Papio NRD Board Decreases Property Tax Levy

Papio-Missouri River NRD Board Approves Proposed 2021 Budget

At its September 10th meeting, the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2021 general operating budget that includes a decrease in the Papio NRD property tax levy.

“It is our civic duty to save taxpayer dollars and we are proud the District’s property tax levy will decrease again this year,” said John Winkler, general manager of the Papio NRD. “For 15 out of 16 years, the District has either decreased or kept the tax levy the same,” said Winkler.

 

Papio NRD Board of Directors

The FY21 budget calls for a property tax levy of .036490 per $100 of assessed valuation, which means a homeowner with property valued at $100,000 would pay a total of $36.49 or 3.04 cents a month in property taxes next year to support Papio NRD projects. The budget calls for an estimated $27 million in revenue from the NRD’s property tax levy. The total operating budget is estimated at $75.5 million.

The Papio-Missouri River NRD’s property tax levy amounts to less than two percent of a homeowner’s total property tax bill who lives within the District’s six-county area. The levy is based on an estimated 7.06% increase in valuations across the district, which includes all of Sarpy, Douglas, Washington and Dakota counties, plus the eastern 60% of Burt and Thurston counties.

Record Turnout for Scrap Electronics Collections

A total of 177 vehicles – a record turnout – participated in the scrap electronics collection held recently at the USDA Service Center in Dakota City.

Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (NRD), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff, Nebraska Loess Hills Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D) members, and other community volunteers assisted with half-day event.

Other collections were also held in the communities of Walthill, Tekamah, and Blair.  The collections were free of charge to local Nebraska residents and businesses.  Funding was provided through the Litter Reduction and Recycling Incentive Grant, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) and Papio-Missouri River NRD.  Midwest Electronic Recovery of Clive, Iowa, was the disposal contractor and is only one of a few companies certified for destruction and recycling of banking, medical/hospital, and governmental agency information.

 

Helicopter to Make Low-Level Flights Starting August 1st

Flights to Collect Data About Groundwater Aquifers

Data-collecting helicopter equipment

Eastern Nebraska residents should not be alarmed if they see a low-flying helicopter over areas of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District in August.

Beginning August 1st and lasting approximately three weeks, instruments mounted below a helicopter will collect and record geologic measurements to learn more about groundwater aquifers in Dakota, Thurston, Burt, Washington, Douglas, Dodge and Sarpy Counties. The Papio NRD, as part of the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment, have planned the flights and are completing them with financial assistance from the Nebraska Water Sustainability Fund, through the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission. A flight schedule for each area is forthcoming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The flights will improve our understanding of available groundwater and its possible connections with surface water in an area of the state made more complex by the presence of glacial deposits,” said Paul Woodward, Groundwater Management Engineer for the Papio NRD.

Aqua Geo Frameworks (AGF), of Mitchell, Nebraska will oversee the flights, process data and produce a final report. The equipment can collect data at a speed of more than 50 miles per hour and explore to a depth of more than 700 feet below the ground surface. Scientific equipment, that looks like a hexagon, is towed about 100 feet below the helicopter in a ‘spider web’ array and is designed to map geologic structures beneath the surface of the earth. The helicopter will be manned by experienced pilots specially trained for low-level flying with this equipment.

The flights are a continuation of previous data collected during 2016 and 2018 and will provide a geologic understanding of all remaining areas in the Papio NRD.  Similar flights have been made across Nebraska since 2007 as NRDs seek to better understand and manage groundwater resources.

 

 

 

 

New Flood Mitigation Reservoir to be Named in Honor of Chief Big Elk of Omaha Tribe

Big Elk Lake

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors today voted unanimously to name Papillion’s new flood mitigation reservoir Big Elk Lake in honor of Chief Big Elk, a principal leader of the Omaha tribe.

Chief Big Elk was a leader of the Omaha tribe on the upper Missouri River where we live now,” said Papio NRD Director Kevyn Sopinski, who represents Subdistrict 10. “Big Elk played an important role in Sarpy County history and naming this flood mitigation reservoir after him is a meaningful way to not only commemorate the historical imprint Big Elk left, but keep it alive by educating others on this great leader’s life, death, and all he accomplished in between,” said Sopinski.

The Papio NRD Board of Directors agreed with Sopinski’s name proposal and today voted during its June board meeting to name the new Papillion reservoir (previously referred to as WP7), located near 108th and Lincoln Rd., Big Elk Lake.

Dr. Rudi Mitchell, the great-great-great grandson of Chief Big Elk, said he was very pleased when he heard the Papio NRD Board planned to recognize his ancestor.

