For more information,
contact NDEE's Public Information Office, (402) 471-4223, (402) 471-4243 or (402) 471-4245
issued jointly from
USDA Rural Development
Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

Brian McManus, NDEE, (402) 471-4223
Vicki Schurman, USDA-RD, (402) 437-5563

Federal and State Agencies Announce Joint Effort to Improve Process to Maximize Funding for Nebraska Communities

Lincoln, Neb., Sept. 20, 2019 – Since 1997, Nebraska has worked through the Water Wastewater Advisory Committee (WWAC) to collaborate with Federal and State resource providers to address communities’ infrastructure needs. Considering the recent natural disasters and the disaster declarations, State Director Karl Elmshaeuser from the USDA Rural Development and Jim Macy, Director of the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, announced a joint effort to improve the process to maximize the funding available to Nebraska communities. The announcement was made Sept. 20 in Lincoln at the Nebraska League of Municipalities conference.

The joint effort will be led by Andi Bridgmon from the Nebraska Center of Operational Excellence (COE). The COE will be utilizing a Lean Six Sigma Kaizen method for accelerating the pace of the process improvement. Multiple stakeholders will be identified and requested to provide comments throughout the process. The team has set a deadline of January 1, 2020, to have the process improvement model completed.

“The goal is to reach as many communities and projects with all available funding,” Elmshaeuser said. “We know that communities’ needs are great, and the process needs to assure that the taxpayer funds are used to the best of our agencies’ combined abilities.”

“Nebraskans have always known that we work better when we work together,” Macy said. “This past year highlighted many challenges with infrastructure that was stressed or failing due to age, growth of communities or because of the 2019 disaster. Our agencies need to better coordinate our combined financial resources. Making certain that we are funding projects that are sustainable and grow Nebraska in the right direction is critical for the citizens we serve. Providing safe drinking water and effectively treating waste water will help keep our communities in Nebraska the best place to live, work and play.”

“We know that when rural America thrives all of America thrives,” Elmshaeuser said.