Nebraska Association of County Officials

1335 H Street Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone: (402) 434-5660
Fax: (402) 434-5673
December 28, 2018 | | NACO E-Line Archive
New County Board Member Training
On January 19 and 26, 2019 NACO will be sponsoring a training for newly elected county board members. The first training will be held at the Sandhills Convention Center & Quality Inn & Suites in North Platte on January 19. The second one will be held at the NACO office at 1335 H Street in Lincoln on January 26. They will both be held on Saturdays to be able to attract the most registrants. The trainings will be an afternoon session from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at each location and the same training will be given at each location. Attendees will be able to choose which date and location works best for them.

Registration is free for each session. Each new county board member will be given an $80 county board handbook for attending.

The Clerks, Register of Deeds and Election Commissioners have requested use of the NACO conference room for training on January 10 and the Treasurers have asked for February 8 for their new member training.

Other county elected official's associations are asked to contact NACO if they are interested in using the NACO conference room to conduct training for their newly elected members.
EPA releases proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule
Dec. 11, 2018
Key Takeaways

On December 11, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) released a new proposed “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) definition to replace the 2015 WOTUS rule issued under the Obama Administration. In its official statement, EPA stated the intent of the proposed definition is to provide a “clear, understandable and implementable definition of “Waters of the United States” that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act.” The announcement comes a little over a year after President Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to withdraw and rewrite the controversial 2015 rule. EPA will accept public comments for 60 days once the definition is officially published in the Federal Register in the coming days.

To continue reading about this proposed definition, click here .
2019 NACO Scholarships Available
Nebraska high school seniors who are the children, stepchildren, or under the legal guardianship of county officials or employees are encouraged to apply for one of twelve $1,000 NACO scholarships. In addition to the twelve NACO scholarships, a special award, the Ronda Dix Memorial Scholarship, may be awarded to an applicant planning a career in nursing, physical therapy, or another medical field.
Additional information and the application form can be found on the front page of the NACO website. The scholarship application deadline is March 1, 2019. To access the application from this article, click here .
NACO began its scholarship program in 1999 when it presented six high school seniors with $500 awards to be used toward their post-secondary educations. Since 2004, NACO has presented twelve high school seniors with $1,000 awards. Scholarships are available for one year and are not renewable. Since its inception, NACO has offered nearly $200,000 to students of higher education due to this scholarship program.
To be considered for a NACO scholarship, students must complete the required application form, submit a seven-semester transcript from an accredited Nebraska high school and prepare essays on the importance of county government in Nebraska and their future goals and career plans.
Scholarship recipients must attend a post-secondary educational institution within the state of Nebraska and may use the NACO scholarship for any costs associated with their continuing education.
County Officials Recognize Peers
Nineteen graduates of the Nebraska Association of County Officials (NACO) Institute of Excellence were recognized at the association’s annual conference in Kearney during the second week of December. The Institute of Excellence is a year-long leadership development program for county officials and affiliates with county government. It is coordinated by NE Extension and taught by UNL, UNO and Extension faculty.
Participants in the program discover their personal leadership attributes, learn communication and collaboration skills, as well as leading more effective meetings and managing conflict. According to Jessica Jones, a co-coordinator and extension educator, “Participants engage in discussions around emerging issues to increase their leadership capacity for managing change.”
Debra J. Spira, NACO Office and Finance Assistant, and one of the graduates, was recognized by 800 some peers in attendance at the conference for successfully completing the Institute of Excellence and earned a Certificate of Achievement presented by UNL Director of the West Central Research & Extension Center, Kelly Bruns.

