Members Named for Water Funding Task Force


Gov. Dave Heineman announced Tuesday the members who will serve on the Water Funding Task Force that was created to address water sustainability issues in the state.

The task force includes members from all over the state. Sixteen members are from the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission. Seven non-voting members include state lawmakers and the head of the Department of Natural Resources.

The eleven members appointed by the governor are: Brian Barels of Columbus, Joel Christensen of Omaha, John Heaston of Cozad, Tim Luchsinger of Grand Island, D. Chandler Mazour of Gothenburg, Roric Paulman of Sutherland, Rex Peterson of Gordon, Gerry Dale Sheets of Sargent, Scott Smathers of Lincoln, Walter Dennis Strauch of Mitchell and Lennie Adams of Waterloo.

The purpose of the task force is to provide recommendations to the Legislature for a plan that would prioritize the funding of programs, projects and activities.

The group would also provide ranking criteria to identify funding priorities based on a variety of factors; come up with legislation on a permanent governing board structure, application process, and a process to evaluate priority projects; decide on an annual funding amount; and make a list of statutes and regulations that would need to be modified based on the task force's recommendations.

The task force's final recommendations are to be submitted to the Legislature by December 31, when the group will disband.