In The News

  • Municipal Elections Guidance Webinar Now Available 

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    The 2017 League Webinar Series continues this month with Municipal Elections Guidance, which provides details on this year's city elections. Viewers will learn the city's role in the election process, candidate nomination requirements, process to fill council vacancies, campaign laws and more.

    The 2017 series will feature six webinars on topics important to all city officials. New this year, the webinars are free to access and watch after posted to the League Web site. Please continue to visit www.iowaleague.org for additional information about the webinars and to view them as they become available throughout the year.

    City Clerk Duties and Responsibilities | Available Now!
    The Impact of Drones | Available Now!
    Municipal Elections Guidance | Available Now!
    Grant Management and Funding Sources | June 27
    Annual Financial Report Instructions | August 22
    What the Future Holds for City Governments | October 24
     
    Please visit the League Webinar Series page to learn more about this years webinars. 

     
  • Small City Workshops Start Next Week 

    Sunday, May 21, 2017

    ​Registration is open for the 2017 Small City Workshops, which begin next week with stops in Springville and Aurelia. The annual workshop series offers city staff and elected officials an opportunity to learn more about topics important to their communities while networking with fellow city officials.

    This year's topic will focus on how cities combat nuisance properties and derelict buildings and homes in their community. Many cities struggle to find effective ways to clean up their community and may not understand all of their options, particularly when they are able to acquire abandoned, derelict buildings. The workshop will feature an overview of nuisance abatement processes, guidance on the Iowa DNR's Derelict Building Program and case studies of cities that have made improvements to their community.

    All workshops are scheduled for 5:30-8 p.m. and the cost is $40 (dinner is included). The workshops will be held on the following dates and locations:

    • May 30 – Springville
    • June 1 – Aurelia
    • June 6 – Chariton
    • June 8 – New Hampton
    • June 13 – Story City
    • June 15 – Anita

    Additional information about the workshops and online registration is available on the 2017 Small City Workshops page.

     
  • IEDA Downtown Forums Coming in June 

    Friday, May 19, 2017

    ​The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Downtown Resource Center is hosting four downtown forums in June to bring together community leaders to discuss ideas, successes and challenges. Downtown Resource Center staff will facilitate discussions and give brief presentations related to downtown development. The focus this year will be on market analysis, retention, recruitment and succession.

    The forums will be held at the following locations:

    June 13 – Maquoketa
    June 14 – Cresco
    June 20 – Indianola
    June 21 – Lake City

    The downtown forums are free to attend and additional information is available on the IEDA Web site.

     
  • Service Outage Planned for Evening of May 23 

    Thursday, May 18, 2017

    On the evening of May 23, registration pages will become temporarily unavailable as the system is upgraded. The outage will begin at 8 p.m. on May 23, and access is expected to be restored by 8 a.m. on May 24. 
    During the outage you will not be able to register for the League's Small City Workshops and paid webinars, IaCMA's Summer Conference, the Municipal Professionals Institute and Academy as well as dues registration for IMFOA and IMAA. During this upgrade, access to Member Resource logins, classifed listings, city listings and the League's Service Directory will also see intermittent outages. When service is restored, this message will be updated.​​
     
  • Cities Encouraged to Participate in Census LUCA Program 

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017

    ​Cities are encouraged to participate in the 2020 Census Local Update of Census Address Program (LUCA). The program provides the only opportunity for governments to verify and update residential addresses, helping make the 2020 Census as accurate as possible.

    Cities should have received notifications that provided initial details from the Census Bureau about LUCA in January. Invitation letters will be sent in July, and final participation materials will be mailed in February 2018. Additional details are available on the Census Web site.

     
  • IDOT Five Year Transportation Plan Draft Released 

    Monday, May 15, 2017

    The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) recently released a draft of its five-year Iowa Transportation Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2018-2022. The plan details future improvements to the state’s multimodal transportation system, including aviation, transit, railroads, trails and highways. The Iowa Transportation Commission will consider adopting the plan at its June 13 meeting in Coralville. Public comments are being accepted on the program's Web site.

    The draft 5-year plan includes approximately $3.5 billion for highway right-of-way and construction with a primary investment objective of stewardship (i.e. safety, maintenance and modernization) of Iowa’s existing highway system. More than $1.7 billion is programmed in FY 2018 through FY 2022 for modernization of Iowa’s existing highway system and for enhanced highway safety features. In addition, the commission added construction for four-lane improvements to U.S. 61 in Des Moines and Louisa counties along with significant projects to improve sections of state and interstate highways.

    A large part of funding available for highway programming comes from the federal government. Accurately estimating future federal funding levels is dependent on having a multiyear federal transportation authorization bill. The current authorization, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, was signed into law on December 4, 2015. For the first time in many years, this authorization bill provides federal funding certainty for most of the time period covered by the five-year plan.

     
  • Preserve Iowa Summit 

    Friday, May 12, 2017

    Want to learn about gravestone restoration, archaeology, how to build a preservation ethic in your city, preserving buildings from the modern period, historic tax credits and more? Then the Preserve Iowa Summit is for you!

    The 2017 Preserve Iowa Summit will be held in Fort Dodge's Downtown Historic District and Oak Hill Historic District on June 8-10.

    General sessions, concurrent breakout sessions, and hands-on educational training will occur throughout the Summit -- as well as informational tours, networking opportunities and an exhibit hall. Two special workshops on Iowa's agricultural history and gravestone repair are planned for Saturday, June 10.

    Registration discounts are available. Learn more online.

