Vacancy on Papio NRD Board of Directors

A vacancy exists on the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District’s Board of Directors for the Director elected from Subdistrict #7.  The vacancy will be filled by the Board of Directors.  The person appointed must be a registered elector and reside in Subdistrict #7.  A map of Subdistrict #7 can be found at  https://bit.ly/subdistrict7 . The term of the office to be filled will expire in 2024.

Persons interested in being considered for appointment to this position should submit a letter of application to the District.  The letter must be submitted to the Board of Directors at the District’s principal office, 8901 S. 154th Street, Omaha, NE 68138, postmarked no later than September 29, 2022 or delivered to the District office by 4:00 p.m. on September 29, 2022. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please call John Winkler at 402-444-6222.

 

Papio NRD Decreases Property Tax Levy

Board Approves Proposed 2023 Budget

At its September 8th meeting, the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (Papio NRD) Board of Directors voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2023 general operating budget that includes a decrease in the Papio NRD property tax levy.

“We realize that historically high inflation is negatively impacting many of our constituents’ finances,” said John Winkler, general manager of the Papio NRD. “Through methodical and conservative financial management this budget allows the Papio NRD to lower its property tax levy while simultaneously funding critical public safety projects. This fiscal year’s total budget requirements, operating budget, and property tax levy are all lower than last fiscal year,” said Winkler.

For 17 out of 18 years, the Papio NRD has either decreased or kept the tax levy the same. The District will drop its property tax mill levy by 2.6% this fiscal year.

“The Papio NRD’s budgeting philosophy has been to levy only what is needed to adequately fund vital flood mitigation, conservation, erosion and sediment control projects, and the prudent management of our state’s critical natural resources,” said Winkler.

The Papio NRD’s FY23 property tax levy would drop to .0348 per $100 of assessed valuation from the District’s FY22 property tax levy of 0.357 per $100 of assessed valuation. Under this budget, a homeowner in the District with property valued at $150,000 would pay $52.14 a year or $4.34 a month in property taxes next year to support Papio NRD projects, programs, and services. The budget calls for an estimated $30 million in revenue from the Papio NRD’s property tax levy. The total operating budget is estimated at $80.1 million.

The property tax levy is based on an estimated 8.57% 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.

The Papio NRD receives less than 2% of all property taxes collected within the District’s six-county area. The remaining 98% goes to schools, cities, counties, and other taxing entities.

Bellevue Loop Trail to Remain Closed Through October

Public is reminded not to use the trail until all remaining work is complete

 

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (Papio NRD) and the City of Bellevue Public Works Department would like to remind all area residents that the Bellevue Loop Trail will remain closed until all remaining trail work and levee improvements on and around the trail are completed.

The levee and trail work are expected to be completed by October. For public safety, residents are not to access the trail or levee until the Papio NRD has provided notice that it is open for public use.

Additionally, barricades are in place indicating the trail is closed. Residents are not to move or tamper with any barricades or other warning signs. The City of Bellevue Police Department will continue to monitor access points to the trail/levee construction site and may issue citations to trespassers. All of these measures are in place for the safety of the public.

We understand the public’s eagerness to use the trail and are working as quickly as possible to complete the levee system that will better protect the City of Bellevue and Offutt Air Force Base from another major flooding event. We thank the public for its cooperation and patience during the construction of this project.

 

 

 

Papio NRD Program Makes Rural Intersections Safer

Pollinator Safety Corners Program

In late summer when corn is high, four-way intersections in rural counties can become dangerous. Tall crops obstruct the line of sight needed at these intersections. The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, along with Pheasants Forever, The Nebraska Environmental Trust, and Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, offer a cost-share program to improve safety while also benefitting the ecosystem.

Due to this one-acre Pollinator Safety Corner, drivers have a better line of sight. Photo by Armando Zarco.

The Pollinator Safety Corners Program allows landowners to take one to three acres at a four-way intersection out of crop production and convert it into a mix of short native grasses or pollinator habitat. Landowners receive 75% cost-share on seed mix. In addition, the program provides an annual payment of $250/acre for five years. Landowners within the 319 Papillion Creek Watershed receive $350/acre annually. With your participation, we can make intersections safer for our communities and beneficial for pollinators.

