LENRD asks JEO to complete study despite three dam proposal
BATTLE CREEK, Neb. -- The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resource District is looking to get a three-dam study of Battle Creek completed.
Thursday saw board members clash over how to proceed with Battle Creek's Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) study.
Members were split on accepting a three-dam proposal from JEO consulting or incorporating a dam and levee study from Houston Engineering.
Accepting either would work towards completing their study from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and avoid the board from potentially having to pay $500,000 for not completing the study.
However, approving the three-dam study would only cost $30,000 while the levee dam project would cost over $351,000.
Another issue was the fact that members stated they wouldn't approve a project that required a dam in January of 2023.
Director Jay Reikofski, who put forth this motion, said he would reconsider in order to ensure the NRCS study was completed.
Proponents of the dam levee project argue it is the better option due to its cheaper overall project cost should it be approved.
Many in favor of the three-dam project have been critical of it in the past, saying they wouldn't approve the project.
Director Melissa Temple questioned why members would approve completing the study if they had no intentions of pursuing its findings.
"I cannot support this motion because not one board member is going to vote to implement it," Temple said. "We're trying to pass a motion that's a waste of money...that nobody has any intention of actually implementing."
Two motions were approved Thursday, the first was to hold off discussions to incorporate the levee dam project into the NRCS study for 60 to 90 days.
This motion was approved 8-7 with Melissa Temple, Gary Loftis, Matt Steffen, Rod Zohner, Anthony Wisnieski, Chad Korth, Kris Loberg, and Roger Gustofson voting in favor. Voting in opposition were Jim Aschoff, Jerry Allemann, Mark Burenheide, Scott Clausen, Mark Hall, Jay Reikofski, and Mike Fleer.
The second motion was to finish the first WFPO project. This would rescind January's no-dam decision and instruct LENRD staff to tell JEO to complete its three-dam study.
This was approved with a 13-2 vote with Melissa Temple, Chad Korth voting in opposition.
The LENRD will meet next month on June 8.