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Nebraska Information Technology Commission
May 5, 2000, 1:00 p.m.
Beemer Community Center, Aurora, Nebraska



Reba Benschoter
Ron Heezen
Bob Sweeney
Business-AIM Institute
Len Benson
Health-Faith Regional
Jim McKinzie
Local Govt-City of Norfolk
Sue Volk
Business-Midwest Microsystems
Joan Birnie
Broken Bow Library
Jeanne Saathoff
Gary Warren
Resource-Info. Tech. Com
Donna Hammack
Health-Good Samaritan
Ted Smith
Gene Hand
Public Service Commission
Ted Schultz
Health-Nebr. Hospital Assc.


Tyler French
Gerry Kluch
Russ Pankonin
Lance Hedquist
South Sioux City
Rick Nolan
Children's Hospital
Craig Schroeder
Nebraska Rural Development Comm.
Gary Kiel
PKS Systems
Stu Miller
Economic Development
Cylde Tyndall
Indian Affairs Commission


Prior to the start of the meeting, Ms. Hammack, Co-Chair publicly thanked Gary Warren and the Hamilton County Information Technology Corporation for hosting the tour and lunch held before the meeting. The meeting called to order at 1:05 p.m. by co-chair, Donna Hammack. Roll call was taken. There were twelve members present. A quorum was present to conduct official business. Ms. Hammack stated that the meeting announcement was posted on NITC Web site May 1, 2000 and on the Nebraska Public Meeting Web site May 3, 2000.


There were no corrections and/or additions to the minutes. Dr. Benschoter moved to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. Smith seconded the motion. All were in favor. Motion was carried.


There was no public comment.

Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Services--Gene Hand

Mr. Hand reported that the conference was successful and well attended. FCC Chairman William Kennard and Senator Kerry attended. Nebraska was well represented on the panels and testimonies. Transcripts of the hearing will be posted on the FCC Web site.

NITC Update --Michael Winkle

The NITC met on April 20th. Some of the highlights and action taken by the Commission included the following:

  • The award of five Community Technology Fund 2000 grants.
  • Approval of the expansion of the Technical Panel to include a member with assistive technology expertise. The new member will be named and approved by the NITC at the June meeting. The Technical Panel also approve and adopted an Assistive Technology Standard and Guideline Work Group to address issues state and federal law requirements.
  • Endorsement of the "prime contractor" recommendation developed out of the TINA study. Members were encouraged to look at TINA web site for further updates on the project

Mr. Winkle reminded the Council that it will need to designate two members to serve on the TINA Technical Advisory committee in the very near future. Staff are in active stages of developing an electronic newsletter which will be distributed to council members and the NITC commissioners. The projected timeline for the prototype completion is June 1st with approval by the NITC at the June 21st or 22nd meeting. A snapshot view of status of the United 2000 Statewide Action Plan items will be available soon on the website.


The NITC approved five Community Technology Fund project totaling: $127,868

  • ONE Library, Norfolk, Columbus and NECC Libraries - $25,000
  • Public Internet Access Enhancement, City of Kearney - $19,380
  • Public Library System Web Catalog, Holdrege Public Library - $9,218
  • Nebraska E-Business Project, University of Nebraska, AIM Institute, Rural Development Commission - $52,000
  • Web Parent-Teacher Project, Elmwood-Murdock Public Schools - $22,270

Approximately $70,000 would still available for a second round of funding or the money could be carried over and added to the 200,000 for next fiscal year's funding cycle. Staff recommends carrying over the balance. A tentative timeline for the 2001 round was presented:

October - Community Council will review guidelines
Early November - Publish guidelines
Mid February - Applications due

Ms. Byers suggested requiring that pre-proposals be submitted a few weeks before the application deadline. The proposals would would include general information about the project, the technologies employed, geographic area covered, and partners. Requiring pre-proposals would make it easier to line up reviewers and to suggest collaborative efforts. A recommendation was made to convene the reviewers to get their suggestions and input on the process and form prior to the next funding round.

Community Council GIS Action Plan Items:

Larry Zink provided a PowerPoint Presentation explaining GIS (Geographical Information System) and the role and purpose of the GIS Steering Committee.

Mr. Sweeney arrived at 1:40 p.m.

Mr. Zink entertained questions from the council members. After discussion regarding the role and involvement of the Council in GIS action items, the members suggested the following:

  • Provide concise concreted information that would demonstrate what is being spend now on applications, how can this save money for the taxpayer, what are the benefits and advantages of the system.
  • It would be helpful to the Council, if the GIS Steering Committee developed a strategic vision which would include the development of an educational plan to help others understand the benefits of GIS.
  • Begin the educational process of selling the initiative to local government entities

Mr. Zink agreed to work with the GIS Steering Committee to develop key points for the educational tool and report periodically to the Community Council for feedback and input.

Communication Strategies --Anne Byers

Mr. Winkle covered some of this in his update on the NITC. Ms. Byers did want members to give consideration as to how they can assist in the distribution of the newsletter to their constituents.

Membership --Anne Byers

The Community Council has several vacancies: two for agriculture; two for local government. One more may be needed for Business. Mr. French has not been attending meetings. Ms. Byers will contact him regarding his membership interest. Rick Nolan will be resigning so one more representative may be needed for Health. Members were asked to give this consideration and send recommendations to Ms. Byers. The Council will take action on membership recommendations at the June 2nd meeting.

Community Training --Anne Byers

Information Communities – Ms. Byers had e-mailed information to member regarding the Docking Institute and the CSPP. Ms. Byers would like feedback from members. Mr. Warren commented that the Information Age Report Card could be overwhelming for communities but that the instrument was asking the right questions. Mr. Heezen said that the instrument asked the right questions for libraries. Ms. Byers also informed the council that at a prior meeting the Council organized a committee to explore IT training. This committee will meet before the next Council meeting and will report at the June meeting.

AIM Grant - Bob Sweeney

Mr. Sweeney reported that a grant was approved the NITC for funding from the Community Technology Fund. Project sponsors are AIM, University of Nebraska, and Rural Development Commission. The project will focus on a e-commerce tutorial program which will target e-commerce as a mainstreet business and develop a strategy. University of Nebraska-Lincoln will do research that clearly define appropriate issues for curriculum inclusion to be completed by this fall. During the winter months, AIM will develop the curriculum. Training will be done during the Spring. AIM will train the trainers who in turn will out to the communities.

Mr. Sweeney also informed the member that AIM just received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop community centers to work with disadvantaged population. Two centers may be in Omaha. The other center will in greater Nebraska. AIM has also been working with School Link which is a program that assists individual school districts with grant writing for technology need. AIM has assisted Nebraska schools with $2.1 million dollars in grant monies.


There was no new business.

Dr. Heezen announced that Omaha Public Libraries received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


The next meeting of the Community Council will be June 2nd in Omaha, Abrahams Public Library, 90th and Fort Streets, 1:30 p.m.


Dr. Benschoter moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Sweeney seconded the motion. All were in favor. Motion was carried. The meeting was adjourned at 3:05 p.m.

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

Meeting Minutes