In The News

  • Iowa State University Extension Annual Debt Analysis Reports Now Available 

    Monday, October 15, 2018

    The first Annual Debt Analysis Reports, FYE 2017, for all cities in Iowa is now available for purchase on the Iowa State University (ISU) Extension Store

    Published under the Iowa Government Finance Initiative through ISU Extension and Outreach, Community and Economic Development, the customized reports include an assessment of debt capacity, outstanding debt and debt service as it relates to different types of bonds. Using annual debt related data from 2013-2017, the report supplements with additional data on property valuation, levy rates and other socioeconomic and financial variables to layout a context and illustrate the long-term investments being made at the municipal level on public infrastructure. To facilitate comparison, peer averages are included to assess relative debt situation. The reports carry a nominal price which are tied to the population of a city. Questions may be directed to Biswa Das, bdas@iastate.edu.

     
  • Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Grants 

    Monday, October 15, 2018

    The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation​ accepts grant applications quarterly in the area of public safety for lifesaving equipment, prevention education, scholarships and education, and disaster relief. The targeted locations are within 60 miles of a Firehouse Subs restaurant.​ 
     
  • 2018 Budget Workshops Begin Soon! 

    Friday, October 12, 2018

    ​The 2018 Budget Workshops are right around the corner, featuring six events in locations around the state this November and December. Online registration is available for the popular workshop series, which provides the latest information and guidance to help cities develop the annual budget. Attendees will learn of financial projections important to city finances as well as instructions on completing the city budget form. Also, this year's advanced session will take a look at city levy rate usage and discuss ways your city can make improvements. Below are the dates and locations for the workshops:

    November 13 – Storm Lake
    King’s Pointe
    1520 E Lakeshore Drive, Storm Lake, IA 50588

    November 15 – Hiawatha
    Hiawatha City Hall and Community Center
    101 Emmons Street, Hiawatha, IA 52233

    November 27 – Waverly
    Waverly Area Veterans Post (WAVP)
    1300 4th Street NW, Waverly, IA 50677

    November 29 – Carson
    Carson Community Center
    316 S Commercial Street, Carson IA 51525

    December 4 – Fairfield
    Fairfield Arts and Convention Center
    200 N Main Street, Fairfield, IA 52556

    December 6 – Johnston
    Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center
    5291 Stoney Creek Court, Johnston, IA 50131

    Each workshop will run 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and cost $45 (lunch is included). Join us this fall as you begin work on your city budget!
     
  • IDOT LIFTS Program Offers Multimodal Facility Funding 

    Thursday, October 11, 2018

    ​The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) provides funding for freight transportation systems through its Linking Iowa's Freight Transportation System (LIFTS) program. LIFTS supports multimodal and freight needs for eligible projects across the state. Cities, counties, planning organizations and other transportation users are eligible for the grants and the program has made $1.3 million available for this round.

    The purpose of the LIFTS program is to:

    • Enhance economic development by improving multimodal freight transportation
    • Provide flexible funding for changing demands of freight transportation
    • Enhance ability to provide competitive transportation options for shipment of products and moving goods
    • Incentivize alternate modes for economic development partnership purposes
    Grant applications are due December 10, and additional information is available on the IDOT website.
     
  • I-380 Planning Study 

    Tuesday, October 09, 2018

    The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) will hold a public information meeting Tuesday, October 23 to discuss the Interstate 380 Planning Study and gather public feedback on the technical reports. The reports and previous online meetings are available to view online at www.iowadot.gov/I380PlanningStudy.

    All interested persons are invited to attend this meeting anytime between 5 and 6:30 p.m. at the North Liberty Recreation Center, 520 W. Cherry Street in North Liberty.

    The meeting will be conducted utilizing an open forum format. Iowa DOT staff will be present to informally discuss the planning study. No formal presentation will be made. If you are not able to attend this meeting, information and materials will be available online at the project website.

    The meeting space is accessible for persons with disabilities. However, if you require special accommodations at the meeting, please notify the Iowa DOT by October 19.

    To submit a comment online about this project go to https://bit.ly/Iowadot906882​.

     
  • Small Business Revolution - Main Street 

    Monday, October 08, 2018

    Nominations are now open for one small town to win a $500,000 revitalization and be featured in Season 4 of the acclaimed "Small Business Revolution - Main Street" series, starring TV's Makeover Master Ty Pennington.

