THE SUPERIOR EXPRESS

Nov. 27, 2014

 

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NEWS!

River compact states reach new accounting agreement

Elevators ready for harvest after fire and tornado in 2013

Nelson Food Center closes its doors

Byron library relocating; in neeed of books

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The Superior Express 20 November 2014

THE SUPERIOR EXPRESS and JEWELL CO NEWS Complete Editions Pages

NEBRASKA ELECTION RESULTS NOVEMBER 2014

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River compact states reach new accounting agreement

Water leaders in Kansas and Nebraska have again reached agreement on administration of Republican River water that benefits both states.
At a special meeting of the Republican River Compact Administration (RRCA) in Manhattan last Wednesday, the two states and Colorado formally approved a resolution that will give Nebraska 100 percent credit for water that Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) pump to increase Republican River flows in 2015. The resolution also ensures that the augmentation water won't be wasted: Kansas will have access to it when it desires in 2015, or subsequent years.
Without the crediting agreement, NRDs operating the NCORPE augmentation project in Lincoln County, Neb., would have to pump about twice as much water in 2015 than what the agreement now requires. And there would have been no guarantee that Kansas water users would have received the water at a time when they needed it.
Brian Dunnigan, director of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and chairman of the RRCA, cited recent comments from U.S. Supreme Court Special Master William J. Kayatta, who encouraged the states to work towards greater consensus for administering the waters of the basin. "It is in that spirit that the states have negotiated the resolution that was approved," Dunnigan said.
In October, the RRCA approved a similar agreement for 2014. Combined, the Rock Creek Augmentation Project in Dundy County operated by the Upper Republican NRD and the NCORPE augmentation project operated by the Upper Republican, Middle Republican and Lower Republican NRDs in 2014 will add approximately 63,500 acre feet of water to the Republican River system. Had the agreement for 2014 not been approved, Nebraska would get credit for just 37,000 acre feet. In addition, Nebraska potentially would have been forced to release roughly 30,000 acre feet of water now stored in Harlan County reservoir for compliance purposes downstream to Kansas during fall and winter months when it couldn't be used by irrigators, as well as passing inflows through the reservoir for the rest of the year.
Most of the roughly 30,000 acre feet of water now stored in Harlan County Reservoir for compliance purposes will be available to Kansas-Bostwick Irrigation District water users during the 2015 irrigation season because of the 2014 agreement approved by the RRCA, instead of being sent downstream during fall and winter months when it couldn't be used by irrigators. The 2015 agreement allows for the same type of administration.
David Barfield, Kansas' representative on the RRCA and chief engineer for the Kansas Department of Agriculture's Division of Water Resources, said the agreement approved will provide "additional, valuable experience as we seek long-term agreement" with Nebraska. He noted that the agreement comes on the heels of another mutually acceptable pair of resolutions signed in October in Denver.
"Approving the resolutions will bring significant benefits to the states by preserving the remaining water supply in Harlan County Lake and providing additional certainty to water users throughout the basin," Barfield said.
Nebraska and NRD officials commended Kansas officials for their willingness to engage in goal-oriented discussions that are producing positive results for both states.
"Nebraskans and Kansans alike should be pleased that water users and the preservation of water resources, not litigation and the reiteration of old and unproductive arguments, have been the sole focus of their representatives as they've discussed the last several months how to manage water in the Republican Basin," said Jasper Fanning, general manager of the Upper Republican Natural Resources District based in Imperial. "The fact that the discussions have produced agreements that will have practical benefits for water users in both states shows resolve and competency on both sides that provides hope future differences can continue to be settled outside a courtroom."
Combined, the agreements for 2014 and 2015 mean Nebraska will have to provide approximately 20,000 acre feet of water via its augmentation projects, primarily NCORPE, in 2015 to maintain compliance with the Republican River Compact and related settlement agreement. The agreements approved by the RRCA also benefit Nebraska surface water users; a portion of the compliance water stored in Harlan County Reservoir will be available to Nebraska Bostwick Irrigation District. Augmentation projects also reduce the amount of time that surface water is administered in the state to assure compliance.
"These resolutions reflect the states' strong resolve on these matters," said Dick Wolf, Colorado's representative on the RRCA, director of the Colorado Division of Water Resources and Colorado State Engineer.
The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD), the trade association for Nebraska's 23 natural resources districts, works with individual NRDs to protect lives, protect property, and protect the future of Nebraska's natural resources. These districts are unique to Nebraska. NRDs are local government entities with broad responsibilities to protect our natural resources. Major Nebraska river basins form the boundaries of the 23 NRDs, enabling districts to respond best to local conservation and resource management needs.
The Republican River Compact Administration is comprised of one member each from the States of Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. The purpose of the Republican River Compact Administration is to administer the Republican River Compact. This compact allocates the waters of the Republican River among the three states.

