August 21, 2015                                                                           NACO E-Line Archive  

Upcoming Events

Save the Dates For:  


Assessor's Workshop   

Sandhill's Convention Center  & Quality Inn & Suites

North Platte, NE

August 24 - 27  


Central District Meeting

Holiday Inn   

Kearney, NE
September 17, 2015

Agenda coming soon


Northeast District Meeting
St. Benedictine Center, Schuyler, NE
September 18, 2015

Agenda coming soon


Panhandle District Meeting
Gering Civic Center
Gering, NE
September 23, 2015

Agenda coming soon


West Central District Meeting
Quality Inn
Ogallala, NE
September 24, 2015

Agenda coming soon


Nebraska Planning and Zoning Fall Workshop 

Holiday Inn,  

Kearney, NE

September 28-29, 2015

Agenda & Registration Information  


Register of Deeds Workshop
Holiday Inn
Kearney, NE

October 14, 2015


10th Annual NACO Legislative Conference
Holiday Inn
Kearney, NE

October 15, 2015

Tentative Agenda 


Southeast District Meeting
Mahoney State Park
October 22, 2015

Agenda coming soon


Nebraska Weed Control Fall Training
Kearney, NE

November 5 - 6, 2015


121st Annual NACO Conference

Younes Conference Center  

Kearney, NE

December 9 - 11, 2015



To view all upcoming events, click here.



AssocMembersAssociate and Sustaining Members

NACO Associate and Sustaining Members enable NACO to enhance its continuing education programs for county officials across the state. Visit NACO's complete associate and sustaining membership list here.

In This Issue  
2015 Nebraska Infrastructure Protection Conference
Road Hearings Scheduled by Transportation Committee
Legal Line      
govreleaseGov. Ricketts Announces $3 Million in Additional Funding For County and City Roads
Additional funding became available because of project efficiencies identified by the Roads Department
LINCOLN - Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) Director Kyle Schneweis announced a change that will direct an additional $3 million in roads funding to Nebraska counties and first-class cities for road and street purposes.
"Increasing funding to our cities and counties through this program without raising taxes will help the state's local government partners continue to build the roads Nebraskans want and deserve," said Governor Ricketts. "A 21st-century infrastructure is key to Growing Nebraska, and my administration is committed to working with local government across the state to realize this goal in a fiscally responsible way."
The Federal Funds Purchase Program, launched in 2013, allows the Department to purchase the counties' and first-class cities' share of federal funds with state funds. Those state dollars allow local agencies to tailor projects to better meet their local needs without navigating the federal regulatory framework. Previously, the Department purchased each dollar of federal funds with 80 cents of state highway funds, for an exchange rate of 80 percent.
Recently, NDOR and the Federal Highway Administration have worked to develop project delivery efficiencies that have reduced preliminary engineering and construction costs. These savings from potentially earlier project delivery will now be passed on to local government.
This will result in a new purchase rate of 90 percent instead of the current 80 percent, for an annual increase in funding to local governments of approximately $3 million. This higher funding level will be paid out with the next annual purchase of federal funds in March 2016.
"NDOR is committed to teaming with cities and counties to address the growing needs of our state's aging infrastructure system," said Director Schneweis. "We are proud of the efficiencies we've gained by streamlining our project delivery processes and we are pleased to share those savings with our local government partners."
The Governor and Director were joined by representatives from the Nebraska League of Municipalities and the Nebraska Association of County Officials who lauded the announcement.
"The Federal Funds Purchase Program is a great resource for Nebraska's first-class cities," said Nebraska League of Municipalities Executive Director Lynn Rex. "The Governor's announcement today helps to maximize existing revenue streams while avoiding red tape. This is key for Nebraska's cities as they look for the best way build new infrastructure as they continue to grow."
"The Nebraska Association of County Officials thanks Governor Ricketts and Director of the Department of Roads, Kyle Schneweis, for taking the lead to increase the county share of the federal funds purchase program from 80 to 90 cents," said Nebraska Association of County Officials Executive Director Larry Dix. "Counties are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on federal oversight that could instead be used to rebuild and rehabilitate deteriorating bridges and county roads. The ongoing efforts by the Ricketts administration to restore the partnership between counties and the State of Nebraska will lead to increased opportunities to restore county infrastructure across our state."

