In The News

  • Cities in the News 

    Tuesday, August 14, 2018

    ​The Iowa League of Cities collects news articles from the week to share with our members. Cities are doing great things around the state, and we want to celebrate your success with you. If your city is in the news please share it with us at citynews@iowaleague.org.  

     

     Note: The articles compiled above come from independent media sources who are solely responsible for their content. Iowa League of Cities staff did not participate in writing any of these articles and Iowa League of Cities does not necessarily endorse the content of the articles. Some articles may be available only by subscription. All cities in the news will not be featured each week.

     
  • Earn Professional Development Credits at the League Conference 

    Friday, August 10, 2018

    Several types of professional development credits are available for attending educational workshops at the League's Annual Conference & Exhibit in Council Bluffs, September 12-14.

    City Clerks and Finance Officers
    Members of the Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association (IMFOA) can receive up to 9 flex credits for the 2018 Annual Conference & Exhibit. Flex credits are used by IMFOA members to become an Iowa Certified Municipal Clerk or Iowa Certified Municipal Finance Officer. Attendees should verify attendance at each workshop by handing the League staffer a ticket, which they should ask for and pick-up at registration. Credits will appear in the online IMFOA tracking system by the end of October. In addition, those seeking certification from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) will be able to obtain one CMC Experience Point or one MMC Professional Contribution Point per educational day of attendance. 

    Attorneys
    Attorneys can receive up to six Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for attending specific workshops at the Annual Conference. Additional details and a list of approved CLE workshops can be found here.​ 

     
  • Iowa Finance Authority Offer Iowa Profile Tool 

    Friday, August 10, 2018

    ​The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) is offering a new tool, the Iowa Profile, a centralized and interactive collection of demographic, economic and housing data. The first of its kind resource in Iowa will be useful to city planners, economic development professionals and more in accessing valuable data and factors that influence the development, use, rehabilitation and need for housing. Users can review population data, housing production, household composition, current and future housing demands, rental property vacancy rates and more.
     
  • PERB to Host Regional Meetings 

    Thursday, August 09, 2018

    ​The Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) will host its Road Show later this month, featuring 13 regional meetings across the state. The meetings are open to the public and will feature discussion on collective bargaining unit retention and recertification elections. PERB staff will be on hand to present on schedules, timelines, employees lists, eligible voters, fees and more. Those that have not gone through the recertification process are encouraged to attend and PERB staff will be available to answer questions.
     
  • Cities Invited to IGFI Annual Workshops 

    Thursday, August 09, 2018

    Iowa State University Extension will host a series of workshops this fall to discuss the Iowa Government Finance Initiative (IGFI). The workshops will offer details on IGFI, which analyzes trends and financial performance of selected census, economic, education and other indicators. The data can help city officials better understand their city's fiscal condition and prepare for future budget needs.

    The annual IGFI Workshops is designed as "tool-based training" for city officials and will cover how to use the IGFI annual city and county fiscal conditions reports, the value of economic indicators, comparisons with peers, trends in outstanding debt and debt capacity, and property tax data. The workshops will be held at six locations around state in late September through mid-October and online registration is available.

     
  • U.S. EDA Offers Funding Through Regional Innovation Strategies Program 

    Tuesday, August 07, 2018

    ​The U.S. Economic Development Administration has created a new Reginal Innovation Strategies program to offer funding assistance to local entrepreneurs and organizations that provide support to innovators and entrepreneurs. The program's funding opportunities are available through the following initiatives:

    • i6 Challenge - Designed to support the creation of centers for innovation and entrepreneurship that increase the rate at which innovations, ideas, intellectual property and research are translated into products, services, viable companies and jobs.
    • Seed Fund Support Program - Designed to provide funding for technical assistance to support the creation, launch or expansion of equity-based, cluster-focused seed funds that invest regionally-managed risk capital in regionally-based startups with a potential for high growth.

    Applications are due August 29 and more information is available on the Reginal Innovation Strategies Web site.

