NTF SPEECH TO DOUGLAS CO. BOARD TO STOP DAM SITE #10

NTF worksheet: papiomrnrd81.doc. 3-21.

NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM SPEECH TO DOUGLAS CO. BOARD TO STOP DAM SITE #10, MARCH 30, 2021.

Good morning. Doug Kagan, 416 South 130 Street, representing NE Taxpayers for Freedom. Our taxpayer group supports this resolution to conduct an economic benefit analysis of the NRD proposal for a dam at Dam Site 10. Corps of Engineers studies have a poor record, underestimating costs of flood control dams in their feasibility studies. An analysis of its methodology found a number of flaws and errors which could decrease the economic benefits from this project. Specifically, the cost-benefit ratios of less costly alternatives mysteriously disappeared from the final Corps feasibility draft. Because the property tax yoke on both Douglas and Washington County taxpayers would increase for this and future unneeded dams, we believe it judicious to solicit a professional second opinion that would offer taxpayers a more transparent evaluation. Taxpayers deserve an impartial review of cost-benefit alternatives to one large dam by this expert (Steven Schultz) who has exceptional credentials. Such review also could serve as an intelligent guide for future policy decisions regarding other proposed dam sites.

The Papio NRD Board, in our view, has a reckless record of continuing the hasty building of expensive dams whose costs force higher property taxes on residents. Like a bougeyman, the NRD scaremongering warns of catastrophic floods that probably will never occur. These dams mostly benefit developers and confiscate productive farm land using pressure and eminent domain. We consider this NRD to have a credibility problem, seeking continued general bonding authority to nurture a huge nest egg for dams and ignoring low impact alternatives like small dry dams, contouring, channelization, and wetlands that could offer adequate flood protection at this site. This NRD ignores the trend of leaving watersheds in their natural state.

Thank you.

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