City Seal
City of Lincoln/Lancaster County
City Council & County Commission
Super-Common Meeting Schedule

                          M I N U T E S
                       CITY-COUNTY COMMON
              Friday, October 20, 2000 - 8:15 a.m.
                County-City Building -  Room 113

County Commissioners Present:  Bob Workman, Common Chair; Kathy
Campbell, Bernie Heier and Linda Steinman

City Council Members Present:  Jon Camp, Common Vice Chair; and
Coleen Seng

Others Present:  Terry Genrich, Lynn Johnson and Chris Beutler,
Parks & Recreation; Kip Hulvershorn, Marilyn McNabb and Pat Knapp,
Ecological Advisory Committee; Cindy Whiteford, Trust for Public Land;
Kathy Cook, Carole Douglas and Bill Pugsley, Health Department; Jon
Carlson and Cecil Steward, Planning Commission; Gwen Thorpe, Deputy
County Clerk; Paul Zillig, Lower Platte South Natural Resources District;
Kent Morgan, Mike DeKalb and Nicole Fleck-Tooze, Planning Department; Tim
Knott, Wachuska Audubon Society; Kerry Eagan, County Chief Administrative
Officer; Darrell Podany, Jon Camp's Office; and Cori Beattie, County
Board Secretary


This item was deferred until next month's meeting since there was no
quorum present.


Genrich stated that the idea of acquiring space and expansion into other
areas started a few years ago with the Wilderness Park project.  Most
recently, the City of Lincoln, Lancaster County and the Natural Resources
District (NRD) began working together on a land trust.  The Trust for
Public Land (TPL) was contacted for advisement with regard to this

Hulvershorn said the Ecological Advisory Committee (EAC) has a long
history of doing inventory of natural resources in the County. 
Currently, the EAC is in the second phase of prioritizing the most
important resources to be preserved.  The third step will be
implementation - beginning with a presentation today from Cindy

Whiteford distributed packets of information regarding TPL (copy on
file).  She noted that TPL is a national, non-profit land conservation
organization that helps communities conserve land for people including
wilderness and recreation areas, parks, trails, green ways, natural
areas, working landscapes (i.e., ranches and farmland), and cultural and
historic structures and areas.  Founded in 1972, TPL has worked to
protect over 1.2 million acres nationwide, valued at over $1.8 billion. 
In the twelve-state Midwest Region, TPL has worked to preserve over
93,000 acres valued at over $83 million.  Nebraska is part of the TPL
Midwest Region.

TPL works with federal, state and local units of government to protect
open space primarily through three major programs:
1. Greenprint for Growth Program - Assist communities with assessing
   wetlands paying close attention to the quality of life, clean air and
   water, and economic health.  TPL also provides an implementation plan
   for protecting these lands in a coordinated way.  These greenprints
   are customized for each community depending on needs, planning,
   inventory, etc.  Communities use the greenprints to manage growth and
   to protect their special, natural and cultural areas.
2. Public Finance Program - TPL works with citizen groups, elected
   officials and public agencies to help communities design, pass and
   implement public finance measures all related to land acquisition. 
   TPL also offers feasibility assessments.  TPL's research, public
   opinion surveys and analysis determine the potential level of support
   for public financing, parks and open space before significant time and
   money are invested.  TPL offers measure development and can identify
   the most appropriate new funding sources for a community such as
   general obligation bonds, special benefit assessment districts and
   real estate transfer fees (to name a few).  It also estimates the
   revenue raising potential of these various funding sources and works
   closely with community leaders to carefully design a measure which
   meets legal requirements, attracts public, private and political
   support, and protects priority conservation land.  Campaign management
   is also offered.  TPL has a strong track record in managing public
   finance campaigns, providing expert assistance with polling,
   developing political strategies, conducting media and direct mail
   outreach and building coalitions.  Another aspect to public finance
   work is lobbying services at the state and federal level.  
3. Open Space Land Acquisition - This is where TPL has the most
   expertise.  They work at the invitation of communities to acquire land
   which has been identified for open space uses.  This land is
   oftentimes contaminated and in some cases, structures are demolished. 
   TPL does not hold land for the long term; it serves as a bridge
   between landowners and public agencies or non-profit organizations
   (who act as long term stewards).  TPL serves as facilitators in the
   process and as a principal, not an agent, of the landowner or public
   agency.  Since TPL is a non-profit agency, it can act quickly which
   makes its services even more attractive to public agencies and other
   non-profits.  Plus, TPL has the financial resources to option or
   purchase property and hold it until it can be sold to the agency.
In relation to land acquisition, TPL tends to augment public agencies so
they do not have to spend time on difficult real estate transactions. 
The public agencies are then freed up to do the work only they can do. 
And many times landowners will only negotiate with a non-profit.  TPL
also provides an opportunity for tax advantages (via charitable
donations),  estate and tax planning and provides information to
landowners and their advisors which is oftentimes inappropriate for a
public agency to provide.  TPL is able to purchase larger pieces of
property and to sell off portions to public agencies.  The balance can
then be sold to a developer in a manner consistent with public use.  