Next year’s Institute of Excellence begins in March. For more information or to register for the program, visit the Nebraska Association of County Officials website ,
Reorganization Meetings in January
& New Officials Sworn In
After elections, questions arise of swearing in dates and related issues. Terms of office, oath of office, bonds and in lieu of individual bonds and pro-rata salaries are addressed in this article that is intended to provide an overview of those issues.
2019 Office of Violence Prevention Grants
The Nebraska Crime Commission has announced the availability of 2019 Office of Violence prevention Grant [OVP]. The Application Instructions outline general guidelines, eligibility, and funding requirements. This information can also be found on the Crime Commission website .
Redistricting Workshop To Be Held in January
John Watermolen from the Office of the Nebraska Chief Information Officer has announced that the MAGIC Group is hosting a redistricting workshop in Wichita, Kansas on January 15. Click here to determine if you might be interested and how to register.
Dollar Thresholds For County Purchases
Effective July 19, 2018, the competitive bidding amounts for purchasing property and services under the County Purchasing Act (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 23-3101 to 23-3115) were increased. Such changes were enacted by LB 1098 (2018).
2019 Juvenile Service Grants Available
The Nebraska Crime Commission has announced the availability of the 2019 Juvenile Services Grant [JS]. The Application Instructions outline general guidelines, eligibility, and funding requirements. This information can also be found on the Crime Commission website


By clicking on the website link in this article you will find the Application Kit Instructions and the Application. You are encouraged to distribute and post the announcement. Please contact Chris Harris with any questions at 402-471-3813 or by clicking on his name for email.
Federal Resources Identified
For Rural Communities
Last month, the USDA released a 140-page publication titled “Federal Resources for Rural Communities to Help Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Misuse.” It contains an extensive listing of funding sources across a wide spectrum of federal departments and agencies which provide grants and similar financial assistance, particularly aimed at smaller communities. 

Click here to view that publication.
Grant Money For
Preventing Suicides Among Juveniles
Deadline: February 16/June 16, 2019

This Health and Human Services program supports research to test the effectiveness of combined strategies to both detect and intervene to reduce the risk of suicide behavior, suicide ideation, and non-suicidal self harm by youth in contact with the juvenile justice system. Eligibility is limited to state/tribal/local governments, colleges and universities, public housing authorities, nonprofits, and for-profits. There will be "multiple" awards of up to $225,000 each.  

Information: Questions, 301/945-7573.  Email : Solicitation  
Legal Line
 Supreme Court Remands Dusky Gopher Frog Case

In Weyerhauser Co. v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service ., 586 U.S. ____ (2018), the United States Supreme Court held that an area is eligible for designation as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act only if it is habitat for the species. The provision referenced by the Court is the sole source of authority for critical-habitat designation. 

The Court also held a federal court may review an agency decision not to exclude an area from critical habitat because of the economic impact. The United State Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) listed the dusky gopher frog as an endangered species. The Service designated as its “critical habitat” a site called Unit 1 in Louisiana owned or leased by a timber company. The frog had not been seen at this location since 1965. As of today, the aforementioned site has all of the features the frog needs to survive except “open-canopy forests,” which the Services claims can be restored with “reasonable effort.”

To read further into the case and to review the new "Waters of the U.S." proposed definition, click here .

Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This article 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.
Editor Correction
President Earl McNutt & Sarah Freidel
Sarah Freidel was incorrectly identified as the Washington County Clerk, Register of Deeds and Election Commissioner in the last issue of the NACO E-line . Freidel currently serves in that same capacity in Burt County. She was presented the Next Generation Award by NACO President Earl McNutt.
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 .
News from NACo
Registration is Now Open
2019 NACo Legislative Conference

March 2–6, 2019 | Washington Hilton | Washington, D.C.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference brings together over 1,500 elected and appointed county officials to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and our residents. Attendees engage in relevant and timely policy and educational sessions, interact with federal officials and participate in congressional briefings and meetings.
Don't miss this unique policy advocacy opportunity!
New Clerks, Register of Deeds and Election Commissioners Training
January 10 - NACO Office/Lincoln

New County Board Member Training
January 19 - North Platte
January 26 - NACO Office/Lincoln

Legislative Bill Review Day
January 25 - NACO Office/Lincoln
(Notify the NACO Office if you plan to attend lunch)

New Treasurers Training
February 8, 2019 - NACO Office/Lincoln

2019 NACO Institute of Excellence
Lincoln & North Platte
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Nebraska Association of County Officials
1335 H Street Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 434-5660
Fax: (402) 434-5673
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