By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Subdistrict boundaries of the Upper Republican Natural Resources District (URNRD) will undergo distinct changes for the next 10-year period.
Board members approved the proposed boundaries during their Nov. 10 meeting.
The boundaries of the district must be reviewed after every census to insure equal representation throughout.
In the three-county district, population totals 8,944, based on the 2010 census information.
Assistant Manager Dirk Dinnel used census results and the district’s mapping program to develop the new subdistricts.
He said the population in each subdistrict falls within the five percent +/- tolerance level.
Two of the 10 subdistricts both rest within the city limits of Imperial—subdistricts 5 and 7.
Tom Gaschler represents subdistrict 5 while Tom Terryberry represents subdistrict 7.
When the new subdistricts were created 10 years ago, many were designed to cover parts of two or all three counties in the NRD.
This led to some odd configurations of subdistricts. For instance, subdistrict 4, which is presently served by Jason Kunkel of Lamar, stretched from the Dundy County border, north to the Perkins/Keith County border.
Now, Kunkel’s subdistrict will include a more central area that brings him closer to his constituents.
Due to population constraints, subdistrict 3, represented by Kerry Bernhardt, will encompass about a fourth of Chase County and a third of Dundy County. His subdistrict will be the largest of the 10.
Other subdistrict members include Mick Strand, subdistrict 1; Terry Martin, subdistrict 2; Dean Large, subdistrict 6; Loren Jessen, subdistrict 8; Tom Schroder, subdistrict 9 and Brett Bullock, subdistrict 10. Jeff Wallin of Imperial is an at-large member.
Water Bank for
The board heard a request from Gavilon in Benkelman to drill a new well for industrial use on their site southeast of Benkelman.
In the past, large industrial uses, such as the Madrid ethanol plant, had to be totally offset.
In this case, Calculations indicated Gavilon would only need to offset 14 acres for their water needs.
The board allowed to proceed with the well, with the provision they find the offset with 12 months.
Manager Jasper Fanning said it would be worth looking at creating a water bank from water savings created by acreage retirement programs.
Where a small offset is needed, he said it may be more practical for the NRD to create their own water bank that could be used in those instances.
Fanning said that could be something considered in future rules and regulations.