Hazard Mitigation Plan Approved By LENRD Board, Recap From April Meeting

NORFOLK – To help guide future hazard mitigation projects, the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) has updated their Hazard Mitigation Plan and approved it at their April board meeting.

According to a release from the LENRD, proactive hazard mitigation planning allows a community to take actions to reduce or eliminate threats from natural disasters.

When developing the plan, the LENRD’s 15-counties were guided by a Planning Team consisting of representatives from the LENRD, counties, cities, several schools and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Information provided from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation, $4 in post storm cleanup and rebuilding is saved.

JEO Consulting Group, Inc. (JEO) was hired to update the plan as they assisted in completing the LENRD’s original and previous plans in 2009 and 2014. This hazard mitigation plan update is funded by a FEMA planning grant and the cost is shared 75% through federal funding and 25% through a local match. For this plan update, the LENRD provided the 25% local match.

In other business, the board approved a payment request from the City of Randolph for $834,723 for their flood risk management project. The board signed an inter-local agreement with the city in 2017. This payment request will assist with Phase 1 of the project and will keep the project moving forward. The entire project includes the widening of the channel and the replacement of several bridges through the city.

The board also approved the Urban Recreation Area Development and Urban Conservation Program applications for a total of $89,551.58. The four approved grants will assist the communities of Madison, Norfolk and Randolph with their outdoor recreation projects.

The board voted to authorize staff to proceed with the handicapped sidewalk project at Maskenthine Lake. This will complete the sidewalks near the jetties and the boat dock. The bid was accepted from Gates Construction, LLC for $12,669.

In other action, the board approved the producer contracts for the Bazile Groundwater Management Area (BGMA) demonstration site for groundwater nitrate reduction. This project will consist of three demonstration sites on farms within the BGMA through a Nebraska Environmental Trust grant.

A presentation was given by Charles Ikenberry, an engineer with FYRA Engineering, on potential ways to reduce the toxic algae in the Willow Creek State Recreation Area, southwest of Pierce. He proposed a multi-phase approach to the study of the phosphorus build up in the lake to determine what could potentially be done to combat the issue.

The LENRD board and staff meet each month to develop and implement management plans to protect the natural resources for the future. The next LENRD board meeting will be Thursday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m. Subscribe to the LENRD monthly emails to watch for further updates and stay connected at www.lenrd.org.