Contact our office at (402) 426-4782 for more information.

Free Scrap Tire Collection to Be Held in Sarpy County

 

A free scrap tire collection will take place in Sarpy County thanks to a partnership between the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, Sarpy County, and the Sarpy County Fair Board.

The tire collection will be held at the Sarpy County Fairgrounds in Springfield, NE, on September 9th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The collection is for Sarpy County residents only.

The following are important details and instructions for those wanting to take part in the collection:

  • Sarpy County residents must bring a driver’s license or most recent utility bill for proof of residence
  • There is no limit on the number of tires residents can bring to the collection
  • Residents are asked to have a tire count at the time of check-in
  • Rims or tubes are not allowed
  • Unloading of tires will not be provided
  • Dealers or resellers are not allowed

Residents are to enter the Sarpy County Fairgrounds at Main Street and Railroad and exit at South Gate and Pflug Road.

The tire collection was funded by a grant from the Nebraska Dept. of Environment & Energy. For more information, contact the Papio NRD at 402-444-6222 or www. papionrd.org.

 

Bye Bye Becic. Happy Retirement!

After 38 years working in the NRD system, Jim Becic, environmental coordinator extraordinaire, is retiring and looking forward to restoring and spending more time in his own habitat.

Jim worked for five years at the Middle Missouri River Tributaries NRD and then moved to Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District when the two NRDs merged. To say he accomplished a lot is an understatement.

So, what made Jim stay at the Papio NRD all these years?

Jim: There is really no other public entity that currently acquires and/or restores habitat as a priority.  Being a biologist, working as a part of the NRD system is a unique opportunity. While at this NRD, we’ve acquired and/or restored thousands of acres of habitat to include over a dozen project sites in our six county reach.

Quite a few projects stand out as his favorites. 

Jim: The Boyer Chute in Southern Washington County along the Missouri River with the resulting creation of a National Wildlife Refuge.  The initial acquisition of about 2,000 acres with an additional 650 acres with Nathan’s Lake and the adjacent Stratbucker site and other tracts subsequently acquired by the Fish and Wildlife Service has increase the refuge size to well over 4,000 acres and growing.  AND the people working at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Corps of Engineers, the Nebraska Environmental Trust and certainly the NRD were all excellent partners.

What’s he looking forward to in retirement?

Jim: Not setting the alarm…or getting on the interstate on the way to or from work. (Bike trips, cooking, more leisurely property maintenance, death.)

Yes, he said “death.” We will certainly miss Jim’s crazy sense of humor! Most importantly, Jim we thank you, our environment thanks you, and our wildlife thank you for literally making our six-county world a much, much better place. Enjoy your retirement. It is beyond well-deserved!

Pedestrian Bridge and Trail Officially Open for Valley Residents

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (Papio NRD), City of Valley, DC West Community Schools, YMCA of Greater Omaha, and other community partners today celebrated the grand opening of Valley’s new pedestrian bridge and trail.

(From left to right) Papio NRD General Manager John Winkler, Past Board President of YMCA of Greater Omaha Ford Fischer, Former Congressman Lee Terry, Papio NRD Board of Directors Rich Tesar, Papio NRD Natural Resources Planner Eric Williams, Valley Mayor Cindy Grove, DC West Schools Superintendent Dr. Melissa Poloncic, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Omaha Rebecca Deterding

The 450-foot pedestrian bridge and trail provide a major community connection point that improves safety, recreation, and active transportation for Valley residents.

“The pedestrian bridge spans the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and East Reichmuth Road (old Hwy 275),” said Eric Williams, natural resources planner for the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District. “The City of Valley needed a solution to literally bridge the gaps between major parts of the community, especially a safe route that prevented kids from directly crossing the rail lines or walking on the highway overpass. The bridge and trail provide these safety measures as well as increased recreational opportunities. So, it’s a double win for Valley residents,” said Williams.