     
  • Share ideas and learn from one another 

    Tuesday, August 07, 2018

    Each year we hear that one of the most valuable aspects of the League’s Annual Conference and Exhibit is talking with fellow city officials and sharing ideas and stories. This is done in workshops, of course. But also in the hallways during breaks or during the receptions and bus rides during the conference.

     

    One of the ways city projects and successes are highlighted and shared is during the Awards Banquet on Thursday evening. There we’ll recognize great city projects with the All-Star Community Awards. (And be sure to participate in the People’s All-Star voting on Facebook, which begins next week, to select the final winner.) We’ll also recognize individuals who have made great contributions to the work cities do.

    But don’t take it from us. Here are some quotes from last year’s conference attendees. We asked them what they would tell other city officials about the event:

    “I enjoyed talking to people from other communities about what going on in their towns. I also found these discussions useful in looking at my own community’s projects and progress.”

    “Knowledge is power, understanding is bliss. There is no better place to learn about the opportunities of city government than with real life experience.” – Kim Downs, Hiawatha

    ​“This is your chance to lean what other officials are doing to make their cities a “good place to live and work.” Learn about their stumbling blocks and possibly avoid those. Learn about the successes and use those.”

    More information and registration are available online. See you September 21-14 in Council Bluffs for information, networking and experiences to help make your “City Strong.”

     
  • Our Town Grants Available Through National Endowment for the Arts 

    Monday, August 06, 2018

    ​The National Endowment for the Arts has grant funding available through its Our Town program, which supports creative placemaking efforts. Funding is available for projects that integrate arts, culture and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical and/or social outcomes. Successful Our Town projects ultimately lay the groundwork for systemic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture and design into strategies for strengthening communities.

    The program offers assistance through Place-Based Projects and Knowledge Building Projects, each designed to boost quality of life and cultural understanding with matching grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000. Additional information about the Our Town program is available online.

     
  • Alliant Energy Offers Grant Programs to Cities 

    Monday, August 06, 2018

    ​Alliant Energy, a League Community Alliance Partner, has grant funding available to cities for a variety of local projects. The Community Grants program offer funding for projects that fit into one of three areas: helping families, education and environment. Grants under this program typically range from $500 to $5,000 to support Alliant Energy communities. The Hometown Safety program provides funding to help communities purchase life-saving and other protecting equipment. These grants typically range from $500 to $2,000 and are available for Alliant Energy communities.

    Each grant program has an application deadline of September 1 and more information can be found on the Alliant Energy web site.

     
  • Iowa Department of Managements Offers GASB 77 Resources 

    Monday, August 06, 2018

    ​The Iowa Department of Management (IDOM) has posted several resources aimed at assisting local governments in completing their GASB 77 requirements. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement Number 77 requires governments that enter into tax abatement agreements to disclose information as of June 30, 2018. Primarily it involves cities using tax increment financing under the urban renewal provisions in Chapter 403 of the state code or pre-approved valuation abatements under Chapter 404, Urban Revitalization.

    IDOM resources include Chapter 403 and Chapter 404 letter generators to help communicate financial data to other affected taxing authorities. Also, cities can view a master reporting list that shows entities using tax increment financing and therefore subject to GASB 77 requirements.

     
  • Cityscape ePub 

    Wednesday, August 01, 2018

    The League's electronic Cityscape magazine ePub magazine for the August 2018 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.

     
  • Congratulations, All-Star Community Award winners 

    Monday, July 30, 2018

    ​The League’s All-Star Community Award promotes, acknowledges and encourages excellence in local government. Judges, who are former city officials and individuals with connections to municipal government, looked for each project’s impact on the community, including how it met the community’s needs, how many people it affected and its longevity. Judged entries are divided into three population categories.

    Less than 3,000 in population: Lisbon’s Solar Project

    3,000-9,999 in population: Bondurant’s Porch Swings and Fireflies Project

    More than 10,000 in population: Marion’s Uptown Artway

     

    People’s Choice Winner: You decide beginning August 13 at www.Facebook.com/IowaLeagueofCities

    Congratulations to this year’s winners!

