Thursday, January 22, 2009

LB 134 and LB 160, Hearings Tomorrow, January 23rd

The following was just forwarded to us by Activate Omaha.

There is a bill proposed in the legislature that I am sure you are aware of: LB 134. This would prohibit the use of eminent domain by Papio NRD's when building recreational trails. If passed, this would have a devastating affect on the ability to expand the trail system throughout the state. Normally they do not use this technique to acquire land, but if there is one, single hold-out on a whole trail system, it could eliminate the entire project. I believe this was introduced on behalf of a small number of landowners in Cass County affected by the planned trail from Omaha to Lincoln. If you have not done so I would encourage you and your peers to let your senators know how you feel. There is a hearing on this bill tomorrow at 1:30 PM in Lincoln before the Natural Resources Committee. Members are:

  • Sen. Chris Langemeier, Chairperson
  • Sen. Tom Carlson
  • Sen. Tanya Cook
  • Sen. Annette Dubas
  • Sen. Deb Fischer
  • Sen. Ken Haar
  • Sen. Beau McCoy
  • Sen. Ken Schilz

Furthermore, Papio NRD will be down there testifying on the passage of LB 160 which is their bonding bill. This would allow them a funding mechanism to build both water quantity and water quality structures. With these lakes, they usually design a trail around them. There are other elements of the bill to assist in funding the raising of levees and implementation of low impact development environmental situations. The ability to issue bonds would be within their current mil levy authority which is 4.5 cents. They currently assess about 3.5 cents on the dollar. The hearing is scheduled after LB 134. I sincerely encourage you and your peers to contact the above senators and express a favorable vote on LB 160.

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