Bike Trail Update

A bill drafted because of a bike trail controversy moves slowly in the Nebraska Legislature.

Some bills ahead of it have taken longer than expected. But that’s given Senator Dave Pankonin extra time to go behind the scenes and do the "yeoman’s work" of getting input and making any adjustments to obtain as much legislative support as possible, said his legislative aide.

LB 134 is the District 2 senator’s priority bill and would have a direct impact immediately on a situation in Cass County if it passes all the channels with the emergency clause intact.

The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District may choose to use its eminent domain powers in completing the MoPac bike trail through Cass County. Landowner opposition along the route has been vocal. Pankonin said he listened to his constituents’ concerns and introduced the bill according to the Cassgram.

"LB 134, as amended, would align NRDs’ eminent domain powers for recreational property acquisition with that of the Game & Parks Commission," said Pankonin last month. "If eminent domain is to be used, except when a trail is associated with a flood control structure, an NRD would first be required to obtain the consent of the Legislature."

Sherrie Geier, Pankonin’s Legislative Aide, said the senator has spent the last few days listening to other senators and interested groups on LB 134, many of which were considered opponents of the measure. "It’s a more positive and hopeful picture now" as a result of those conversations, she said Monday.

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