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Nelson recall attempt going to special election

Landowners to fund lawsuit over water

NRDs propose trans-basin diversion of Platte water

Superior to participate in Shop Small Business event


Nelson recall attempt going to special election

The review of the petition calling for the recall of Vicki Gardner from the Nelson City Council has been completed.
Of the 71 signatures collected on the petition, 69 have been verified. As only 66 were required, a recall election will be scheduled.
It is now the duty of the Nelson City Council to schedule the special recall election.
That election will probably be held within 75 days. Nelson officials were consulting Tuesday with the Nebraska League of Muncipalities about how to proceed to the next step. It may be necessary to call a special meeting of the council to plan for the election.
Garner is serving her first term on the council.

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Landowners to fund lawsuit over water
Landowners served by the Bostwick Irrigation District received notices this week advising they are being assessed $25 per acre this year for maintenance of the district. This includes a $3 per acre special assessment which will be used to help fund legal fees associated with a lawsuit being filed on behalf of the district's irrigators against the Lower Republican Natural Resources District.
The landowners will also be required to pay a special assessment being levied by the NRD to help pay for stream flow augmentation projects. This charge was approximately $10 per acre.
In a letter to district irrigators dated Friday the Bostwick board advised "Groundwater pumping continues to deplete the surface flows available to the Bostwick Irrigation District in Nebraska. Groundwater modeling used by the State of Nebraska to assist in compact administration shows that groundwater depletions to the Republican River have been increasing over time. Not only does that directly impacted the water supplies the district can supply to its members, but it also increases the likelihood that the State of Nebraska administers compact compliance."
The irrigation district board argues that current administration practices unfairly place the burden of compact compliance on surface water users by curtailing or severly limiting surface water users while allowing groundwater users to continue pumping enough water to grow a full crop.
The Bostwick Irrigation District retained legal counsel last year for the purpose of pursuing legal action. After an informational hearing, the members of the district voted in favor of proceeding with the lawsuit. The suit was delayed until this year to give the state time to resolve some of the concerns. The district leadership is now of the opinion the problem is only growing worse.
The lawsuit now in process will ask the court to the current administration of ground and surface water in the Republican River basin is inequitable and contrary to both state and federal law. According to the letter sent to members this week, the lawsuit will seek to show the administration of the limited water supplies the last two years damaged the property rights of the surface water irrigators without just compensation.


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NRDs propose trans-basin diversion of Platte water
Long time Nuckolls County residents will remember when the Little Blue Natural Resources District proposed a plan to transfer excess water from the Platte River through a series of canals and a purposely built reservoir to irrigate land in northwestern Nuckolls County. Though the NRD pursued the plan for years, it went no where because of state laws regulating the transbasin diversion of river water from one basin to another. In that case the NRD planned to move water from the Platte to the Little Blue.
Now two other natural resources districts, the Lower Republican and the Tri-Basin, are proposing to transfer excess Platte River water to the water starved Republican River Valley.
The two districts have approved an operating agreement for the plan which they say will help the state meet its obligation to deliver Republican River water to Kansas.
The proposed Platte to Republican Basin High Flow Diversion Project will be overseen by a board that includes two representatives from both districts.
The districts optimistically hope to be ready for the diversion by the summer of 2016. As proposed, the diversions could take place whenever water flowing in the Platte is not appropriated for some agency or purpose downstream. It could be but is not necessarily just during times of high floodwaters such as were experienced in 2014 and 2015 in the Platte valley.
The plan calls for diverting river water through a Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District canal or Elwood Reservoir and pipeline into Turkey Creek. The water would flow down Turkey Creek and into the Republican River between Oxford and Edison.
If the plan goes forward it will be necessary to construct a 24-inch pipeline about 600 feet long to carry the water from the canal to Turkey Creek. The pipeline will be located between Elwood and Smithfield. The water will then flow about 26 miles to the river near Oxford.
The pipeline will have a capacity of 40 cubic feet per second which is near the capacity of Turkey Creek without causing stream bank erosion or flooding. Pipeline construction is estimated to cost $104,000.
Other diversion points are being considered.
The plan will require two permits, one for diversion of excess flow and the other for a transbasin diversion. Neither permit has been obtained at this time.
Groundwater pumping has resumed in the North Platte area for diversion into the Republican River. The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources is now projecting 2016 will be the fourth consecutive Compact Call Year for the Republican Basin. This means extra steps must be taken to meet the terms of the Republican River Compact of 1943. The state now estimates the Lower, Middle and Upper Republican natural resources districts will need to offset a combined hydrological deficit of 53,000 acre-feet over the next 18 months.
The wells were turned on Oct. 27 and were pumping 35,000 gallons per minute. The water is being piped to Medicine Creek. This is 80 to 85 percent of the system's capacity. It is anticipated that 33,000 acre feet of water will have been pumped by late-spring. The water will flow downstream to the Guide Rock Diversion Dam where it will be routed to Lovewell Reservoir via the Courtland Canal. It is estimated natural stream flows will contribute only 7,000 acre feet. The compact requires Nebraska to deliver 40,000 acre feet of water to Lovewell by June 1.

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Superior to participate in Shop Small Business event
Superior business firms will join with their counterparts across the nation to again participate in the national Shop Small Business Saturday event to be held this Saturday.
As participants in the national event, Superior merchants and this newspaper are distributing coupons which may be redeemed on Saturday.
Advertisements throughout this newspaper feature many of the special values and items that can be found in Superior this holiday season.
Last week's Express contained an insert featuring values that can be found in Superior on Friday.
A special page in this issue lists many of the special activities planned for Superior this holiday season. We suggest you save the page as you may want to refer to it the weeks before Christmas.
Candy Cane Lane opens Friday night in Lincoln Park.
Volunteers will have the lighted Christmas display open each evening through New Year's Eve.
In addition to new displays and light arrangements, the Candy Cane Lane organizers and the City of Superior have added a storage building near the park department's maintenance building. The building was erected Monday, Approximately half of the structure will be used to store park department equipment and the other half will be used to store Candy Cane Lane supplies.
Because city ordinances do not permit the use of semitrailers as storage trailers, the trailers which have previously been used to store Candy Cane equipment will be parked outside of the city limits.
Hayrides through the displays will be available four evenings between 6 and 9 p.m. The rides will depart the Scout Cabin between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday of this week and the next two Fridays, Dec. 4 and 11. Refreshments of chili, hotdogs, hot chocolate and hot apple cider will be available those evenings in the Scout Cabin. There will be a fire in the open fireplace for the roasting of marshmallows.
The park will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. each evening. On those nights when there are school activities, the park will remain open until 10 p.m. Visitors may drive through the park and view the lights. There will be designated parking areas from which to listen to the FM 88.5 while watching the show.
The annual Christmas Program at the Nuckolls County Museum Church is planned for 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. There will be group singing and special music by Arnold Miller and John Price Jr. After the program refreshments will be served in Pioneer Hall.

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