GRAND ISLAND, NE — The Central Platte Natural Resources District is celebrating its past and looking toward its future.

On Thursday, the NRD based in Grand Island celebrated the 50th anniversary of the state legislatures creating natural resources districts. General Manager Lyndon Vogt says he’s proud of the CPNRD’s recent flood projects, which prevented tens of millions of dollars of damage in 2019.

“Those projects are hard to do, they’re time consuming, their permits take a long time, the cost is hard to keep control of," Vogt said. "But when you get all the partners and you get a project like that finished, it is very rewarding.”

Looking forward, the CPNRD board is considering constructing a new office and educational building.

“It’s preliminary. There’s been no final decisions if we’re going to move forward with it or not," Vogt said. "We figured, before we knew what we were going to do, we had to get a rendering and get some cost estimates so our board could make an informed decision.”

Vogt expects the board to decide before the end of the year.

Wherever the CPNRD staff is based, Vogt says he expects them to be focused on similar issues for the next five decades, specifically water quality and flood control.

“I don’t think we’re going to see them go away in the next 50 years. We know there’s more people in the world, more crop production in the world, more nutrients being used," Vogt said. "Water quality is becoming more and more important.”