Letter to the Editor

Grange opposes LB701

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

EDITOR'S NOTE -- The Nebraska Grange delivered the following letter to members of the Nebraska Legislature before the passage of LB701, designed to help bring Nebraska into compliance with the Republican River Compact. The letter was submitted for publication by Robert Anderson of Arapahoe, a member of the Nebraska State Grange executive committee:

The Nebraska State Grange opposes LB701. Grange policy states that in the event of any NRD project or action which results in a special assessment or tax on real property within the district there shall be an election by ballot and shall be approved by a two-thirds majority of affected owners of real property within that district.

The residents of the Lower Republican NRD feel if they are being asked to contribute additional funds toward the settlement with Kansas they are being treated unfairly for these reasons.

1 .Did the 1943 pact release more water from within Nebraska borders than should have been?
2.Producers cut back on water use in 2006 beyond what was required in the programs that bought water to send downstream. They did this in order to save for use in 2007.
3.Over the years, these conservation practices have been encouraged: terraces, minimum tillage, no tillage and flood control dams which reduce runoff into the river.
4.Invasive species are growing in the river bed which reduces river flow.
5.Large sums of state funds have been used to entice large corporations to locate in Nebraska. Now people in the Republican River basin are being asked to help pay for the state's problem on this issue.
6.The NRD board members of the affected area feel they are being left out of the decision making process.

This is a complicated and tense issue. Members of the Nebraska Grange urge you to give this issue careful consideration and not support LB701.

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