“There is currently no tribute to Chief Big Elk in Omaha, said Mitchell. “Big Elk was admired for leading one of the most peaceful tribes through many challenges. Through his speeches, trading, and peace treaties, Big Elk had a gift for peacefully bringing settlers and the Omaha tribe together,” said Mitchell. “This says a lot about the kind of leader he was and I’m grateful he will be remembered in an area of beauty and nature.”

While the new reservoir’s primary purpose is to help protect the lives and property of citizens from floods, it will also feature recreational amenities, such as a 40-acre park, 12½-acre lake, walking/cycling trails, kayak/canoe launches, picnic shelter, and fishery enhancements.

The project is estimated to open in late spring/summer of 2021.

 

 

Public Input Welcome on Proposed Name of New Reservoir

The public is invited to provide input on the proposed name of Big Elk Lake for a new flood mitigation reservoir (currently referred to as WP-7) at the Papio NRD Board of Directors meeting on June 11 at 4:00 p.m. Any input is accepted until formal action is taken by the Board at the June meeting.

The new reservoir is located in Papillion near 108th and Lincoln Rd. It will will feature a 12½ acre lake and recreational amenities, such as trails, kayak/canoe launches, picnic shelters, and fishery enhancements. The project is estimated to be completed September 2020.

 

Free Seedlings For Public in Celebration of Arbor Day

 

The Papio NRD is giving away FREE seedlings in celebration of Arbor Day 2020!

Now is the perfect time to plant a tree, get your hands dirty, and take part in this year’s state-wide Tree-A-Thon. The goal? Bring the community together to appreciate and positively contribute to nature by planting more than 3,200 trees. 

Here’s all you have to do: PICK UP. PLANT. POSE.

I. PICK UP your bur oak seedlings at the following locations any day of the week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (while supplies last):

  • Papio NRD – 8901 S. 154th St., Omaha (box below flagpole outside Visitor’s Center)
  • Heron Haven – 11809 Old Maple Rd, Omaha (under informational kiosk behind Nature Center)
  • Papio NRD Blair Field Office – 1060 Wilbur St, Blair (outside main office doors)

II. PLANT your seedling in a yard, field, or even in a pot or bucket.

III. POSE: Take a photo while planting your tree and post it on our Facebook page with the hashtag #treeselfie for a chance to win free prizes.

Help us celebrate trees!

The Papio NRD is proud to join Beyond School Bells and other dedicated partners in this project: Arbor Day Foundation, Audubon Nebraska, Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts, Nebraska Forest Service and University of Nebraska.

 

Douglas/Sarpy County Recreation Areas: What’s Open? What’s Not?

 

Updated June 3, 2020

In coordination and cooperation with Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and local partner agencies, the Papio NRD will open tent and RV camping at Elkhorn Crossing on Saturday, June 6th.  All social distancing and Directed Health Measures must be adhered to by all park users. If an inordinate amount of violations occur, the Papio NRD will reevaluate the situation and reimpose restrictions as necessary.   

Updated May 28, 2020

In consultation with the City of Omaha and other partner agencies, the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District will open playgrounds, picnic areas, and restrooms at Papio NRD operated and maintained recreation areas on June 1st. The Douglas and Sarpy county parks include Chalco Hills Recreation Area, Prairie View Recreation Area, and river access sites.

The status of Papio NRD recreation areas are as follows:

Douglas County

All River Access Sites along the Elkhorn & Platte Rivers 

Hours – 6:00 am to 10:00 pm

OPEN:

  • Playground equipment
  • Picnic areas
  • Restrooms
  • Parking lots
  • Campsites at Elkhorn Crossing (tent and RV camping)

The recommended social distancing of six feet is still required between park users.  

 

Prairie View Recreation Area

Hours – 6:00 am to 10:00 pm

OPEN:

  • Trails
  • Prairie View Lake
  • Boat ramps
  • Parking lots
  • Playground equipment
  • Picnic areas
  • Restrooms

The recommended social distancing of six feet is still required between park users.  


Sarpy County

Since Chalco Hills Recreation Area is located in Sarpy County, the Papio NRD coordinates with all of its partners in Sarpy County to ensure it is following the same guidelines in order to protect public health while simultaneously providing its constituents a safe recreational outlet.

Chalco Hills Recreation Area

Hours – 6:00 am to 10:00 pm

OPEN:

  • Trails
  • Wehrspann Lake
  • Boat ramps
  • Parking lots
  • Playground equipment
  • Picnic areas
  • Restrooms

The recommended social distancing of six feet is still required between park users.  

The Papio NRD will update any changes to the status of these recreation areas here on its website.

 

 

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