Taylor Gage
Public Relations Director
Office of Governor Pete Ricketts
402-471-1970 (office)
402-499-8351 (mobile)
recycleRecycling Grants Become Available

Recycling Equipment Grants Available for 2015-16

The Nebraska State Recycling Association (NSRA) still has grant funds available for municipalities, other government entities, non-profits and recycling companies (for example, waste haulers) who wish to purchase recycling equipment.  Interested parties should go to or call Deb Rost at 402-933-3059 in Omaha for more information. Grants can help fund the purchase of recycling trailers, semi trailers, carts, dumpsters, balers, forklifts, trucks and more. Equipment may be new, used or in need of refurbishing. In some cases, applicant's existing equipment can be refurbished with this grant.  Grants will be awarded until the funds are depleted. This is a quick-turnaround program where application-to-approval is usually completed in approximately a month.
This grant is one of 113 grants that will receive $19.4 million in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. The Trust has awarded more than $233 million to over 1,700 natural resource projects in Nebraska since 1993, and the grants are funded by proceeds from the Nebraska Lottery.

The Nebraska State Recycling Association is a membership organization of public and private organizations as well as citizens, and has been a recycling advocate for Nebraska since 1980. 
annconfresAnnual Conference Hotel Reservations
The 2015 NACO Annual Conference will be held in Kearney at the Younes Convention CenterThe conference dates are December 9th through the 11th.

The Kearney Visitor's Bureau has a webpage designed specifically for conference information as it becomes available through the planning process.  You can visit that page by clicking here.

Rooms have been contracted at the Wingate inn, the Hampton Inn, the Holiday Inn, the Holiday Inn Express, the Comfort Inn and the Fairfield Inn for $99.95 per night for single and double rooms and suites are contracted for $149.95 per night.

You must phone the hotel of choice to make reservations stating that you are attending the conference to receive the group discounted room rate. Only guaranteed reservations will be accepted. Reservations must be guaranteed with either a credit card or by direct billing back to your county.


PLEASE NOTE: Reservations may be made initially under the county name but must all have individual names of who will occupy each room no later than November 10, 2015. Any reservation being held under the county name after this date will be cancelled.




Wingate Inn:     (308) 237-4400


Hampton Inn:    (308) 234-3400


Fairfield Inn:      (308) 236-4200


Comfort Inn:      (308) 236-3400


Holiday Inn:      (308) 237-5971




Holiday Inn Express:                                       (308) 234-8100  


Best Western Mid Nebraska Inn & Suites:        (308) 234-2541


AmericInn:                                                     (308) 234-7800


Country Inn & Suites:                                      (308) 236-7500


Ramada Inn:                                                   (308) 237-3141  

vetserveTraining to Better Serve Veterans

The Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors (NALHD) are supporting and coordinating five No Wrong Door trainings across the state (see attached flyer for dates and locations). These trainings have been developed by the multi-disciplinary Veteran's Brain Injury Task Force over the past several years to give community members from a range of professions/organizations a solid understanding of issues that veterans, service members, and their families/loved ones face. The training also gives participants resources and strategies they can use to serve veterans, service members, and their families better.

To view the informational flyer to obtain more details, click here.

Susan Bockrath, Executive Director of the NALHD says that, "I want to make sure that other folks, especially those who maybe don't think their work relates to veterans, know that these trainings are coming up and that there really is value for everyone... teachers, principals, county clerks, law enforcement...everyone."
entconfEntrepreneurship Conference For County Officials




County officials are encouraged to attend the Entrepreneurship Best Practices Summit, Wednesday, October 21 in Lincoln at Innovation Campus.


What's entrepreneurship got to do with county government?


As many counties experience population decline, government needs to be at the table helping to spur entrepreneurship based-economic development, helping to figure out the best county policies and practices to support entrepreneurs taking new ownership of our farms, ranches and businesses.


That's what we hired an Economic Developer For!


Only YOU can fully connect the information at the Entrepreneurship Best Practices Summit to county government. Connect with leading policymakers talking about how the state as a whole can better "grow our own" entrepreneurs to create a growing and vibrant economy. Roads, zoning, and taxes are important to creating an entrepreneur friendly eco-system.


Eric Englemann, the visionary CEO and founder of Geonetric, one of the most admired companies in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor will be the keynote speaker. Eric is a driving force behind the Iowa Startup Accelerator; Iowa's first and only 90-day accelerator for early stage startups.


SAVE THE DATE, October 21 and STAY TUNED for registration information in the next NACO E-Line. The Best Practices Summit is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, NET-Force, the Nebraska Department of Education, UNL's Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program and the University of Nebraska Extension.

neinfrast 2015 Nebraska Infrastructure Protection Conference 

Share, collaborate, and network with those protecting Nebraska's critical infrastructure assets. The Nebraska Infrastructure Protection Conference is the only Nebraska-specific conference that brings together government, private sector, and non-profit industry representatives for participation in Nebraska's Homeland Security Initiatives.


