The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District will receive $6.7 million from the NE Water Sustainability Fund managed by the NE Natural Resources Commission. The commission approved the funding at their December meeting for Papillion Creek Watershed flood prevention reservoir sites West Papio 6 and West Papio 7 in Sarpy County.
“We are extremely grateful to the commission for this funding. They had many worthy projects to consider and their support for the Omaha area’s flood prevention needs is appreciated,” said John Winkler, NRD General Manager. “These two projects have a rate of return to the taxpayers of 2.31 to 1; so for every dollar spent the taxpayer will receive two dollars and thirty one cents in return on that investment,” he said.
The NE Water Sustainability Fund was created by the NE Legislature to boost state financial involvement in a variety of projects to facilitate Nebraska’s critical water management needs.
“First and foremost, the District will now be able to accelerate the construction of these two reservoirs (WP 6 & WP 7) and we will be able to dedicate additional resources to the preliminary design of five additional priority flood prevention reservoirs which are currently under extreme pressure from development interests,” said Winkler. “Our current floodway mapping study is showing that every reservoir constructed has a net positive improvement in the floodplain going from now into the future,” he said.
The district will use the $6.7 million to complete land rights acquisition and construction for the two reservoir sites. “This Water Sustainability Fund financial assistance will further reduce pressure on property taxes,” said Winkler.
Dam Site WP-6 will be built on the west side of 114th Street, north of Cornhusker Rd. The site will be managed for recreation by the City of Papillion. The lake created by WP-6 will be approximately 34 acres of water surrounded by an additional 69 acres of public parkland.
WP-7 will be built on the east side of 108th Street, south of Cornhusker Road. This project will also be managed for recreation by the City of Papillion. The lake created by WP-7 will be approximately 13 acres of water surrounded by an additional 32 acres of public parkland. Both reservoirs will enhance flood protection for property and public infrastructure downstream along the West Papio Creek, adding flood protection to residents of the Cities of Papillion and Bellevue. The projects are in cooperation with the Papillion Creek Watershed Partnership consisting of the NRD, Sarpy County and the Cities of Omaha, Papillion, Bellevue, LaVista, Gretna, Ralston, and Boys Town. The Partnership seeks workable solutions to address flood prevention along with stream and lake water quality that will enhance the quality of life for metro area’s residents.
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