Lincoln (NE) December 17, 2020 – The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (LPSNRD) Board of Directors, meeting on Wednesday, appointed retired USDA scientist and research leader Ken Vogel to serve a two-year term on the Board. Vogel was among five Subdistrict 3 residents to apply for the seat, following the death of Director Mike DeKalb, in November. Subdistrict 3 includes northeast Lincoln and extends north and west, including Davey, Ceresco and Prairie Home. Vogel will serve on the Board through 2022, when the seat will be up for election.
Vogel, of Lincoln, finished second to DeKalb in the November General Election by 56 votes, out of more than 12,000 votes cast. His appointment comes after interviews of all five applicants by the Board’s Executive Subcommittee and approval by the Board.
In his 39 years with the USDA, Vogel was stationed at the University of Nebraska as an adjunct professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture and is, currently, a UNL emeritus professor. In his application letter to the Board, Vogel emphasized his support for the Deadmans Run Flood Reduction Project and the importance of LPSNRD being proactive toward the effects of global warming on the environment.
Wednesday afternoon’s meeting was the final monthly meeting for four directors on the 21-member Board. Subdistrict 5 Director Greg Osborn and Milt Schmidt, of Subdistrict 9, were not re-elected in November. Director Sarah Wilson, Subdistrict 2, and Director Dan Steinkruger, Subdistrict 8, did not seek re-election. Combined, the four outgoing directors represent more than 27-years of continuous service on the Board. Steinkruger, whose current service began in 2017, also served from 1995 until 2009. Board Chair Larry Ruth thanked them for their service. Directors are elected to four-year terms, with 10 or 11 seats up for election every two years. A subdistrict map is available at LPSNRD.org.
Also recognized during the meeting was retiring USDA/NRCS State Conservationist Craig Derickson. Derickson retires after more than 35 years of federal service. He has served as Nebraska State Conservationist since 2010, working closely with the Lower Platte South on many conservation projects.
The Board heard a report on Phase II and Phase III groundwater quality investigations in the areas surrounding public water supply wells for the communities of Emerald, Pleasant Dale and Greenwood. In 2017, routine testing by LPSNRD triggered a two-year verification study of those areas to document that contaminant levels are elevated and to determine whether those levels are all or in part the result of nonpoint sources. The two-year verification study has concluded nitrate levels are being elevated by nonpoint sources in all three areas. Nonpoint source nitrate contamination is, generally, caused by the over-application of fertilizer by landowners. The LPSNRD staff is continuing to work with the three communities on public outreach and appropriate steps toward lowering the elevated nitrate levels.
In other action the Board:
Holiday Taxi Program Offered