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Nebraska Information Technology Commission
Friday, November 5, 1999, 1:30 p.m.
State Office Building, 313 Centennial Mall South, Conference Room A, Lower Level

Approved Minutes

Members Present

Reba Benschoter (via phone) Jeanne Saathoff
Len Benson (via phone) for Rick Nolan Craig Schroeder (Jo Lowe)
Donna Hammack Ted Schultz
Gene Hand for Anne Boyle Ted Smith
Lance Hedquist Bob Sweeney
Gary Kiel (via phone) Kathy Tooker for Ron Heezen
Darl Nauman for Stu Miller, SueVolk for Jim Lowe
Michael Nolan

Members Absent: Tyler French, Gerry Kluch, Judi Morgan, Russ Pankonin, Ann Stephens, Gary Warren

Others Present:Cyd Janssen, Bruce Thiel, Michael Winkle, Anne Byers, Lori Lopez Urdiales, Steve Schafer, Tom Rolfes, Jeff Gaertig

CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Co-chair, Lance Hedquist, at 1:35. Mr. Hedquist asked for corrections and/or additions to the October 1st minutes. Mr. Schultz motioned to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Ms. Hammack. All were in favor. Motion was carried. Mr. Hedquist acknowledged that the meeting announcement was posted on the NITC web site September 1999 and on the Nebraska Public Meeting web site on October 26. The meeting agenda was posted to the NITC web site on October 28, 1999.

PUBLIC COMMENT: There were no public comments.

UPDATE ON COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY FUND GRANTS: The Northeast Nebraska Roving Computer Lab has remaining funds and would like to purchase two additional computers. Due to the tremendous response to this program, user fees have generated more revenue than expected. The purchase of additional equipment will expend the balance of their grant funds. They have sufficient funds in their revolving account to continue operating the computer lab for two more years. The bulk of their grant was used to purchase equipment, so their request does not significantly alter the scope of the original agreement.

Ms. Byers informed the Council that they could approve the request or require that the balance of the funds be returned. Discussion followed. Ms. Saathoff moved to approve the request to purchase more computers. Mr. Smith seconded the motion. Roll Vote: Benschoter-Yes, Saathoff-Yes, Lowe-Yes, Hammack-Yes, Schultz-Yes, Hand-Yes, Smith-Yes, Hedquist-Yes, Sweeney-Yes, Kiel-Yes, Tooker-Yes, Nauman-Yes, Volk-Yes. Motion carried.

CO-CHAIR NOMINATIONS: Mr. Hedquist informed the Council that his term of office will expire in December and asked for nominations from the floor. Ms. Lowe nominated Craig Schroeder. Craig Schroeder arrived and took Ms. Lowe's seat at approximately 1:45. Mr. Schultz moved that nominations cease. Mr. Hand seconded the motion. All were in favor. Mr. Schroeder will be the new co-chair beginning with the January meeting. Mr. Hedquist requested that staff send a news release to local newspapers.

NITC UPDATE - Michael Winkle, NITC Executive Director: Mr. Winkle urged members to review the statewide plan on the web site. The plan is constantly changing due to input from staff, councils and the Technical Panel.

Staff needs the Council's input on Part 4.D Project Proposal Forms and Part 4.E Assessment Document for Project Proposals. Copies of these documents were distributed to members. These sections will get final approval from the NITC at their January meeting.

Staff also needs the Council's input on the development of an Information Technology Clearinghouse. Staff would like input on what components should be included in the design of the clearinghouse. Each council is also being asked to identify existing resources which should be included in the clearinghouse.


Ms. Byers announced the Council that copies of the Getting Online resource booklets were available to members today. Mr. Hedquist suggested making copies available to NACO, the League of Municipalities, and the Association of Commerce and Industry.

