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Friday, January 29, 1999
Governor's Mansion, Lower Level Conference Room
1425 H Street, Lincoln, Nebraska



Rod Armstrong, AIM Institute Lance Hedquist, League of Municipalities
Linda Aerni (non-voting for Mike Nolan) Gary Kiel, PKS System Integrated
Tyler French, Inacom Gerry Kluch, Kaystar Seed
Jeff Grimes, Fasse Jeanne Saathoff, Nebraska Library Assoc.
Donna Hammack, Good Samaritan Found. Craig Schroeder, Municipalities


Jim Beatty, NCS International Judi Morgan, Indian Affairs
Anne Boyle, Public Service Commission Russ Pankonin, Wauneta Breeze
Tim Lowenstein, NACO Gary Warren, Hamilton Telecommunications
Jim Lowe, Midwest Microsystems


Rick Becker, Office of the CIO/NITC Lori Lopez Urdiales, Office of the CIO/NITC
Andre Boening, USDA/RUS Jenne Rodriquez, Economic Development
Anne Byers, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Tom Rolfes, Office of the CIO/NITC
Roger Hahn, Nebraska Information Network Steve Schafer, Office of the CIO/NITC
Douglas Harris, Aliant Communications Tim Willett, US West
F. Jon Holzfaster (Alternate for Gerry Kluch) Michael Winkle, NITC Executive Director


The meeting was called to order by Co-Chair, Lance Hedquist at 1:35 p.m. Mr. Hedquist asked for corrections and/or additions to the November minutes. Mr. Kluch moved and it was seconded by Mr. Kiel to approve the minutes as presented. All were in favor. Motion was carried.


Council members were given an information sheet containing sector and geographical information as well as this same information for their alternates. Council members were asked to completed these today and/or send them to the office as soon as possible.


Roger Hahn gave a Powerpoint presentation on "Nebraska Companies Telecommunication Services". (Click on the presentation title link to view the information presented or call the Office of the CIO/NITC for a copy.) Council members requested that copies of his presentation be sent with the minutes.


Jenne Rodriquez presented information regarding the "Community Information Technology Opportunities" which are available to communities in the areas of micro-lending, business incubators and technology centers. Approximately $700,000 is available over the next year. There are also Community Block Grants available to working with low to moderate low-income populations. Municipalities can submit proposals for up to $100,000 over a two-year period. There must be a 50-50 match so that communities will be self-sustaining after the two-year period. Ms. Rodriquez left application booklets for interested members. Out-state applicants may dial 1-800-426-6505 for more information.


Steve Schafer, Acting Chief Information Officer, reported that due to budget staffing issues, the hiring process has been delayed. Mr. Schafer and Mr. Winkle, the NITC Executive Director, will present a staffing proposal to the NITC at their next meeting. More information will follow, as it becomes available.


A draft charter was distributed to council members. Mr. Schafer gave an overview of the charter and pointed out the sections that needed to be addressed. The Education and Government Councils are also developing charters that will be reviewed by the NITC for recommendations at the next NITC meeting. These recommendations will be brought back to the councils. Council members suggested reviewing notes/minutes from prior meetings which included discussion of the group's mission and goals, as well as to include the group's accomplishments and achievements thus far. Members who volunteered for the Charter Subcommittee were Gary Kiel and Craig Schroeder.

During this discussion, Ms. Hammack reported on the Telehealth charter development and meetings. There are several legislative issues that the Telehealth group has been addressing such as Medicaid reimbursement, Medicare, licensing and the Universal Service Fund. The time factor becomes a pertinent issue. The group also feels that at the present time, health care is not well represented on the Community Council and would like to have a direct contact with the NITC. Ms. Hammack wanted feedback from the council members. Fragmentation and separation of sectors was a concern by some of the council members and that it might defeat the purpose of a "community" council. Some members would like to see a model that would encompass more representation from the Telehealth group as a sub-committee that would report directly to the NITC. Mr. Winkle asked Ms. Hammack and the Charter subcommittee to facilitate discussion to reach a middle ground and make a recommendation to the Community Council. The assistance of the office was offered in setting this meeting.


Tom Rolfes distributed a report. There are six applicants who have applied. A total of $19,740 is left in the fund for this year. Website states that review of proposals will be in February with awards received in March. For the prior first round of proposals, council members had agreed not to serve on a review panel or approve the recommendations due to conflict of interest. Mr. Kluch moved and it was seconded by Mr. French that staff be given the responsibility to form an independent technical review committee to evaluate the proposals. Staff would report back to the council the review committee's recommendations. There was no discussion. All were in favor. Motion carried.


Agriculture - Ms. Schroeder reported that he has been working with Sam Somerhalder and the Records Board on interfacing and inter-government (local and state). The Southwest group has been very cooperative. Mr. Schroeder would like to invite Mr. Somerhalder at the next community council meeting.

Small Business - Mr. Grimes reported that Kearney is looking at ways to use the fiber network more efficiently. There are some concerns regarding EDI and company changes. Companies expect businesses to redo EDI in order to work with the Internet. Mr. Kiel suggested working with the chambers of commerce in gathering information to determine if this is affecting other small businesses. Mr. Kluch raised a concern about access to smaller communities. Mr. Hahn can provide a list of Internet providers in Nebraska. The list will be sent out to council members with the minutes. Mr. Hahn informed the council members that it is not a comprehensive list but it would be a good starting point for the council members. Mr. Schroeder stated that there is a list available on the Department of Economic Development website as well.

Library - Ms. Saathoff reported that the Library Association has been working on legislative issues such as Libraries for the 21st Century (provides Internet services to libraries), the ESU legislation, and E-rate. E-Rate original excluded libraries but has corrected this error.

Medical/Health - Ms. Hammack reintroduced the legislative issues being addressed by the Telehealth group. Universal Service Fund monies are stalled and until this is resolved there are three communities in Nebraska that have equipment but cannot get connected. Ms. Hammack has been visiting with political leaders. Nebraska stands to lose greatly if the description of "rural" is redefined by HPSA (Health Professional Stricted Area).

Municipal Government - Mr. Hedquist reported that the League of Municipalities is working on setting up a membership database. There are lots of discussion around the GTE sales areas and the development of public private partnerships to provide services.

Tribal - No report.

Council members favored the idea of having the sector reports as part of the meeting agenda.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION REPORT - No report. Staff will make sure this is provided at the next meeting.


Mr. Winkle reported that the fund has been renewed at the same level $250,000.


ESU legislation: Members would like to have an update from Alan Wibbels. There is a hearing on Monday, February 1st at 1:30 p.m. for LB363, LB386 affecting ESU's.

Community Council website: Members would like to see the minutes and next meeting agenda posted more promptly on the website, as well as the membership information updated. Mr. Winkle reported that all the websites of the NITC and the councils are being evaluated and there will be a consultant hired to help with a new design and format. Mr. French, Ms. Aerni and Mr. Grimes offered their assistance as well.

AIM Applications: There is $17 million available through the Federal Government for information technology efforts. The application deadline is March 11, 1999. The application requires a one to one match. Contact Rod Armstrong if anyone is interested.


Next meeting will be February 19, 1999, 10:00 a.m. at the Good Samaritan in Kearney. The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m. by the co-chairs.

Minutes taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales, and reviewed by Tom Rolfes, Office of the Chief Information Officer/NITC.

Meeting Minutes