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Elevators ready for harvest after fire and tornado in 2013

Area residents have much to be thankful for this year. Though the rainfall in recent years has been below normal and irrigation has restrained by government order, rain came at the right times this year and the harvest has been bountiful.
Reference is made in the Bible to tearing down bins and building larger to bring in the harvest, and that is true in this area.
Bins which once held a farmer's crop are now considered too small and often go unused. The wooden elevator houses that were once common about every six to eight miles are becoming rare. In many cases those old elevators and the railroad lines which served them have been removed. New elevators now hold the grain and instead of loading a handful of cars, unit trains of more than 100 cars are loaded within one work shift.
At Superior a new elevator complex has grown out of a corn field at the east edge of town. It is anticipated the first unit train of corn will be shipped from Aurora Cooperative's Superior East elevator complex in early December. Videos of the new elevator taken by a cooperative employee can be accessed through this newspaper's web site at superiorne.com
At Sedan the cooperative has rebuilt and enlarged an elevator damaged by a fire and explosion last year and consolidated the Edgar and Sedan locations into one complex at Sedan.
The Edgar elevator was severely damaged by the 2013 Mother's Day tornado which struck. Rather than rebuild the Edgar facility, the cooperative decided to consolidate operations at Sedan. Forty years ago Sedan was little more than a forgotten siding at the northern edge of Nuckolls County. At that time the elevator located on the Union Pacific's main line operated seasonally.
In more recent years with the rail siding and grain handling capacity expanded to handle shuttle train loading Sedan has operated throughout the year.
On July 5, 2013, an accidental explosion and fire crippled the elevator severely injured two men. The elevator was hobbled throughout the balance of last year but was ready for the 2014 harvest.
The explosion damaged Sedan elevator which had a capacity of 350,000 bushels has been replaced with three concrete tanks holding a million bushels of grain. To reduce the risk of another explosion, the legs and conveyors which move the grain are now located outside of the concrete structure and not enclosed as they were before. A dust collection system along with moisture and temperature monitors added additional safety features.

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Nelson Food Center closes its doors

The Nelson Food Center closed for business, Wednesday, leaving residents without a full service grocery store. The building which houses the grocery store has deteriorated to the point it is not economically feasible to repair the structure.
A public meeting was held at the Nelson library, Thursday, with local residents proposing solutions for the problem of no grocery store. The Country Store convenience store is expanding selections in the food staples line such as milk and bread. The main issue is the aging population of Nelson and the lack of transportation for many of the elderly residents. The closest full service grocery store is Superior's Ideal Market, a distance of 13 miles.
A committee was selected to address short term solutions for the issue. Proposals include a delivery service for those without transportation . Orders would be placed, dispatched to Superior or Dick's Grocery in Lawrence, then picked up and brought to Nelson. Volunteers would then deliver the food to those who had placed the orders. Vicki Garner, a spokesperson for the committee, said a permanent grocery store was a long term commitment and they would be exploring several options .Other options include relocating the store to another location in Nelson or the construction of a new facility. The possibility of forming a community owned cooperative has also been discussed. The Thanksgiving holiday has put the committee on hold but they will meet next week to discuss the alternatives available.
Dick and Mary Kimminau have operated the store for several years but made the decision to close the establishment. They have offered their assistance in any new endeavor undertaken by the community. Garner stressed that any and all options will be considered and urged Nelson residents to voice their concerns and propose solutions.

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Byron library relocating; in need of books
The new community building in the Village of Byron is nearing completion and one of the new occupants will be the village library. The old building was in disrepair with a leaking roof. The water intrusion damaged a large portion of the library's holdings . Some 85 per cent of the books were unusable because of water damage and mildew. The library's insurance carrier would not extend coverage on the old building thus necessitating the move to new quarters.
The most pressing of several needs are books for the children's department. Unlike the adult books, the damage to the children's books was from use. They are worn out from constant use over the years.
For the holiday season, three trees will be located in Byron business establishments. Using the angel tree concept, the trees will be decorated with ornaments which have book titles on them. Donors may select an ornament which has the title and the estimated cost of the book. Donors may donate all or part of the book cost or make arrangements to order the book on their own. Teachers from the schools at Superior, Deshler, Hebron and Belleville, which Byron students attend, made lists of books they would like to have on the shelves of the library. The trees are located at the Byron State Bank, the Corner Market and Snip-And -Clip.
The community looks to have the new library ready for patrons by the first of the year. The new facility is larger than the previous building and there is room for expansion. There will be two computers with internet access.
The present plan is to replace the reference and classic sections which were hard hit by water damage. The newer best sellers and non-fiction works were not as badly damaged and are usable.
The library is also accepting book donations for all departments. Books should be in good condition. Book plates will be placed in donated volumes if the donor wishes.
There are other fund raising activities underway. Young residents of Byron are collecting quarters to help fund DVD equipment. Restocking the book shelves will be an ongoing process for the community which will also explore the possibilities of obtaining financial grants.

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