    For more photos of the winning projects, check out the All-Star Winners Album at www.Facebook.com/IowaLeagueofCities.

    The League is currently accepting applications for the 2019 All-Star Community Awards, which will recognize projects from the 2018 calendar year. Learn more in the Awards section of www.iowaleague.org.​​​​

     
  • Save money on League Conference Registration 

    Monday, July 30, 2018

    The League offers an early registration discount to those who register for the Annual Conference and Exhibit​ this week! Register now to get $50 off registration, taking the price from $255 to $205.

     

    August 7 is also the expiration date for many League blocks at conference hotels. A registration must be submitted to keep a room at conference hotels.

    Want to participate in the Annual Fun Run/Walk on Thursday morning at Gray’s Lake? Sign-up for the free event before August 7 to get a complimentary Run/Walk shirt.

    The League conference includes more than 40 workshops, numerous networking events and is the largest training in the state geared specifically to you—the elected and appointed municipal officials of Iowa.

    Long-time conference attendees will tell you the event is about more than just the workshops and general sessions; it includes the exhibit hall, networking, receptions and the chance to spend a few days connecting with your peers and discovering new ways make your city strong.

    Don’t take our word for it! Check out this video invitation from Coralville Mayor and League President John Lundell to learn more.

    See you September 12-14 in Council Bluffs! ​​​​​
     
  • On-The-Road: Budgeting, Examinations & Accounting for Municipalities 

    Monday, July 30, 2018

    Couldn't make it to Municipal Professionals Institute in Ames this year? Maybe On-The-Road: Budgeting, Examinations & Accounting for Municipalities is for you! 
    Many cities find it difficult to accurately complete required financial documents and complete proper procedures for the Annual Financial Report, the budget and the 2013 Oversight law in part because they rely on part time clerks/treasurers who are not able to attend training sessions due to time and travel cost to attend Municipal Professionals Institute in Ames in July. To meet the needs of those unable to attend in Ames, On-the-Road, Budget, Examinations, & Accounting for Municipalities will bring the same high quality education to six regional sites. This course does qualify for certification credit from IIMC and IMFOA certification programs.

    This is hands-on training. Participants are asked to bring the city's budget (state forms), annual financial report and chart of accounts. Seats at the sessions are limited due to the availability of computers. Registration is $70 via credit card​ and includes a meal. Cancellations made within five days of the training sesssion will be charged a $25 fee.

    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 required by state law.
    2018 Locations

    Tuesday, October 2, 2018
    2 - 8:30 p.m.
    Southwest Iowa Community College
    2520 College Dr. in Osceola
     
    Thursday, October 4, 2018
    2 - 8:30 p.m.
    Northeast Iowa Community College
    1200 1/2 W Main St. in Manchester
    Park in the back lot and use the back entrance
     
    Tuesday, October 9, 2018
    2 - 8:30 p.m.
    Iowa Lakes Community College
    3200 College Dr. in Emmetsburg

    Thursday, October 11, 2018
    2 - 8:30 p.m.
    Southeast Iowa Community College
    200 North Main in Mt Pleasant
    Park to the South or West of the building
     
    Tuesday, October 23, 2018
    2 - 8:30 p.m.
    Iowa Western Community College
    705 Walnut St. in Atlantic
     
    Thursday, October 25, 2018
    2 - 8:30 p.m.
    North Iowa Area Community College
    203 Brantingham St. in Charles City


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  • Cities Invited to Lean Government Exhange 

    Sunday, July 29, 2018

    ​City officials are invited to the second annual Lean Government Exchange, August 30 in Des Moines. The event will feature guidance on improving organizational processes, creating efficiencies and being innovative. Keynote speaker Brian Helms specializes in government innovation and process improvement with more than 15 years of experience providing political, policy and program management expertise to government agencies, elected officials, trade associations and nonprofits. The day will continue with breakout sessions focused on introducing, growing and sustaining Lean in an organization.

    Additional information and online registration is available on the Lean Government Exchange Web site. ​