Two proposals for the Community Technology Fund were presented. The Telehealth Feasibility Study was presented by Ms. Hammack. Ten to twelve communities from across the state will participate in the study. In addition to hospitals and health providers, other sectors within the communities will be interviewed such as businesses, schools, and veterinarians. The deliverables include reports on: 1) community needs, 2) the potentially conflicting incentives, costs,and benefits to different interested parties, 3) the current geographic distribution of resources; 4) an estimate of costs; and 5) a methodology for conducting ongoing impact assessment once such a system has been implemented. The information obtained in the context of the study can be used, in conjunction with current information on costs, to devise multi-year plans for a stepwise, statewide implementation of telehealth technology and applications. The City of Kearney would administer the project. The total requested from the Community Technology fund is $27,600. Mr. Winkle suggested that one of the deliverables include the Council's ownership of the survey assessment so that the Council could modify it and use it in the future if needed. Mr. Nolan moved to approve the request of $27,600 for the Telehealth Feasibility Study. Mr. Hand seconded the motion. Motion carried by voice vote. Mr. Hand informed the Council that Public Service Commission is working with the FCC, and the State of Iowa as well, in regards to what is happening in rural areas. The PSC would be interested in the findings of the study.

Ms. Byers presented information on the second proposal. Through the Community Public Access study, a community by community survey indicating whether or not public access Internet terminals are available will be conducted. The project will be administered by the Nebraska Library Commission. This information will be made available to public officials and agencies to assist in the information of public policy decision regarding support for public access sites and the provision of services online. The Nebraska Library Commission has an existing database of information from public libraries. The this survey will build upon existing data. Kit Keller indicated that regular updates could be made to the database. The request is for $2,460 from the Community Technology Fund. Mr. Nolan moved to approve the request for $2,460 for the Community Public Access Study. Mr. Schultz seconded the motion. Motion carried by voice vote.


Ms. Byers and Mr. Winkle led a discussion on competitive grant guidelines. The Council reached a consensus on the following guidelines:

  • Match. Mr. Nolan moved to accept an 80/20 match and allow soft match with guidelines for documentation. Ms. Saathoff seconded the motion. Motion carried by voice vote. Staff will work on guidelines for documentation.

  • Size of awards. After a discussion on the size of awards, Mr. Schultz moved to include the following wording on the project guidelines for proposals, "The range of grants awarded is expected to be $15,000-$25,000. However, smaller or larger projects of exceptional merit will be given consideration." Mr. Nolan seconded the motion. Motion carried by voice vote.

  • In-direct costs. It was recommended that indirect costs not be allowed.

  • Time-frame. It was recommended to have staff work on the project guidelines for approval and action at the next Council meeting. At this time, the Council will discuss strategies for publicity so that projects may apply in January or February.

The council was reminded that only public entities (entitities that can collect taxes and/or its subdivisions) are eligible for Community Technology Fund grants.


Ms. Byers distributed a matrix which matched the 11 proposed action plans of the Council with the NITC goals. The Council has already committed to two action plans (sponsoring the TINA study and working with NIDCAC to identify the IT needs of local governments) and two more received Council approval for Community Technology Fund projects earlier in the meeting. Mr. Winkle informed the Council that the NITC will be meeting in December of January for a working meeting to discuss and review the action plans from the councils, the Technical Panel and other groups which will include recommendations to the NITC. The Council will need to decide 2-4 additional priorities that they would like to address and develop an action plan. After discussion, the group chose o focus on "Regulatory Barriers" and "Community IT Committees". It was recommended to use the words "regulatory issues" rather than "regulatory barriers". There is currently a subcommittee working on community IT committees. Mr. Schroeder moved that a subcommittee work on the "regulatory issues". Mr. Schultz seconded the motion. Members of the subcommittee are Donna Hammack, Gene Hand, Mike Nolan, and Anne Byers. Ms. Byers will organize the first meeting. Mr. Schoeder would like to see the visibility of the Community Council increased across the state. Mr. Winkle asked the assistance of the members


Mr. Rolfes informed the Council that the Educational Technology 2010 conference will be held February 24-25th in Grand Island. Community Council members will be invited to attend. Mr. Schroeder asked if the Community Council should sponsor such a conference and volunteered to work on a proposal and report at the next meeting. It was suggested to possibly joining an existing conference being planned for the near future.

NEXT MEETING DATE AND TIME: The next meeting dates are set for Monday, December 6, 1999, 1:30 p.m. at the University of Nebraska Technology Park (optional tour beginning at 1:00 p.m.), and Friday, January 7th, 10:00 a.m. at the Public Library in Kearney. The meeting was adjourned by Mr. Hedquist at 3:26 p.m.

Minutes taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales, CIO/NITC Administrative Assistant and reviewed by Anne Byers, Community I.T. Manager, CIO/NITC.

Meeting Minutes