This year's conference will be held on September 1 and 2 at the La Vista Embassy Suites.  The agenda has been released and can be found here.  Registration information can be found here

interimroadRoad Hearings Scheduled by Transportation Committee
Public hearings related to a comprehensive study of Nebraska's state and local roads (LR318), including the expressway system (LR313), maximum weight limits (LR317), and removal of roadside vegetation (LR339), will be conducted by the Legislature's Transportation and Telecommunications Committee in the coming weeks. Interim studies and hearings are a tool used by the Legislature to investigate a specific topic that may be the subject of legislation in the coming session or an issue that was introduced during a regular session that needs further development.
The first Transportation Committee hearing will be held on September 16 at Northeast Community College in Norfolk at 1:30. The committee will take testimony on three study resolutions:
  • LR318 (Smith) Interim study to conduct a comprehensive study of Nebraska's state and local roads system
  • LR313 (Smith) Interim study to examine the process utilized by the Dept. of Roads in the design and construction of the Nebraska expressway system
  • LR317 (Scheer) Interim study to review the Nebraska Rules of the Road and provisions which establish maximum weight limits
Subsequent Transportation Committee hearings will be held on:

October 1, Grand Island Public School Kneale Administration Building, 1:30 p.m.
  • LR318 (Smith) Interim study to conduct a comprehensive study of Nebraska's state and local roads system
  • LR317 (Scheer) Interim study to review the Nebraska Rules of the Road and provisions which establish maximum weight limits
October 5, Lied Scottsbluff Public Library, 1:30 p.m.
  • LR318 (Smith) Interim study to conduct a comprehensive study of Nebraska's state and local roads system
  • LR313 (Smith) Interim study to examine the process utilized by the Dept. of Roads in the design and construction of the Nebraska expressway system
October 6, Lied Scottsbluff Public Library, 9:30 a.m
  • LR317 (Scheer) Interim study to review the Nebraska Rules of the Road and provisions which establish maximum weight limits
October 22, Crete City Hall Council Chambers, 1:30 p.m.
  • LR318 (Smith) Interim study to conduct a comprehensive study of Nebraska's state and local roads system
  • LR317 (Scheer) Interim study to review the Nebraska Rules of the Road and provisions which establish maximum weight limits
November 12, Bellevue University John B. Muller Administrative Services Building, 1:30 p.m.
  • LR318 (Smith) Interim study to conduct a comprehensive study of Nebraska's state and local roads system
  • LR339 (Garrett) Interim study to examine the current statutory requirements governing the removal of roadside vegetation
December 3, State Capitol Room 1113, 10:00
  • Joint Transportation and Telecommunications and Appropriations hearing - NDOR Needs Assessment - Invited testimony only
December 3, State Capitol Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LR318 (Smith) Interim study to conduct a comprehensive study of Nebraska's state and local roads system
  • LR317 (Scheer) Interim study to review the Nebraska Rules of the Road and provisions which establish maximum weight limits
  • LR319 (Smith)    Interim study to examine certain issues under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission
Other legislative committees will also hold hearings throughout the fall. The Judiciary Committee and Department of Correctional Services Special Investigative Committee will take testimony on prison issues on Sept. 1, Oct. 9 (LR295), Oct. 23, and Nov. 6.
The Revenue and Education Committees will hold joint hearings on school funding (LR332 and LR344) on November 12.
The Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the Nebraska Oil and Gas Commission, including its role in decisions about the disposal of wastewater into dry wells (LR154 and LR247) on September 22.
A complete hearing schedule is available here.
legallineLegal Line
Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This edition has been prepared by Elaine Menzel of the NACO legal staff. Legal Line is not intended to serve as legal advice. Rather, it is published to alert readers to court decisions and legal or advisory matters important to county government. For a specific opinion on how the information contained in this article or that which will be discussed in future issues relates to your county, consult your county attorney or personal counsel.
Supreme Court Considers Whether Zoning Ordinance Was Special Legislation

In Dowd Grain Co. v. County of Sarpy, 291 Neb. 620, --- N.W.2d --- (2015, the County revised an overlay zoning ordinance to exempt properties platted before the  effective date of the original ordinance and the owner of nonexempt property sought a judgment declaring the exemption unconstitutional as special legislation.  The Supreme Court found that the exemption did not create a closed class and its application was not arbitrary or unreasonable; therefore, it affirmed the judgment of the district court which had entered judgment in favor of the county.

In its reasoning, the Supreme Court outlined governing principles related to the validity of ordinances and special legislation.  A zoning ordinance is presumed in the absence of clear and satisfactory evidence to the contrary to be valid.  The challenger has the burden of demonstrating a constitutional defect in a zoning ordinance.  In order to be successful on a challenge of validity of a zoning ordinance, the party challenging must prove that the conditions imposed by the entity in adopting the  zoning ordinance were unreasonable, discriminatory, or arbitrary, and that the regulation bears no relationship to the purpose sought to be accomplished by the ordinance.  Further, where the validity of the legislative classification for zoning purposes is fairly debatable, the legislative judgment must be allowed to control.  These same principles apply when a party challenges the validity of a zoning ordinance on the basis of special legislation. 

