Nebraska Interlocal Agreements: A Guide to Understanding Joint Powers

Interlocal agreements, also known as joint powers agreements, are a popular form of collaboration and cooperation between local government entities in Nebraska. These agreements allow for the pooling of resources and expertise to solve common problems or provide shared services. In this article, we’ll explore the basics of interlocal agreements and how they work in Nebraska.

What Are Interlocal Agreements?

An interlocal agreement is a contract between two or more local government entities, such as municipalities or counties. These agreements allow for the sharing of resources, such as personnel, facilities, equipment, and services, to achieve common goals. Interlocal agreements are governed by state law and can be used for a variety of purposes, including economic development, public safety, public works, and more.

Interlocal agreements can take many forms, depending on the needs and goals of the participating entities. Some common types of interlocal agreements in Nebraska include:

– Joint Powers Agreements: This is the most common type of interlocal agreement in Nebraska. It allows two or more government entities to create a separate legal entity, such as a joint powers authority or commission, to provide shared services.

– Service Contracts: This type of interlocal agreement allows one government entity to provide services to another entity in exchange for compensation.

– Cooperative Purchasing Agreements: This type of interlocal agreement allows entities to pool their purchasing power to negotiate better prices for goods and services.

– Mutual Aid Agreements: This type of interlocal agreement allows government entities to provide mutual aid and support during emergencies, such as natural disasters or public safety incidents.

How Do Interlocal Agreements Work in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, interlocal agreements are governed by the Interlocal Cooperation Act, which outlines the requirements and procedures for creating and implementing these agreements. The Act requires that interlocal agreements be in writing and approved by the governing bodies of all participating entities. The agreement must also specify the purpose, scope, and duration of the collaboration, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each entity.

Interlocal agreements in Nebraska are subject to open meetings and public records laws, which means that the public has the right to attend meetings and access documents related to the agreement. This transparency is intended to ensure that interlocal agreements are in the public interest and are accountable to taxpayers.

Why Are Interlocal Agreements Important?

Interlocal agreements are an important tool for local government entities to work together to achieve common goals. These agreements can provide cost savings, efficiencies, and improved services for the public. For example, interlocal agreements can help smaller municipalities or counties access specialized services, such as engineering or legal services, that they may not be able to afford on their own.

Interlocal agreements can also promote regional collaboration and economic development. By working together, local government entities can pool their resources and expertise to attract new businesses and industries to the area.

Overall, interlocal agreements are a valuable resource for local government entities in Nebraska. By working together, they can achieve more than they could on their own and provide better services for their communities. If you’re interested in pursuing an interlocal agreement with another government entity in Nebraska, be sure to consult with legal and financial experts to ensure that the agreement is in the best interest of all parties involved.