In regard to financing, 60% of funds are raised through projects or land
transactions.  Charitable donations from landowners are also requested
and are tax deductible.  In turn, the land is sold to the public agency
at fair market value and by doing so, this covers all initial land
transaction costs, allowing for the protection of other open spaces.  The
public agency benefits by not having to pay TPL under the scenario for
any of its staff time in negotiating out-of-pocket cost, appraisals,
environmental audits, title work, etc.  If a charitable donation is not
received from a landowner, TPL seeks one from the public agency and goes
over the professional services agreement in order to help cover costs. 
The balance of funding comes from individual contributions, foundations
and professional services agreements.

Whiteford emphasized the importance of partnerships with regard to the
manner TPL does business - both with community groups, public agency
staffs, governing boards and other non-profit organizations.  TPL does
not work independently; they rely heavily on these partnerships.  A Land
Trust Alliance has been formed to help establish land trusts and to
provide technical assistance.  The formation of land trusts is encouraged
to help communities develop and maintain property, along with other

Whiteford gave an example of how TPL worked with Indianapolis, IN, on a
project.  She noted that the parks and recreation needs were reviewed. 
A five-year plan was drafted by outside experts (with public outreach) to
guide the department's work.  It recommended the creation of additional
parks to keep up with growth in the city and county, to address regional
inequities in the distribution of parks and to meet the growing need of
additional recreation and sports facilities.  The plan did not lay out
how this should be implemented  and did not suggest any methods of paying
for land acquisition.  The Mayor of Indianapolis asked TPL to assist in
drafting a strategic action plan covering implementation and funding.

The proposal included the following areas:  stakeholder analysis; land
acquisition analysis; public finance analysis; and implementation
strategy.  The overall goal of the stakeholder analysis was to assess
public willingness and support for new park creation and where expansion
should occur.  The land acquisition analysis noted that the proposal
gives an overview of needs for each township with a thorough survey of
existing parks and recreation facilities.  TPL proposed to take the needs
analysis to the next step with a review of potential park sites, in terms
of availability, acquisition price, connectivity to existing sites,
management needs, regulatory overlays, public interest and the ability to
meet priority needs.  A list of priority land acquisitions will be
produced from this step and an estimate of funding needs.  The core of
the public finance analysis will be a survey to ensure government
priorities reflect the preferences of its citizens and a written analysis
of the results will review public attitudes towards parks, recreation and
green space; uses of public funds which residents support; the potential
success of various public finance options and the public spending
tolerance within each options to see which method voters prefer.

At the conclusion of this process, an implementation strategy will be
provided along with a series of recommendations for next steps in
developing a land protection strategy including organizing stakeholders
for program support, developing revenue sources and working to secure
individual property sites.  TPL would also assist in the implementation
phase or land acquisition of the key priority sites once funding is

Whiteford said TPL welcomes the opportunity to discuss how they may be
able to help the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County.  For more
information, contact TPL's website at   

Workman asked if the City and County requests the services of TPL, would
a contract be entered into or would a bill be received up front? 
Whiteford noted that a scope of services would be developed by meeting
with the entities.  Within this scope, depending on the type of work, a
proposal would be developed which would provide a better cost estimate
and ideas of funding sources to pay for those costs.  Each community's
project is essentially  customized to fit their various needs.