The Court next considered whether the ordinance was special legislation.  Pursuant, in part, to Neb. Const. art. III, 18, "[t]he Legislature shall not pass local or special laws" which grant "any special or exclusive privileges, immunity, or franchise whatever" and that
"[i]n all other cases where a general law can be made applicable, no special law shall be enacted."  The special legislation prohibition also applies to municipal ordinances.  And a zoning ordinance is a type of municipal ordinance.  As stated by the Court, " a legislative act constitutes special legislation if it either, (1) creates an arbitrary and unreasonable method of classification or (2) creates a permanently closed class."

In considering whether the exemption in the revised ordinance is special legislation, the Court first considered whether it created a closed class which is one that limits application of the law to present condition, and leaves no room or opportunity for an increase in the numbers of the class by future growth or development.  Both the district court and Supreme Court concluded that the exemption did not create a closed class.

The next question addressed by the Court was whether the class benefited by the exemption was arbitrarily selected.  Again, both courts concluded that the exemption in the revised ordinance was not special legislation because there was a reasonable basis for the exemption. 

After reviewing the purpose of preventing special legislation, the Court concluded that the exemption did not create a closed class, because the number of parcels within the specified geographic area and the owners of the real property are subject to change in the future.  The Court further concluded that there was a reasonable basis for exempting from enforcement of the overlay ordinance those property owners who had submitted a plat for their property prior to enactment of the overlay ordinance, because those property owners were in a substantially different situation from property owners who had not yet completed a plat for their property.  Since the exemption was not unconstitutional special legislation, the Court affirmed the district court's judgment.  (Citations omitted.)
Countygovernementdaycd County Government Day PowerPoint
The PowerPoint presentation is available electronically at no charge (sent via e-mail) for use by counties during their annual County Government Day. The PowerPoint provides a comprehensive look at county government functions in the State of Nebraska and can be customized by each county. CD's are also available for $10.00 each to cover processing, shipping and handling. To request the County Government Day PowerPoint electronically, please e-mail your request to The CD order form is available here .
NACO's 2015 Directory of County Officials is a valuable resource that not only gives you names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses of every county official in the state, but includes a listing of county board meeting days, NACO districts, county seats, NACO officers and directors, affiliate officers and NACO staff.  In January, county clerks for each county will receive one complimentary copy of the directory intended for use by all offices in their courthouse.  For additional copies, click here for the order form.
County_Board_Handbook_2012 2014 County Board  Handbook and Revisions
The 2014 County Board Handbook and related revisions are now available. The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2014 session, is $80.00/book plus $18.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2014 Supplement to the County Board Handbook is available for $25.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. The order form is available on the NACO website here. For questions, contact Ashley Vandeloo by clicking here or call her at (402) 434-5660 ext. 223.
rom NACo

2015 August Advocacy Toolkit

Advocacy Took Kit
The toolkit provides updates on important legislative and regulatory issues impacting counties and tips on how to work with your Members of Congress.
Between now and the end of the year, federal lawmakers will be back in their home districts and states more days than they are in Washington. These "district or state work periods," particularly the one occurring during the month of August, provide counties a unique opportunity to communicate with members of Congress and demonstrate how much you do in your communities!

To assist you in making the most of this opportunity, NACo has prepared a toolkit that provides updates on the policy issues most important to counties across America, as well as helpful tips for communicating with members of Congress and the media. If you do not already have plans to meet with your Senators and Representative(s) while they are home, we encourage you to reach out to their offices and request meetings!

Issues addressed in the toolkit include:
  • Highway Trust Fund and Surface Transportation Reauthorization
  • Remote Sales Tax Legislation and Internet Tax Freedom Act
  • Tax-Exempt Status of Municipal Bonds
  • Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT)
  • Secure Rural Schools (SRS)
  • Waters of the U.S. Rule
  • Federal-State-Local Partnership for Medicaid
nacoweb NACO Web-based Education 
 Stepping Up: Effective Law Enforcement and Diversion Strategies
Thu, September 10, 2015 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM CDT

Join NACo for the next webinar in the Stepping Up series to learn about key law enforcement and diversion strategies for reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. As the second of three webinars focused on Module 3 of Stepping Up, county law enforcement and behavioral health practitioners will share law enforcement-focused policies, practices and programs they have established and the impact they have had on these numbers. Attendees are encouraged to first review the first webinar in this module before watching this one. The final webinar in this module will focus on effective strategies for connecting people to community-based services after their release from jails.
Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street | Lincoln, NE 68508 | 402-434-5660