LENRD passes water resolution

NORTHEAST Neb. -- The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District approved a resolution that acknowledges the protection of water quality in Nebraska is essential to the health of residents and they would continue to ensure quality water for residents of their area.

The resolution was first proposed in July, but was delayed after some confusion spread among members of the board about what exactly they were approving. Later in August, some members took issue with the resolution, stating that it was not needed as ensuring water quality was already part of LENRD.

The concluded portion of the resolution reads as follows:

"Be it Hereby RESOLVED, That the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District acknowledges that the protection of water quality is essential to the health and welfare of the residents of the District and is committed to enacting the measures necessary for the remediation of ground water contamination. The District shall utilize the available science, data, and facts gleaned from consultation with technical experts and stakeholders to fully explore and understand the water quality issues that exist within the District, and will enact remediation measures that minimize social and economic disruption, yet achieve the intended water quality improvements."

While the LENRD already has an emphasis on preserving water quality, this resolution is made to let residents know it is something they will stay committed to in the future and that water quality is an important subject at their meetings. However, that didn't stop the resolution from having differing opinions. During Thursday's meeting, many on the board felt that they were being pressured into voting yes from members of Nebraska officials.

"I don't know how many of you guys have had phone calls about it from Mike Flood, Mayor Moenning, and other staff members," Scott Clausen of Subdistrict 2 stated. "If they're really concerned about groundwater and people's safety then let's offer reverse-osmosis systems for the public and other water filtration systems."

Those in favor felt that the statement was needed to inform the public that they are working on solutions for water quality. 

"They (the public) were confused, they could not understand why we would not be supporting this resolution," Bob Noonan of Subdistrict 4 said. "I know there have been some weird things going on too...but when I read through the resolution I just don't have an issue with it, and I will be supporting it."

The resolution passed on a 9-5 vote.