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Nebraska Information Technology Commission
January 5, 2001, 3:00-5:00, Videoconference Sites



Lincoln Site: Chris Anderson, Local Government; Gene Hand, Resource; Sue Finkral, Agriculture; Craig Schroeder, Resource; and Ted Schultz, Health
Aurora Site: Gary Warren, Resource and Jeanne Saathoff, Libraries
Norfolk Site: Len Benson, Health; Lance Hedquist, Local Government; and Mike Nolan, Local Government
North Platte Site: Gerry Kluch, Agriculture
Omaha Site: Janet Davenport, Libraries; Ann Stephens, Libraries; and Max Thacker, Health
Chadron Site: Harold Krueger, Health

Tyler French, Business; Gary Kiel, Business; Stu Miller, Resource; Ted Smith, Libraries; Bob Sweeney, Business; and Clyde Tyndall, Resource

Anne Byers, Jen Soucie and Lori Lopez Urdiales, Office of the CIO/NITC; Roger Hahn, Nebraska Information Network; Mary Wernke, and Kit Keller, Library Commission


Co-chair Craig Schroeder, called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m. Roll call was taken. There were twelve members present at the time of roll call. A quorum existed to conduct official business. Mr. Hedquist requested that an update on the Community Technology Fund be added as an agenda item.


Mr. Schroeder stated that the meeting announcement was posted on December 5 on the NITC Web site. The agenda and meeting announcement was posted on the Nebraska Public Meeting Web site on December 29. The agenda was posted on the NITC Web site on December 29, 2000. The agenda revised January 5, 2001.

Mr. Nolan, Ms. Davenport and Ms. Stephens arrived at 3:10 p.m.


Mr. Kluch moved to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. Hedquist seconded the motion. All were in favor. Motion was carried by voice vote.


Roger Hahn, NIN (Nebraska Information Network), wanted to note that in the Telehealth Feasibility Study stated that there was a lack of infrastructure in Nebraska. Currently, 99% of state has connectivity. It should be reworded that there is a lack of inner city and local city infrastructure. Mr. Hahn agreed to re-write this statement and send to Dr. Keith Mueller and Dr. Alan Diener, University of Nebraska-Medical Center.


New Member. Ms. Byers introduced Mary Wernke (PDF k) as a new member nominee representing the business sector. Council members had received her biography via e-mail.

Mr. Hand moved to approve Mary Wernke as new member representing the business sector. Ms. Finkral seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Anderson-Yes, Hand-Yes, Benson-Yes, Hedquist-Yes, Davenport-Yes, Kluch-Yes, Krueger-Yes, Finkral-Yes Nolan-Yes, Saathoff-Yes, Schroeder-Yes, Stephens-Yes, Thacker-Yes, and Warren-Yes. Motion was carried.

Election of new co-chair. Due to other commitments, Donna Hammack has declined serving as co-chair for another term. Ms. Finkral nominated Jeanne Saathoff for co-chair. Mr. Hand seconded the motion. Mr. Kluch nominated Bob Sweeney. There was no second. The motion failed. Mr. Schultz moved that the nominations cease. Ms. Finkral seconded the motion.

Roll call vote: Anderson-Yes, Hand-Yes, Benson-Yes, Hedquist-Yes, Davenport-Yes, Kluch-Yes, Krueger-Yes, Finkral-Yes Nolan-Yes, Saathoff-Abstained, Schroeder-Yes, Stephens-Yes, Thacker-Yes, and Warren-Yes. Motion was carried.

TELEHEALTH FEASIBILITY STUDY, Dr. Keith Mueller and Dr. Alan Diener

Copies of the report were distributed to members. Ms. Byers provided a brief history regarding the study. There were a total of 339 responses for a 57% return rate. Dr. Keith Mueller and Dr. Alan Diener reviewed the Executive Summary. Questions and comments were entertained. Discussion of ISDN line failure rate occurred. Roger Hahn volunteered to check into the failure rate. Medicaid changes for telehealth will start October 1, 2001 and a report on Rural Implications of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 is available from the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) Web site (

There will be comment period of one more week before the final telehealth feasiblity report is completed. The Telehealth Feasibility Study Report will be posted on the UNMC Web site (

Mr. Kluch introduced his alternate, Chad Adams.

GIS STRATEGIC PLAN (PDF), Larry Zink, Intergovernmenal Data Services

Mr. Zink provided background information. The GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Steering Committee is a partnership of state, local and federal government entities working together to foster and guide cooperative GIS implementation in Nebraska. The strategic plan was approved by the GIS Steering Committee a month ago. Following are the key elements of the strategic plan: 1) spatial data is a critical component of I.T. infrastructure; 2) benefits of coordinated public investment in GIS; 3) a spatial data infrastructure model for Nebraska; and 4) strategic direction and initiatives. An overview was given to the Council. The steering committee is discussing technical assistance and approaches to get this information out to rural communities. Mr. Zink entertained questions from the members.


Mr. Hedquist announced that HR 5657 has doubled the funds for community technology centers. The contact number for more information is 877-433-7827. Applications should be available in March 2001. He recommended that the Community Council be instrumental in the following ways:

  • Inform and encourage communities to collaborate and apply for funding
  • Council members could serve as resource persons
  • Conduct community informational meetings
  • Send out a press release to all Nebraska communities


Ms. Byers informed the Council about the following bills which were introduced:

  • LB 41-sponsored by Senator Landis--Authorize the leasing of excess fiber optic capacity by public owners.
  • LB 89-sponsored by Senators Wickersham and Bromm--Establish an application process for the installation and delivery of broadband and advanced telecommunications infrastructure and services.
  • LB 90-sponsored by Senators Wickersham & Bromm--Authorize qualifying businesses to obtain funding for certain telecommunications services.

Members provided information on upcoming hearings and meetings.


The next meeting of the NITC Community Council will be held on Friday, February 2, 2001. Ms. Byers will set up videoconference sites.

Mr. Schroeder adjourned the meeting at 4:35 p.m.

Minutes were taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales and reviewed by Anne Byers, Office of the CIO/NITC.

Meeting Minutes