Campbell said there has been a look at the concept of creating a "park
bank" between the City, County and NRD.  She inquired if TPL has worked
with other communities who have initiated this concept.  Whiteford said
this has been discussed with a couple communities in the Midwest, though,
neither has implemented a park bank.  She noted that there is not
necessarily a logical entity to promote green ways, acquire the land,
hold and maintain it, etc., - many times it is multi-jurisdictional.  In
this situation, TPL would be able to provide assistance in letting
Lincoln and Lancaster County know what other communities have done,
keeping in mind that each  project remains unique from the other.

Johnson wondered if forming a trust would be necessary since our local
agencies have such a good working relationship.  He thought maybe forming
a relationship with TPL would be enough.  Whiteford said she does not
know enough about Lincoln/Lancaster County's  existing situation to make
a recommendation.  She added that TPL could help bring resources to the
table to help with community discussions surrounding this question.

Camp questioned if there is a range, or comfortable percentage, of an
area which should be in green space.  Whiteford said some measurements
are used which are fairly adequate but each community really needs to
figure out what it wants.   TPL can help with guidelines.  For example,
Minneapolis' goal is to have a neighborhood park within six blocks of
every residence.

Steward inquired if, from a county perspective, TPL has examples of
working with farmland trusts.  Whiteford said TPL has not worked with a
farmland trust.  They are in the process of talking with American
Farmland Trust to form a strategy to protect farmland in portions of
Wisconsin.  In Ohio, TPL worked with a community to pass a bond
referendum to raise money to purchase development rights; the bond
failed.  TPL is also currently assisting a similar campaign in
Minneapolis.  In Colorado, TPL worked with a county which passed a bond
referendum to purchase development rights to protect ranch land from
being overrun by a resort.

As another example, Whiteford mentioned that the metropolitan area of St.
Louis encompasses two states.  They recognized the need for metropolitan
park planning.  It seemed the best way to do this would be creating a
metropolitan parks district, but there are obviously two different states
involved.  A group called "St. Louis 2004" lobbied the Illinois and
Missouri legislatures to allow counties in the metropolitan area to opt
in to a park district.  Intergovernmental agreements will be used to
coordinate the work.  When counties opt in, 1/10 of a percent of sales
tax will go to that county.  The County Commissioners in the area put
this issue on the November's ballot so the citizenry will ultimately make
the decision to opt in.  Approximately $23 million would be generated
each year with 50% going to metropolitan park districts for planning and
park acquisition.  The rest would go to municipalities within the
counties to fund individual park needs.

Workman thanked Whiteford for speaking with the Common and noted she will
also be making a presentation at the Antelope Park shelter today from
12:00 to 1:00 p.m.


Steinman said she had hoped more City Council Members would have been
present today since the City's zoning ordinance addressing junk cars is
being discussed at Monday's Council meeting.  She asked Seng and Camp to
encourage other Council Members to support the inclusion of the three-
mile area in this ordinance because when  the City instituted its policy,
many junk car problems moved out into the County (especially the areas
with more urbanized development, i.e., Yankee Hill neighborhood).

In regard to enforcement, Steinman indicated that the Sheriff has agreed
to enforce the ordinance in the three-mile area.  The County Attorney
would be involved as well.  She added that the process will be feasible
and, if necessary, a companion piece will be done for the rest of the
County.  She feels at this point, though, including the three-mile area
in the City's zoning ordinance will help tremendously.  Health problems
associated with junk cars are also a concern.

