In The News

  • National Civic League Accepting Applications for 2016 All-America City Award 

    Friday, October 09, 2015

    The National Civic League is accepting applications for the 2016 All-America City Award, which will recognize community efforts to ensure that all children are healthy and supported in school and life. The goal for next year's awards is to highlight local examples of innovative and effective community problem-solving that recognizes all the factors that influence the success of children, including:

    • School attendance
    • Child/family health (including targeted community health efforts)
    • Positive discipline interventions
    • Transportation (particularly focused on enabling children and their parents to access key services, employment or school)
    • Poverty/housing
    • Healthy food access
    • Job opportunities/skill development
    • Creating safe neighborhoods
    • Creating healthy natural environments that support young people's learning, activity or health

    Additional information about the All-America City Award and the application process is available online.

  • Perpetual Care Cemetery Report Due October 30 

    Friday, October 09, 2015

    ​Cities that own and operate perpetual care cemeteries are reminded that the Perpetual Care Cemetery Report is due Friday, October 30. The annual report must be filed with the Regulated Industries Unit at the Iowa Insurance Division. The report must be completed in full, signed and notarized before being submitted. Cities can mail the completed report or submit it online on the Regulated Industries Unit Web site.
  • On The Road: Budgeting, Examinations & Accounting for Municipalities 

    Tuesday, October 06, 2015

    Many clerks do not have the opportunity to attend training specifically designed for city budgets, the new examination requirements or fund accounting, so the Iowa Municipal Professionals Institute is bringing the training to six sites in October.

    Without training, many cities find it difficult to accurately complete required financial reports and practice proper internal control procedures due to limited staff and resources. This training has been designed for evening and Saturday sessions to provide trainings convenient for those who are new, part-time or have other daytime obligations. Topics include the value of a chart of accounts; understanding fund accounting; and how budgets, financial reports and regular reconciliations can lead to good audits and examinations that are newly required by state law.

  • 2-Day GIS Training now offered in Cedar Rapids 

    Tuesday, October 06, 2015

    The ISU Geospatial Technology Program is offering a new date and location for the two-day Essentials of ArcGIS GIS short course. This short course will be held October 15-16 at the Linn County Extension Office in Cedar Rapids.

    To register, fill in the registration information on the back of the brochure and send it to Nora Ladjahasan at along with the course fee. There are discounts available for ISU faculty, staff and students and for multiple individuals registering from a single organization. The last day to register for the course is October 12.​​​​

  • Award Winners 

    Tuesday, October 06, 2015

    ​Congratulations to our 2015 award winners! Several different awards were given out during the recent Annual Conference and Exhibit. Learn more about each award in the Awards section of our Web site. You can also find photos of the award winners on our Facebook Album.

    All-Star Community Awards

    • Elkader
    • Newton
    • Sheldon

    Hall of Fame Award

    • Bruce Bergman
    • Butch Niebuhr
    • Larry Nagle
    • Terry Timmins

    Rhonda Wood Smith

    • Quentin Hart

    Legislative Service Awards

    • Megan Jones
    • Pam Jachum
    • Todd Prichard
  • City Week 2015 

    Monday, October 05, 2015

    216,300 acres of roadside right-of-way are managed and maintained by the state. How much roadway (miles) are there in your city? How many tons of salt/sand do you use in the winter? Share these fun fact or others with your city during City Week, held October 12-16, 2015.

    Give your citizens would take a peek inside city operations. Showcase the important role your city plays in the lives of its citizens. Use City Week 2015 to help!

    City Week, sponsored by the Iowa League of Cities, is an opportunity to show that your city is a vibrant, innovative center for work, play and life. During City Week 2015, October 12-26, the League encourages all cities in Iowa to take the following steps:

    • Pass a resolution declaring City Week.
    • Write a letter to the editor.
    • Host a tour or open house at a city facility. (council chamber, fire station, etc.)
    • Visit a classroom to talk about what the city does.
    Examples and resources to help you do all these things, and more ideas for how to participate, are available in the toolbox at
  • MSA 

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    ​The League is proud to partner with MSA Professional Services, Inc.. MSA is a full-service firm providing engineering, surveying, environmental, planning and funding services to public and private clients in the Upper Midwest. Professionals in our 14 offices help our clients overcome challenges and build strong communities. We have Iowa offices in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque and the Quad Cities. For more information, visit

    Learn more about our Partner Programs, part of the Community Alliance Programs online.

  • Funds Available 

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced earlier this week that funds are available for additional demonstration projects focused on expanding the use of innovative water quality practices. Projects should emphasize installing practices, innovative methods of delivery and demonstrating results to farmers.

    “We continue to see strong interest from a wide variety of groups and organization looking to work collaboratively with farmers and landowners to protect water quality. Currently there are 29 collaborative, locally led projects from across that state bringing together over 100 individual partners, groups and businesses to advance water quality,” Northey said. “This new funding will help continue the momentum and allow us to continue to engage farmers and encourage even greater adoption of practices focused on protecting water quality.”

