Action on J-2 reservoir agreements delayed to July 10 meeting, Tri-Basin board has too many questions to OK project agreements
By Lori Potter,
Holdrege - Tri-Basin Natural Resources District directors delayed action Tuesday on several agreements for the NRD's participation in the proposed J-2 reservoir project.
Chairman Dave Nickel of
The proposal described to the Hub in May by project planners is to build two fill-and-spill reservoirs on approximately 1,000 acres on the south side of the
Water would be delivered via Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District's
Central owns the water rights involved and would own and operate the project. General Manager Don Kraus has said the district would be responsible to negotiate land purchases if the project goes forward.
Platte River Recovery Implementation Program Executive Director Jerry Kenny of
If the Platte program's Governance Committee of Colorado,
Tri-Basin General Manager John Thorburn said Tuesday that the combined contributions from the state and three NRDs, Tri-Basin,
Tri-Basin's share is $1,168,500.
One of the agenda items tabled was to authorize a $475,000 payment to the Nebraska Community Foundation, which holds funds for the
Tri-Basin would get annual river credits of 2,040 acre-feet if the J-2 project is built.
The other J-2 issues considered Tuesday were:
An agreement with the Platte Water Project Coalition, which is the umbrella group for the project.
An agreement with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources for assigned benefits and costs.
A money pass-through agreement with the Nebraska Community Foundation.
Designation of a Tri-Basin representative on the coalition.
"What is the urgency on this whole thing?" Nickel asked Tuesday. Thorburn replied that because federal funding will be slow in coming, especially in an election year, the goal is to get other funds in hand that can be used to start acquiring land needed for the J-2 project.
Director Larry Reynolds of
Thorburn said the J-2 agreements don't refer to that, so that issue would be between the state,
Kenny has said it would be up to CNPPID to set the process for land acquisition because the district would own and operate the project.
He told the Hub this morning that the program's Governance Committee did not deal with J-2 project issues at its meeting last week in
Thorburn described J-2 benefits for Tri-Basin as "the best deal going for the cost per acre-foot" to augment
Several board members agreed, but they still were concerned that they hadn't had enough time to study details within the agreements. "I understand there's a lot of stuff here," Thorburn said. "There's a lot of details here, and you should know what you're agreeing to."
Reynolds said he's concerned that a project that started at about 200 acres now is four times larger.
After the board met in closed session on the agreement issues for 30 minutes, Thorburn said he was given more questions to refer to legal counsel.
The board's executive committee will look at the J-2 project issues at its June 27 meeting. The full board will consider the agreements again at 1:30 p.m. July 10 at the Tri-Basin office at
There will be a special board meeting that morning to work on the fiscal year 2012-2013 budget and review proposed changes to NRD rules and regulations.
Thorburn said some rule changes are required to match the integrated water management plan for Tri-Basin's part of the
© 2008-2013 agNET. All rights reserved