Camp asked if the long-term penalties are strict enough.  Steinman said
they are very strict - that is why the problem is moving out into the
County.  Camp said the City only allows a car to sit stationery for 24
hours.  Steinman commented that this has not been an issue in the County
as the three-mile area is not as urbanized as the City.  Campbell noted
that Council Members can contact the County Board if they have any


Douglas commented that Healthy People 2010 - Health Objectives for the
Year 2010 for Lincoln and Lancaster County - contains strong
environmental and personal health components, as well as a public health
infrastructure component.  The mental health component has yet to be
computed and will be attached to the report after the public input phase. 
She added that Healthy People 2010 is the guiding document in relation to
health and those issues which may come before local officials in the
coming decade.  (A copy of the plan will be placed on file.  Additional
copies are available by contacting the Health Department at 441-8000.)
Cook said Healthy People 2010 is a national, state and local initiative
that identifies ten-year goals to improve the health status of the
community.  To achieve the goal of a healthy community, it is necessary
to have healthy people, practicing healthy behaviors and living in a
healthy environment.  Ultimately, the outcome of Healthy People 2010 will
be a healthy community with the same opportunities for the highest
possible quality of life and health for every resident of Lincoln and
Lancaster County.  The report covers the following:

A. Healthy Community
      Health Disparities
B. Healthy People
      Maternal and Child Health
      Healthy Children
      Older Adults
      Chronic Disease
      Oral Health
      Access to Health Care
C. Healthy Environment
      Safe Food
      Water Management
      Clean Outdoor Air
      Clean Indoor Air
      Toxic and Hazardous Materials
      Public Health Emergency Management
      Waste Management
      Animal Control
D. Healthy Behavior
      Tobacco Use
      Nutrition and Physical Activity
      Alcohol and Other Drugs
      Sexual Behavior
      Immunization and Communicable Disease
      Unintentional and Intentional Injury

Heier asked if there are any serious nitrate problems in Lancaster County
wells.  Pugsley noted that the valley areas with shallow well fields have
some problems generally stemming from the use of farm-related
fertilizers.  Steinman said she saw a television program which  stated
that concrete really contributes to the contamination of groundwater
since it does not allow the water to percolate.  She questioned if this
is a problem in our area.  Pugsley said it is a bit of a problem in the
City since there is so much concrete.  Workman added that a Waverly
resident commented to him that the problem with the nitrates in the well
water isn't from farming, but from the City of Lincoln.  Pugsley said
Agri-Business is very sensitive to the issue of nitrates coming from the
farm when, in fact, they do.  Farmers who carefully manage the
application of nitrates are much less likely to contribute to the
contamination of groundwater.  The County Extension Office is also
looking at the use of bio-solids from the wastewater treatment plant. 
Through this program, the Extension Office has been able to take the
waste product and utilize the nitrates from this material in a very
effective way by closing monitoring the amount used.

In reference to teen driving programs in the County, Douglas said the
Health Department is working with communities and groups on classes.  The
Health Department feels very strongly that driver education is important;
unfortunately, not all schools have this program.  Some alternatives are
being reviewed to reach out to these areas.  

The next Common meeting will be on Friday, November 17, 2000 at 8:15
a.m., at the County-City Building, Room 113.  In reference to agenda
items, Heier said he'd like an update on the beltway.  Workman said an
update on Stevens Creek could also be included.  Campbell added that at
some point, maybe after January 1st, the County Board would like
to update the City Council on the new Juvenile Detention Center and the
programs which will be implemented.  Workman noted that the Planning
Department has already requested a presentation on the results from the
Comprehensive Plan Community Survey.  Campbell said the update on the
Juvenile Detention Center could be done at a future City/County/School
Board meeting.  Workman said the beltway, Stevens Creek and the
Comprehensive Plan survey would be a good combination for November.

Common members discussed the lack of attendance at today's meeting.  It
was decided to survey all members regarding the importance, frequency,
time, day of the week and subject matter of Common meetings.  The goal of
the survey is to provide greater convenience in attending these meetings,
especially since the content is so significant.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 9:35 a.m.

Submitted by,

Cori R. Beattie, County Board Secretary                               

Common History City Council County Commission