     
  • Cities are Invited to Participate in Volunteer Survey 

    Friday, May 12, 2017

    ​Cities are invited to participate in a Statewide Volunteer Engagement Survey being conducted by Volunteer Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The survey hopes to strengthen the understanding of the impact of volunteers in Iowa and help Volunteer Iowa measure its volunteer services, allowing for better support of organizations with volunteer engagement.

    The survey is open to all nonprofit organizations, service clubs, schools, and local/county/state government agencies in the state of Iowa. Any entity that works with volunteers is encouraged to provide their feedback. The survey closes June 12.
     
  • Certified Elected Municipal Official 

    Thursday, May 11, 2017

    To recognize elected officials who are committed to continuing their professional development, the Iowa League of Cities established the Certified Elected Municipal Official (CEMO) program. This voluntary recognition program utilizes training opportunities offered by the League, allowing attendees to build towards the CEMO designation while receiving meaningful, informative and useful information on topics that expand the elected official's knowledge and capabilities.

    Fifty credits are needed to obtain the CEMO designation; this includes a mix of required core and elective credits. Credits for training are only available for events attended after January 1, 2012, and credits can be used only once for each training. For an overview of credits and additional information visit the CEMO Web page on the League's Web site or review the CEMO Application Form. ​

     
  • Municipal Professionals Academy Registration Open 

    Tuesday, May 09, 2017

    The Municipal Professionals Academy (MPA) has a long standing tradition of providing quality education to city staff. Register for the 2017 in Ames, July 26-28 for:

    • Opportunities to meet clerks from across the state - make friends and business acquaintances.
    • Updates on new laws, programs and technology affecting Iowa municipal  government.
    • An opportunity for credits toward recertification for IMFOA and IIMC sponsored certifications.

    Topics this year include:

    • GASB 77 (for all cities with tax abatements or who prepare financial statements)
    • Regulations for borrowing money
    • Succession planning
    • Economic development
    • Best hiring practices
    • AND so much more!

    This year only, MPA also offers a finance short course on Thursday from 1 - 5:15 p.m. presented by the Department of Management and the State Auditor's Office on GASB 77 and state and federal regulations for borrowing money. 
    Register online and find the event on Facebook and Twitter.​

     
  • City Collaboration Special Report Now Available! 

    Friday, May 05, 2017

    ​The League's new special report on City Collaboration is now available! The report offers guidance on ways cities can collaborate with public, nonprofit and private partners.

    Readers will gain a better understanding of how to effectively use 28E agreements for partnering with other governmental entities, how to successfully work with nonprofit and private partners, and tips for completing contract negotiations. The report also reviews how cities use 28E agreements to share services, equipment and resources and details a variety of case studies that illustrate how cities are effectively collaborating with others to provide services to their residents.

     
  • Funding Available Through IDOT Railroad Revolving Loan and Grant Program 

    Friday, May 05, 2017

    The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) is accepting funding applications for its Railroad Revolving Loan and Grant (RRLG) program, which provides financial assistance to improve rail facilities that will create jobs, spur economic activity and improve the rail transportation system in Iowa. The RRLG program has three funding categories under which eligible applicants may apply:

    • Targeted job creation
      Rail projects that provide immediate, direct job opportunities. Funding is contingent on job creation and retention commitments by the applicant. Both grants and loans are available. Grant requests require a 50 percent match contribution to the overall rail project cost. Loan requests require a 20 percent match contribution.
    • Rail network improvement
      Rail projects that support existing rail lines and service. No direct job creation is required. Only loans are available in this category. Loans will be offered at 0 percent for a 10-year term. Loan requests require a 20 percent match contribution.
    • Rail Port Planning and Development
      These studies will further efforts to plan, design and otherwise prepare for the development of rail port facilities. Grants will be available in this category. Grant requests require a 20 percent match contribution. No single award may be greater than $100,000.
    Applications for funding must be submitted by June 16 at 3:30 p.m. Additional information and applications are available on the RRLG Web site.
     
  • Cities are Eligible for Placemaking Grant 

    Thursday, May 04, 2017

    ​Transportation for America (T4A), with support from 1000 Friends of Iowa, has grant funding available to support creative placemaking projects. The program will provide $50,000 each to three cities for placemaking projects that engage residents, attract the attention of local public works and transportation agencies, and spark new conversations that bring more people to the table to plan and implement new transportation investments.

    Under the program, T4A hopes to boost community engagement in the planning of important transportation projects that expands collaboration with local partners and supports creative placemaking concepts. Cities are eligible to serve as the lead applicant, but all applications must include at least two partners from the public/quasi-public, nonprofit or private sectors.

    Grant applications are due June 2 and additional information is available on the T4A Web site.

     
  • Cityscape ePub 

    Tuesday, May 02, 2017

    The League's electronic Cityscape magazine ePub magazine for the May2017  issue has been released.

    Take the time to select your subscription preference: print, electronic or both. Unless action is taken, your subscription will continue to note a preference for print. Visit www.iowaleague.org to change your preference.

     
  • Five Iowa Communities Announced as All-America City Finalists 

    Friday, April 28, 2017

    The 2017 All-America City Award (AAC) finalists were announced, and Iowa is once again well represented in the list of 27 finalists. Five Iowa communities are poised to receive the recognition created 67 years ago by the National Civic League. This year, the award is recognizing communities that have made measurable progress for low-income children on the key drivers of early reading success — school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and grade-level reading. Iowa finalists for the award are Ames, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque and the Quad Cities region.

    To learn more about the AAC Award criteria and to view profiles for each AAC Award finalist visit www.gradelevelreading.net/aacaward.​