The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District passed its 2018-19 fiscal-year budget Thursday night at their regular monthly meeting.
All board members present — except for Chad Korth — voted to approve two motions related to the budget. Board members Dennis Schultz and Jill Barr were not in attendance and excused from the meeting.
The first motion was a resolution to approve the budget and set the total property tax request at $4,272,728 — an increase of $2,426 from last year’s budget, which is small enough to represent a 0 percent increase.
The estimated levy based on the property tax request is 2.31427 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which represents a decrease from the 2017-18 fiscal year of 2.32733 cents per $100.
The second motion was to approve the NRD’s long-range plan, as per the approved budget.
The budget of all expenditures was set at $10,861,545. The breakdown of that figure includes:
— NRD total expenditures of $7,107,450 with $500,000 of that figure as a cash reserve
— Sinking funds total expenditures of $1,811,588
— Logan East Rural Water System total expenditures of $1,786,846, with $858,544 of that figure as a cash reserve
— Wau-Col Regional Water System total expenditures of $161,661, with $101,336 of that figure as a cash reserve
The NRD’s operating expenditures for 2018-19 were set at $6,607,450, which is a decrease of $451,300, or 6.39 percent, from the 2017-18 fiscal year.
The major expenditures for the new fiscal year include:
— Levee/flood protection projects at $235,700
— Water resources at $1,002,500
— Recreation area improvements at $94,000
— Wildlife habitat improvement programs at $82,000
— Conservation cost share at $500,000
— New intergovernmental cost share at $177,800
— Forestry programs at $141,300
— Additional funds for the Randolph flood control project sinking fund at $300,000
— Additional funds for the West Point levee project sinking fund at $250,000
— Creation of the Norfolk riverfront project sinking fund at $250,000
Immediately following the vote on the first motion — to approve the budget — Korth sought to make a motion to amend the amount of money given to the riverfront project to $30,000 — “the same as what we give to the other communities,” he said.
However, the amendment could not be made since the budget had already been approved by the board.
Korth said he thought the amendment would apply to the upcoming motion to approve the NRD’s long-range plan but was informed that it would not.
At last month’s regular meeting, Korth was one of several board members who voted against the NRD providing funding to the development of the North Fork River over the next few years.
The riverfront trail project will receive $1.032 million, divided out over four years — 2019 through 2022 — from the NRD, covering one-third of the cost of the $3 million project.
At the July meeting, Korth also made a motion to amend the amount of funding from the NRD to $30,000 to match what he said other communities receive from the board.
That motion failed, as did a similar motion by board member Matt Steffan, who made a motion to amend the amount of the riverfront project funding from the NRD to $250,000.