Free Private Water Well Testing Available to Homeowners Affected by Flooding

The Papio-Missouri River NRD, Lower Platte South NRD and Midwest Laboratories, in cooperation with the Douglas County Health Department and Sarpy/Cass County Health Department, will offer a limited number of well water quality tests to private homeowners affected by flooding, at no expense to the homeowners.  Midwest Laboratories has offered to cover 50% of the laboratory testing costs, and the NRDs will cover the remaining 50%.

Right now, the funding is for homeowners in Washington (mostly along the Elkhorn River and Bell Creek), Douglas, Sarpy, and Cass counties.  It does not cover Dodge or Saunders at this time. Testing will determine the presence and levels of total coliform, E. Coli, and nitrates.  Such testing should be performed on every individual domestic well that was impacted by flooding prior to use of the well as a drinking water source.  Each homeowner should obtain a sample bottle and testing kit from the Douglas or Sarpy/Cass County Health Department.  Then, using an outdoor hydrant or faucet closest to the well, homeowners should run the well for an hour or until the water is clear before taking the sample.  Homeowners must deliver the sample bottle to Midwest Labs at 13611 B Street in Omaha within 24 hours of taking the sample.

Test kits can be obtained on Wednesday, March 27th from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Sarpy/Cass Health Department, 701 Olson Drive, Suite 101, Papillion, NE
  • Louisville Senior Center, 423 Elm Street, Louisville, NE
  • Waterloo Fire Department, 405 7th Street, Waterloo, NE

If a well owner is unable to pick up a sample bottle and instructions during this time, test kits may also be obtained at each County Health Department, the P-MRNRD offices at Chalco Hills Recreation Area, or directly from Midwest Laboratories. The results of the water quality tests will be sent directly to each homeowner by Midwest Labs.  If the initial well water quality test confirms the presence of bacteria in the well, the homeowner should contact a licensed well technician or follow the procedures prescribed by the health departments to disinfect the well with a mixture of bleach and water.  The appropriate amount of bleach should be based on recommendations from the health department in accordance with the diameter and depth of the well.  Please contact the Douglas County Health Department at 402-444-7481 or the Sarpy/Cass Health Department at 402-339-4334 for additional instructions and information.

Once the well is disinfected, water should not be used for drinking or cooking until a second sample is tested to confirm that the disinfection was effective.  Homeowners should obtain a second sample 7 to 10 days after disinfection and deliver it to Midwest Labs.  Only after test results confirm that there is no harmful bacteria or nitrates in the well should the water be used for human consumption.

 

 

Lied Bridge Closed to All Users

Lied Bridge

Due to the extraordinary high water during the flood last week, the protective railing on the Lied Bridge over the Platte River has been damaged and the bridge is closed to all users. The Papio-Missouri River NRD is working with the Lower Platte South NRD, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to determine the extent of the damage, and to have repair design and construction moving forward as soon as possible.

Sections of the MoPac Trail under Hwy 50, and from the trailhead parking lot at the west end of Hwy 31 down to the Lied Bridge were also damaged. Signs will be placed to alert users of trail closure. Do not use, or access any section of trail that seems damaged, as the conditions are currently unknown.

Contact the Papio NRD office at (402) 444-6222 if you have any questions about the status of the MoPac Trail or Lied Bridge.

 

 

New Director Fills Vacancy in Subdistrict 7 on Papio NRD Board

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors has filled its Subdistrict 7 vacancy.

The Board selected Omahan Danny Begley to replace Patrick Leahy, who had to resign due to moving to a residence located outside of Subdistrict 7. Nebraska state law declares a Papio NRD Director must reside in the subdistrict he/she represents.

Begley, who works for the Omaha Public Power District, took the oath of office on February 14, and will officially participate in his first board meeting Thursday night.

Subdistrict 7’s boundaries roughly comprise of the Dundee/Benson neighborhoods to west of I-680 on Dodge Street.

 

District Map

Papio NRD Announces Board Subdistrict 7 Vacancy

District Now Accepting Applications to Fill Vacancy

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors announced a vacancy on the board at its meeting last night.

Director Patrick Leahy, who represents Subdistrict 7, provided his formal resignation from the board earlier this month, as he will be moving to a residence located outside of Subdistrict 7. Nebraska state law declares a Papio NRD Director must reside in the subdistrict he/she represents.

