Winkelbauer resigns from LENRD board

At their October board meeting, the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Luke Winkelbauer.  Winkelbauer farms in the Norfolk area and represented Subdistrict 2 on the board.

Winkelbauer is the fourth board member to step down this year.  Former board members Cory Beller, Chris Carlson, and Tim Tighe resigned after moving out of their respective subdistricts.  Winkelbauer did so because of the time commitment.

In his resignation letter, Winkelbauer said, “At this time, I am unable to fulfill the time commitment needed to fully engage and participate with the discussions and decisions required, as well as being able to attend the meetings and events."  Winkelbauer said that he hopes to someday return to the board when he has the time available.

LENRD general manager, Mike Sousek, said, “Luke is an extremely hard worker and his time commitment is currently involved with his family operation.”  Sousek thanked him for his time on the board.

In other items of business, the board voted 7-6 to reject signing a contract with JEO Consulting Group in the amount of $23,000 to conduct an economic study on the Willow Creek State Recreation Area, near Pierce.

The reservoir has had problems with algae blooms in 7 out of the last 10 years.  It could take as much as $500,000 to do the necessary work to address the issue.

While the economic study could have helped determine if that work would be worthwhile, some of the board members felt the $23,000 price tag of the study was too high.

"A few months ago, we were looking into some possible projects at Willow Creek," Sousek said. "Those projects came with a very large price tag, so the discussion at that time was that maybe we need to look and see what the economic value of the lake actually is.  We'll keep plugging away and we'll try to find more creative ways to find a solution or address the issues that we're currently having at the Willow Creek reservoir."