Rich's Priorities  Flood Control & Water Quality  

Flood Control & Water Quality

My #1 priority is flood control.  When my family and I had our home flooded, it gave me the motivation and insight to work for meaningful flood control throughout the entire Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District.


For a number of years, much focus has been on the Papillion Creek watershed which encompasses Washington, Douglas, and Sarpy counties, and includes the cities of Omaha, Bellevue, Papillion, Bennington, Gretna, Elkhorn, LaVista, Ralston, and Boystown.  Each year, two to three square miles of agricultural land are converted to new development.  The entire watershed is projected to be fully developed by the year 2030, increasing storm water runoff from rooftops, parking lots, and streets, into an already strained Papillion Creek drainage system.


In June of 2008, during an early evening storm that produced 2½ inches of precipitation, I stood and photographed the rising waters of the Papillion Creek near 119th and Maple Street and 112th and Dodge Street.  What I saw overwhelmed me.  The Papillion Creek at 119th and Maple was just beginning to leave its banks to flood the nearby nursery, and the Papillion Creek levee at 112th and Dodge Street strained to contain the rising runoff.  NRD staff on flood watch in Sarpy County returned reports that there were mere feet of levee freeboard left before a disaster could have begun.  This storm was identified by NRD hydrological engineers as a 2½ to 5 year storm event in a somewhat localized portion of the Papillion watershed basin.


I worried and wondered what would have happened if this had been a 25, 50 or 100 year rain event.  Experts at the NRD, as well as outside engineering firms who have worked with the NRD, share my concerns for what will happen when the big rain event does happen... and it will.  Maybe not tomorrow, next week, or next month, but it will happen.  We cannot dodge this bullet forever without meaningful flood protection in this NRD.  How long can we pretend the problem does not exist before it may cost you your property or car, your business or job, or even a life?


Let me pose this question to you:  Have the existing multi-purpose flood control reservoirs, currently providing flood control in this District, proven beneficial to our communities?  I think the answer is an overwhelming "YES!"  The multi-purpose component of these flood control structures is providing much needed public recreation and greatly appreciated green space that enhances the quality of life for the constituents of this natural resources district - from trails used by our seniors to sports fields used by our youth, and let us not forget the weekend fishermen.  Residential and commercial development has followed as well, spurring economic growth.


I support the implementation of a comprehensive flood control system that does include the construction of multi-purpose flood control reservoirs in the Papillion Creek watershed.


Water quantity issues are another one of my primary concerns in this district, and during my tenure, the Papio NRD has organized the Papillion Creek Watershed Partnership, comprised of cities and counties in the Papillion Creek basin, to address both water quantity and quality issues.  I support the Papillion Creek Watershed Partnership and their goals.


I, Rich Tesar, stand for investigating and carefully scrutinizing every viable option for a meaningful flood control system, yet mindful of the cost, and without any agenda for potential personal gain.  The Papio-Missouri River NRD is the public agency that is charged with the statutory responsibility to provide flood control to protect you, and that is my goal.


I pledge as your elected NRD board member that I will do everything I can, working with every tool available, to continue efforts to complete a workable flood control system in the Papio-Missouri River NRD. And that is why I am asking for your vote to RE-ELECT RICH TESAR to the PAPIO NRD BOARD District 5.


I would ask that you sincerely consider what I stand for on the issues most important to you.  Lives depend on it.



This was one of my earliest projects I undertook in the area I represent. This project included the rebuilding of 10 miles of levees to a 100 year level of protection on the left bank of the Platte River from just below Fremont, NE, to an area just southwest of Valley, NE. This vital levee now protects most of western Douglas County from open water and ice jam flooding, including Valley, NE, adjacent farmland, acreages, and many lakeside residential subdivisions in the area, such as Ginger Cove, Ginger Woods, Blue Water, and Valley Shores. Also protected are a number of the major manufacturing plants in western Douglas County including Valmont Industries, the 3M plant, and the new Menards plant. These industries provide hundreds of jobs that stimulate our area’s economy.


This project rebuilt a 2 mile segment of Platte River levee from the Union Pacific Railroad tracks southwest of Valley, to its end at Blondo Street, in western Douglas County. Many more farms, acreages, sand mining businesses, and lakeside residential subdivisions such as Mallard Landing, Curtis Acres, and West Shores benefited from this project.


"Protecting your life, protecting your property, protecting your future."

Please Re-Elect RICH TESAR, Papio NRD Director