    Funds are available through the Iowa Water Quality Initiative for proposals focused on practices identified in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy that have the greatest impact on reducing nutrient loss, such as bioreactors, saturated buffers, wetlands, buffer strips and cover crops. Projects are not limited to the nine priority watersheds identified by the Water Resources Coordinating Council, but projects in those watersheds will receive preference in the application process.

    Soil and Water Conservation Districts, watershed groups and other non-governmental organizations are eligible to submit applications. Applicants will be able to seek up to three years of funding for a project, with the possibility of future extensions depending on funding availability and project performance. 

    The deadline to apply is November 13. Application guidance can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Web site at under “Hot Topics” or can be requested by contacting the Department’s Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality at (515) 281-5851.

    Earlier this year four projects focused on expanding the use and innovative delivery of water quality practices beyond an individual watershed have also received funding. These projects will receive $3.06 million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative over the next three years and be matched by $2.59 million in funding from other sources. These projects include projects that will focus on expanding the use of cover crops, edge of field practices such as bioreactors and saturated buffers, and usage of water quality wetlands.

    “Practices like bioreactors and saturated buffers have been documented to have been shown to have significant and long lasting impact on reducing nutrient loss, but are relatively new practices,” Northey said. “These projects will help build on efforts to scale up the delivery of these practices and others to broaden adoption and recognition of these important technologies.”

    The announcement of projects selected to receive funding is anticipated for early December, with January 1, 2016 as the scheduled project start date. More information can be found in the project application guidance found at under “Hot Topics.”

  • City Council Orientations Webinar Released Next Week 

    Monday, September 28, 2015

    Our next webinar on Fire Department Management and Funding will be released October 13. The webinar will discuss the importance of providing effective fire protection to the community while also ensuring the fire department is managed well. It is also important that the fire department, like all city departments, is in strong financial position and funds are budgeted properly. The webinar will feature information on the following topics:

    • The role of cities
    • Requirement in providing fire protection
    • Working with separate fire associations
    • Managing finances and funding emergency services

    Additional information and online registration is available on the 2015 Webinar Series page.

  • Good to See You 

    Friday, September 25, 2015

    ​Thank you for attending the 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibit. We hope you had a safe trip home!

    This year more than 460 people attended the Annual Conference & Exhibit in Cedar Rapids. Thank you for your participation!

    Handouts and presentations from most workshops are online, so if you missed them during the workshop you can view them on the post-conference Web page. You'll also find photos from the event, a post-event survey and a customizable news release on that page.

    See you at the 2016 event, The Power of Cities, to be held September 14-16 in Des Moines!

  • 2015 TIF Reporting Webinar Recording Available 

    Monday, September 21, 2015

    The 2015 Annual Urban Renewal Report training offered on September 15 by the Iowa League of Cities and the Department of Management is now available.

    Ted Nellesen presented a review of the AURR forms and the report's common problem areas in a two hour session. The handout and a questions and answers paper are also available on the League's web site.

  • McClure Engineering 

    Friday, September 18, 2015

    The League is proud to partner with McClure Engineering Company. McClure Engineering Company is a civil engineering and consulting firm that has been building strong communities since 1956. MEC has offices in Fort Dodge, Clive, Cedar Rapids, North Liberty and Sioux City.

    Learn more about our Partner Programs, part of the Community Alliance Programs online.

  • League receives Conservation Innovation Grant 

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015

    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced today that the Iowa League of Cities will be one of the 2015 recipients of a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) that is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The CIG program looks for innovative approaches toward increasing usage and effectiveness of conservation practices and has funded other market-based conservation efforts in the past.

    The League will receive a CIG grant totaling $700,000 over three years to fund the development of a Water Quality Offset Program in Iowa under the framework outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The ultimate goal of an offset program is to generate the same or increased nutrient reduction at a reduced cost to municipalities and their ratepayers.

    View the news release.

  • Speer Financial 

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015

    The League is proud to partner with Speer Financial. They have offered financial advice to Iowa's large and small communities since 1954. Speer Financial is a Registered Independent Municipal Advisor with expertise in all aspects of municipal finance including, but not limited to, debt management, capital improvements planning, tax increment financing and disclosure reporting.

    Learn more about our Partner Programs, part of the Community Alliance Programs online.

  • 2015 Budget Workshops Registration is Now Open! 

    Monday, September 14, 2015

    Registration is now open for the 2015 Budget Workshops, which will again be held at six locations around the state in November and December. The annual workshop series provides information and guidance on important budget matters, including fiscal trends and projections that impact city budgets as well as instructions for completing the state budget form. See below for the 2015 schedule:

    • November 10 | Spencer
    • November 12 | Mt. Pleasant
    • November 17 | Coralville
    • November 19 | Waterloo
    • December 1 | Harlan
    • December 3 | Johnston

    All workshops are 10 am - 3 pm and cost $40 for members and $70 for non-members. Please visit our 2015 Budget Workshops page for additional information, including an agenda for each event and descriptions of the different presentations.