BOR Changes $800K In Loans To Grants For Gering-Ft Laramie Irrigation Dist


GERING – The federal Bureau of Reclamation says about $800,000 of a previously-announced $2.3-million dollar low-interest loan to the Gering-Ft Laramie Irrigation district for permanent repairs to the tunnel that collapsed last summer will instead be a grant designated as emergency funding.

Nebraska Senators Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer and 3rd District Congressman Adrian Smith had writted BOR regional administrator Michael Black last month, asking for the change in designation.

Sasse, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, calls the decision “great news for the water users in the Gering-Ft. Laramie Irrigation District.”

Sasse says “the farmers and ranchers in this area have slogged through a season of uncertainty, wondering if there would be enough water for sugar beets, corn, dry beans and alfalfa” – adding that it’s good news from the BOR that provides some peace of mind to western Nebraska.

Gering-Ft Laramie board member and sugar beet grower Robert Busch says the change of the $800,000 from loan to grant provides some relief for him and other landowners in the district, adding that they appreciated the decision and the work on their behalf by Smith, Sasse, and Fischer.