.
• Civil Engineer Cory Steinke reported that Lake McConaughy is at elevation 3253.2 feet or 80.7 percent of capacity. Steinke reported that although some of the stream gauges have been frozen, water operations have been moving along according to plan without many icing problems on the system.
• Natural Resources Manager Mike Drain reported that the commenting period for the FERC Boundary Review project has ended. Drain said the land administration team is now compiling and categorizing comments, working on developing responses to the questions submitted and continuing consultations with state and federal agencies on the project.
• Public Relations Assistant Holly Rahmann notified the board that Lake McConaughy was once again the second most visited attraction in the state of Nebraska based on numbers reported to the Nebraska Tourism Commission.