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Expansion draws CNPP&ID board to town

Board votes to provide groundwater recharge from river flooding

The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District board met Oct. 7 at a newly renovated and expanded building in Gothenburg.

It was the first time the board has had a meeting in Gothenburg. The local facility houses Central’s control center which monitors and controls water conveyance and hydroelectric generation throughout Central’s hydro-irrigation system.

During action in a new conference room, members approved an amendment to a water service agreement with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and Tri-Basin Natural Resources District that will provide additional groundwater recharge from the recent South Platte River flood.

The agreement provides for an additional 5,000 acre-feet of diversions into the E65 Canal and Elwood Reservoir to recharge groundwater.

Officials said the original agreement provided for 10,000 acre-feet of diversions from excess flows in the Platte River that resulted from South Platte River flooding. The continued availability of excess flow has made it possible to divert additional water into Central’s system.

On Oct. 7, the water level at Elwood Reservoir had risen by almost nine feet because of diversion of excess flows.

In addition, other agreements with the Tri-Basin Natural Resources District, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have allowed Central to divert excess flows into the Phelps and E65 Canals for recharge and to benefit wildlife habitat at the Funk Wildlife Production Area and the Cottonwood WPA near Bertrand.

In other business, the board:

discussed a policy and timetable for filling a vacancy on the board when Gosper County board member Dick Hove of Johnson Lake, who is moving to Lincoln, leaves.

An ad hoc committee consisting of the three Gosper County board members will receive and review applications for the position. The committee will interview candidates and make recommendations to the full board which will vote on candidates at its Nov. 4 meeting.

The new director will be seated at the December board meeting and will complete the remainder of Hove’s term which expires in January 2015.

approved an easement from Dawson County, subject to legal review, for land near Johnson Lake over which a section of the hike/bike trail will pass.

said yes to a union contract with IBEW Local #2185 from Dec. 25, 2012, through Dec. 23, 2016.

voted to approve an agreement with Midway Right of Way Services, Inc., of Omaha to provide services related to the acquisition of land for the construction of two regulating reservoirs south of the Platte River between Overton and Lexington. The scope of the agreement includes services related to project management, public hearing and owner notices, acquisition negotiations and relocation assistance.

accepted an agreement with RJH Consultants, Inc., of Englewood, CO, for professional services related to design of the regulating reservoirs project. Central’s staff continues discussions with contractors for services related to permitting and project management.

heard Anne Anderson, Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce director, welcome the board and thank local staff for the meeting. Anderson complimented Central on improvements to the shop and office buildings.

toured the expanded and renovated facility after the meeting with Gothenburg division manager Kevin Boyd and electrical superintendent Devin Brundage.

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