“The City of Valley is extremely excited to have the trail and bridge finally open,” said Valley Mayor Cindy Grove. “This has been a multiple year project and residents have been eagerly anticipating the opening. Being able to connect the YMCA with the school and south side of the community with a safe place for residents to walk and bike has been much needed for several years.”

Williams says the project is a great example of the power of community partnerships and one that came at no cost to Valley taxpayers. The total cost of the pedestrian bridge and trail is approximately $7 million, with a majority of the cost from federal transportation funding, and the remaining contribution from the Papio NRD.

 

“I am entering my ninth year as superintendent and this is a project that was in planning when I arrived,” said Dr. Melissa Poloncic, superintendent of DC West Schools. “To see this large-scale project finally come together is really a wonderful thing for our community!”

“We are so excited for the completion of the trail and the impact it will have,” said Rebecca Deterding, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Omaha.  “This has been highly anticipated, and we look forward to it increasing access and collaboration between the YMCA, the school and the community.”

 

 

 

Public Invited to Open Houses to Discuss New Draft Flood Maps

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (Papio NRD), the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) and FEMA will host two public open houses this month to give property owners the opportunity to talk to experts about new draft flood maps, learn about their flood risk and ask floodplain-related questions.

FEMA released the preliminary flood maps on February 17, 2022, to update the previous maps based on data from the 1990s. Updated floodplain maps are essential to provide property owners, floodplain managers, realtors, insurance agents, engineers, and others a much more accurate, reliable, and available source of floodplain information.

With better technology, an additional 25+ years of weather data, and various flood mitigation projects constructed, the preliminary maps will enable Omaha metro area communities to better manage flood risk. The updated maps could affect flood insurance requirements for property owners.

The preliminary maps and other relevant information for property owners can be found at https://papiofloodmaps.org/.

The two open houses are scheduled for:

June 15, 2022
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources Center
8901 S. 154th St.
Omaha, NE 68138

June 21, 2022
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center
University of Nebraska Omaha
6400 University Dr. S.
Omaha, NE 68182

Community members will have the opportunity speak with floodplain mapping experts from the Papio NRD, NeDNR and flood insurance experts from FEMA. Attendees will be able to work individually with these experts to learn about flood risk and flood insurance information for their specific properties.

 

Owls of Nebraska: Our Final Chalco Summer Series Session

Meet Finn, our owl ambassador, learn all about owl adaptations and dissect owl pellets at our final Chalco Summer Series session. Free fun for the whole family.

Schedule of Events

August 3 at 6 p.m.
Owls of Nebraska

The presentation will take place at the Natural Resources Center at Chalco Hills Recreation Area in Omaha (8901 S. 154th Street).

Registration is required to attend and our last series filled up quickly. Please register for the free event at this link . 

 

 

Papio NRD Names New Assistant General Manager

The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District today announced the promotion of Amanda Grint to assistant general manager.

Grint, formerly water resources engineer, has worked for the Papio NRD for 15 years. She fills the position following the sudden passing of Marlin Petermann in December. Petermann worked for the Papio NRD for 47 years, the majority as assistant general manager.

Amanda Grint

“While the circumstances under which this position became available are extremely tragic and unfortunate, the District pulled together and immediately started the interview process,” said John Winkler, general manager of the Papio NRD. “The District was quite fortunate to have extremely qualified and capable professionals apply for the position and it was a very competitive pool of applicants. We are very excited to work with Amanda in her new role and look forward to moving the District to new heights with her knowledge, expertise and experience,” said Winkler.

“I am honored to have been selected as assistant general manager for the Papio NRD,” said Grint. “It’s certainly a heartbreaking turn of events with the passing of Marlin. I’m grateful for the many things I learned from him and throughout my time at the District. I’m anxious to work on District projects on a deeper level that improve our communities and quality of life, such as flood mitigation, trails, conservation efforts, enhancing our natural resources, and forming public/private partnerships,” said Grint.

Grint received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Systems Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is a registered Professional Engineer, Certified Floodplain Manager, and member of the Association of State Floodplain Managers and Nebraska Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association.

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