Watermeier educates NC Rotary about state Public Service Commission

Nebraska City News-Press

Former Nebraska state senator and current Public Service Commission Commissioner for the First District of Nebraska Dan Watermeier visited the Nebraska City Rotary Club on Aug. 4 to provide club members with some background on the commission and its activities.

Watermeier and his four fellow commissioners regulate the activities of telecommunications carriers, natural gas jurisdictional utilities, major oil pipelines, railroad safety, household goods movers and passenger carriers, grain warehouses and dealers, construction of manufactured and modular homes and recreational vehicles, high voltage electric transmission lines, and private water company rates. Commissioners are elected to six-year terms, and Watermeier was elected in November 2018.

His district includes eight counties--Lancaster, Gage, Cass, Otoe, Nemaha, Johnson, Pawnee, and Richardson--and has about 400,000 people in it, as compared to the about 40,000 constituents he had as a state senator.

Watermeier said the telecommunications division, which includes next generation 9-1-1 and internet providers, occupies about 70 percent of the commission’s time. 

He said one of the big projects in telecommunications right now is updating the state’s 9-1-1 system to allow for the sharing of texts and photos with dispatchers. He said the update should be complete in about 18 months.

The commission was formed in 1885 to regulate rates charged by the railroads, and Watermeier said it is still involved with some railroad matters today. 

The commission has two meetings scheduled in each of the remaining months of 2021. Meetings take place in Lincoln at 10 a.m. Tuesdays and are set for today (Aug. 10) and Aug. 31, Sept. 14 and 28, Oct. 5 and 19, Nov. 2 and 16, and Dec. 7 and 14.

Visit psc.nebraska.gov for more information on the commission.

The Nebraska City Rotary Club meets at noon Wednesday at Valentino’s, 1710 S. 11th.

Cole Sharp is the club president. Call (402) 873-0530 for more information.

Former Nebraska state senator and current Public Service Commission Commissioner Dan Watermeier speaks to members of the NC Rotary.