Subdistrict 7’s boundaries roughly comprise of the Dundee/Benson neighborhoods to west of I-680 on Dodge Street.

“I would like to thank the Directors, the constituents of Subdistrict 7, and the entire NRD staff for making serving the District fun and fulfilling,” said Leahy. “I have enjoyed the past six years and I will miss helping with the good work of the NRD’s mission.”

“Director Leahy’s commitment to the District and those he served never wavered and we cannot thank him enough for his service and leadership,” said John Winkler, General Manager of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District. “Director Leahy’s support and tenacity will be sorely missed by the District and his constituents. We wish Director Leahy nothing but the best and no doubt he will soon return to public service in one way or another,” said Winkler.

Those interested in being appointed to fill the remainder of Leahy’s term (until January 2020) can submit a letter of application until January 31, 2019.

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors is an 11-member board that sets policy for Papio NRD programs and projects and oversees a $72 million annual operating budget. The Papio NRD District includes all of Sarpy, Douglas, Washington and Dakota counties, plus the eastern 60% of Burt and Thurston counties.

 

New Board Members Sworn in at Papio NRD

Left to right: Tim McCormick, Chairperson Jim Thompson, and Kevyn Sopinski

Two recently-elected members of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors were sworn in at last night’s board meeting.

Tim McCormick, owner of a bridge and heavy civil construction company, now officially represents Subdistrict 4 following the retirement of long-time board member John Conley.

Kevyn Sopinski, a financial adviser, serves Subdistrict 10. Sopinski replaces David Klug who chose not to run for re-election to focus on election to the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners.

Another new face will join the Papio NRD Board of Directors in February, as the board announced the resignation of Director Patrick Leahy of Subdistrict 7 due to Leahy’s move to a residence located outside of Subdistrict 7.  Those interested in applying to fill the remainder of Leahy’s term can find more information here.

McCormick and Sopinski join current members of the Papio NRD Board of Directors: Ted Japp (Subdistrict 1), Fred Conley (Subdistrict 2), Larry Bradley (Subdistrict 3), Richard Tesar (Subdistrict 5), Jim Thompson (Subdistrict 6), Mark Gruenwald (Subdistrict 9), and John B. Wiese (Subdistrict 11).

New Faces on Papio NRD Board of Directors

 

 

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors will see some new faces this year following the 2018 General Election.

Tim McCormick, owner of a bridge and heavy civil construction company, takes over John Conley’s seat in Subdistrict 4. Conley retired after serving 19 years on the board.

Kevyn Sopinski, a financial adviser, replaces David Klug in Subdistrict 10, who chose not to run for re-election to focus on election to the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners.

Longtime incumbent Tim Fowler, who has represented Subdistrict 8 since 2003, will hold onto his seat after defeating challenger Jim Kusek.

Incumbents Jim Thompson in Subdistrict 6 and Fred Conley in Subdistrict 2 ran unopposed.

Additional members of the Papio NRD Board of Directors include Ted Japp (Subdistrict 1), Larry Bradley (Subdistrict 3), Richard Tesar (Subdistrict 5), Patrick Leahy (Subdistrict 7), Mark Gruenwald (Subdistrict 8), and John B. Wiese (Subdistrict 11).

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors is an 11-member board that sets policy for Papio NRD programs and projects and oversees a $72 million annual operating budget.

Elkhorn River Access Sites to Close For Season on November 1

Elkhorn River rats…last chance!

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District will close all access sites to the Elkhorn River for the season on November 1st. While the Elkhorn Crossing access site closed early for the season for renovations, the West Maple Road and Graske Crossing access sites will close the morning of November 1st.

The access sites will reopen April 1st, 2019.

 

Calling All Creative, Nature-loving Students – It’s NACD Poster Contest Time

 

Aren’t these posters incredible…and inspiring? They were drawn by K-12 students who illustrated their love of natural resources in previous NACD poster contests for the chance to have their art displayed as part of a national conservation outreach initiative and win monetary prizes.

2018 NACD Poster Contest

Get your colored pencils and crayons ready! We are now accepting entries for the 2018 NACD Poster Contest. This year’s theme is “Watersheds – Our Water, Our Home.”

