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Access, boat ramp upgrades planned at small lake east of Johnson Lake

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East Phillips Lake

Plans are moving ahead for access and a boat ramp improvements for East Phillips Lake on the Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District Supply Canal east of Johnson Lake. The project is in partnership with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

HOLDREGE — There’s good news for fishermen at East Phillips Lake south of Lexington.

Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will work together to improve the boat ramp and access to a small lake east of Johnson Lake.

At Monday’s CNPPID board meeting, the directors approved the improvements at East Phillips Lake, which is on the district’s irrigation supply canal about four miles east of Johnson Lake.

According to a press release, NGPC maintains a small wildlife management area and the boat ramp at East Phillips Lake. It’s a popular fishing spot, despite the difficult access over a minimum maintenance county road and the existing ramp’s poor condition.

The new boat ramp will be on the north side of Middle Phillips Lake, approximately one-half west of the existing ramp. The new ramp will be accessible via a connecting road from U.S. Highway 283 south of Lexington.

Improvements also will include parking and fencing, all of which will be maintained by Game and Parks.

The cost — subject to a final CNPPID-NGPC agreement — is estimated at $330,000. A federal grant available to NGPC is expected to provide more than $200,000.

Central’s contribution of up to $130,000 will include design costs and construction by CNPPID employees.

In other lake-related reports Monday, CNPPID civil engineer Tyler Thulin reported that Lake McConaughy’s current volume of 1.2 million acre-feet of water is 71% of capacity.

Inflows are approximately 1,050 cubic feet per second and releases are averaging 425 cfs.

Thulin said snowpack in Rocky Mountain areas of the Platte Basin are below average for this time of the year: Upper North Platte, 92%; Lower North Platte, 74%; and South Platte, 89%.

Snowmelt from those areas is the primary source of the water supply for CNPPID’s irrigation and hydropower projects.

In other business, the board:

- Approved two agreements with Oak Creek Engineering of Kearney for design services on two supply canal bridge projects, a reconstruction and a replacement or removal, for which CNPPID will provide labor and equipment.

- Approved three vehicle and equipment bids: Murphy Tractor of North Platte, front-end loader, $157,000; Nebraska Truck Center of North Platte, dump truck, $141,820; and Janssen and Sons Ford of Holdrege, two ¾ -ton crew cab pickups, $67,890.

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