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CAPWN files for reorganization
July 17, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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CAPWN, the Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska, has begun a reorganization process of its financial structure to better serve its member communities.

“CAPWN has been heading toward some serious financial issues the last couple of years,” said board president Tim Nolting. “We’ve reached the point where the best possible course of action is to file for protection under Chapter 11.”

Nolting emphasized that Chapter 11 does not mean bankruptcy. “The services that CAPWN currently provides will continue and there will be no changes in that,” he said. “Chapter 11 gives us an opportunity to regroup while we put together a new business plan.”

CAPWN provides almost 50 different programs to its communities and Nolting said those services are important enough they need to continue.

The agency has suffered a series of unfortunate financial setbacks due to sequestration, self-funded health insurance programs and financial reporting issues that left it in an unfavorable position.

“Not all of our programs are funded by federal and state dollars,” Nolting said. “Many of them are dependent on donations and contributions from the community. Some of them are vital, but the funding just wasn’t there.”

An Aug. 23 deadline has been set by the courts for CAPWN to submit a revised business plan. In the meantime, CAPWN has listed some of its real properties for sale and are negotiation to get the capital they need to absolve the current debts and move forward.

Nolting said that in a best case scenario, CAPWN should be out of its difficulty within 120 days after the new business plan is accepted.

“We have a strong senior staff,” Nolting said. “They’re dedicated to their programs and to making the programs work. In the future, the only programs we’ll be offering are those that have funding, which is about 95 percent of them we have now.”

He again emphasized that CAPWN is not going out of business. They will continue to work with program funders in both the public and private sectors. And they will continue providing the services that are vital to so many people in the community.

CAPWN is a member of a national network of more than 1.000 community action agencies across the nation. It is a non-profit community-based organization, not a government entity. It serves low-income families and those unable to meet their needs through other sources.

The agency was established in 1965 and provided more than 40 different programs to more than 9,000 individuals, children and families throughout the Nebraska Panhandle.
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