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) along with Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts provide K-12 students with an opportunity to express their thoughts about water, soil, and related natural resource issues.

Interested? Of course you are. For details at-a-glance regarding the poster contest, the blue infographic provides a quick run-down. For more in-depth information, such as contest rules, filling out the entry form (which you definitely want to do), etc., please do the following:

How to Enter the NACD Post Contest

 – Fill out the entry form on the NARD website. 

 – Attach the completed entry form to the back of your poster (tape, glue, staples, etc).

 – Mail your poster to:

Austen Hill, Education Programs Supervisor
Papio NRD
8901 S. 154th Street
Omaha, NE 68138

Better hurry, the contest entry deadline is November 14th.

 

 

West Papio Trail Expansion Ready for Cycling Action

New three-mile bike trail connects west Omaha to Bellevue area –
a milestone 25 years in the making

On October 2, 2018, the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District and the Cities of Omaha and La Vista celebrated the grand opening of a new three-mile stretch of the West Papio Trail in Millard that links west Omaha to the Bellevue area. The new segment creates a 130-mile network through Douglas and Sarpy Counties that’s been more than 25 years in the making.

The West Papio Trail addition connects the existing trail at 108th & Giles Road to the new Lumberyard District at 132nd & Q Street. While technically small in size, the connection provides tremendous recreational opportunities with historical significance by connecting Millard and west Omaha to La Vista, Papillion, and Bellevue – stretching down to the Missouri River by a continuous dedicated trail corridor.

“This regionally significant and boundary-breaking project provides expanded recreation, active transportation for Omaha metro residents, and increased access to natural resources,” said Eric Williams, Papio NRD Natural Resources Planner. “The Papio-Missouri Natural Resources District was fortunate to partner with the Cities of La Vista and Omaha in the design and construction of this milestone project,” said Williams.

“Through the partnership of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District and the City of La Vista, we are all very excited to announce the completion of the West Papio Trail extension that links West Omaha and Bellevue,” said Brook Bench, City of Omaha Parks and Recreation Director. “This trail segment will allow for more recreation in the community and will serve as an active avenue for transportation for Omaha metro residents.”

“Today we celebrate the extension of the West Papio Trail which connects with La Vista,” said La Vista Mayor Douglas Kindig. “Projects such as this one are not possible without partners and cooperation between different entities. The completion of this project will improve the quality of life and provide a valuable amenity to our citizens,” said Kindig.

The trail expansion follows the original stretch of the former Union Pacific transcontinental railroad. The Papio NRD was able to restore all of the old bridges that will now be used as trail bridges. National “rails to trails” efforts are focused on reusing abandoned railroad property for multi-use paths, allowing long, flat corridors to become community focus points and preserving the history of railroad infrastructure.

As the most well-known railroad in America, this new section of trail highlights the natural geographic features, incorporates transportation and commerce history, and connects communities just as the railroad did nearly 150 years ago.

The West Papio Trail expansion project cost $3.2 million, with the Cities of Omaha and La Vista each contributing 20 percent of the cost.

 

 

Papio-Missouri River NRD Board Approves Proposed 2019 Budget

Decrease in Property Tax Levy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/14/18
Contact: Jennifer Stauss Story
Cell Phone: 402-960-5329 

Omaha, NE: At its September 13th meeting in Dakota City, the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board of Directors voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2019 general operating budget that includes a decrease in the Papio NRD property tax levy.

“We are proud the District’s property tax levy will decrease again this year,” said John Winkler, general manager of the Papio NRD. “For 13 out of 14 years, the District has either decreased or kept the tax levy the same. We work diligently to save local taxpayers millions of dollars and take seriously our responsibility in doing so in a transparent manner.” said Winkler.

The FY 2019 budget calls for a property tax levy of .037594 per $100 of assessed valuation, which means a homeowner with property valued at $100,000 would pay a total of $37.59 in property taxes next year to support NRD projects. The budget calls for an estimated $24 million in revenue from the NRD’s property tax levy. The total operating budget is estimated at $72.2 million.

The Papio-Missouri River NRD’s property tax levy amounts to less than two percent of the total property tax bill for residents living within the District’s six-county area. The levy is based on an estimated 5.2 percent 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.

 

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