The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District board on Thursday approved a $42.6 million bond issue to pay for new dam site in northwest Omaha.
Dam Site 15A would include a two-mile-long reservoir and park at 168th and Fort Streets. It would be the biggest flood control project undertaken by the NRD, district manager John Winkler said.
Representatives from the City of Omaha, Sarpy County, Papillion and other entities in the Papillion Creek Watershed Partnership testified in favor of the project.
“The stars are really aligned right now,” said Marty Grate, environmental services manager for the City of Omaha, citing low land prices and favorable bond rates.
Representatives of the Papio Valley Preservation Association, which has opposed NRD dam projects, said the board was relying on inaccurate financial data to make its decision.
NRD board member David Klug of Gretna said the district should reserve its bonding authority for other projects — namely, levees to protect Offutt Air Force Base. “I don't think it's responsible for us to be spending the money,” he said.
The measure passed 8-3, with Klug, Scott Japp and Curt Frost voting against.
Board member Ron Woodle of Bellevue said he appreciated the cost concerns of upstream residents but said his constituents need the flood protection.
“Let us keep our feet dry,” he said.