    This marks the fourth "Small Business Revolution - Main Street" contest, which was created by Deluxe Corporation. The winning city and its small businesses will receive one-on-one guidance from Marketing Expert Amanda Brinkman; business services from Deluxe; upgrades to the town's public spaces; and a starring role in the acclaimed series.

    To see what's at stake - and the immense impact that the program could have on your town - you can watch Season 1 of the series about Wabash, Indiana, Season 2, about Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania, and Season 3, about Alton, Illinois, which just debuted. The fourth year is sure to be even bigger and better - and in addition to the $500,000 transformation and video series, the winning town will receive major publicity: The program has been covered in thousands of news stories spanning everything from the Wall Street Journal, to Entrepreneur Magazine, to TV stations across the country.

    Nominations are open through October 26 and take only a few minutes to complete. Once finalists are announced, the American public will vote to determine the final winner. Eligible cities must have fewer than 50,000 residents, and anyone can nominate a town, whether they live there or not.

    More details are available at SmallBusinessRevolution.org​.
     
  • Volkswagen Settlement in Iowa 

    Monday, October 08, 2018

    Through the Volkswagen Settlement the state of Iowa received $21 million to use on projects that reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from the transportation sector in the state. Eligible projects include replacing or repowering diesel vehicles model year 2009 or older. This includes the replacement or repowering of Class 4-8 vehicles. To learn more about the Volkswagen settlement funding and eligible projects for the state of Iowa click here.

     

    The application to apply to replace or repower vehicles is expected to be released mid-Fall of 2018. The Iowa Clean Cities Coalition encourages people to be planning projects now, if they want to apply.

    Sign-up to receive updates regarding the VW settlement online

     

     
  • Cities Eligible for Naloxone Rebate Program 

    Thursday, October 04, 2018

    Through an agreement between the Iowa Attorney General's Office and Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., eligible entities (including public EMS providers) can get a $6 per dose rebate for each Amphastar Naloxone syringe purchased. The program is administered by the Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy, and cities are eligible to participate.

    To be eligible for the $6 per dose rebate it is not necessary that a public entity originally purchased the Naloxone from Amphastar. Public entities that purchase Amphastar-manufactured Naloxone from a pharmacy, wholesale distributor or other third party are also eligible for the $6 per dose rebate. Only Amphastar-manufactured Naloxone syringes purchased between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2019 are eligible for the rebate. Rebate requests are due at the end of each calendar quarter (the next deadline is October 23). Additional information is available online.

     
  • REAP Conservation Education Program Funding Available 

    Thursday, October 04, 2018

    ​The Iowa DNR's Resource and Enhancement Protection (REAP) program is accepting grant applications for the the Conservation Education Program. Approximately $350,000 in grants is available annually for environmental education projects. There is no limit on grant amounts for standard applications, although the average award over the last two years was $26,000. There are also mini-grants available with a maximum award of $3,500.

    Grant applications are accepted twice per year and next deadline is November 1. Additional information about the program is available on the Conservation Education Program website.

     
  • Cityscape ePub 

    Monday, October 01, 2018

    The League's electronic Cityscape magazine for the October 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.​​

     
  • Cities Invited to IGFI Annual Workshops 

    Monday, October 01, 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.

     
  • Iowa Flood Center: Requests for Stream Sensors 

    Monday, October 01, 2018

    As floods continue to impact the safety and economic stability of our communities, infrastructure and valuable farmland, the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) requests your feedback to determine where additional stream sensors are needed to enhance the flood monitoring and prediction capabilities in your area.

    IFC is collecting a list of proposed stream sensor locations from partners with localized flood experiences, knowledge of information gaps, and who are actively engaged in their area flood response. Please discuss potential locations of priority stream sensor sites for your communities with your local emergency response team and submit proposed locations by filling out the information requested via this link: https://tinyurl.com/ybqwwoex.

    Please submit proposed locations by October 19.

    IFC will attempt to leverage the list of identified priority stream sensor locations for additional funding and resources. It is their goal to help you with the installation and deployment of more stream sensors. Please note, the IFC currently does not have resources available to help with a large sensor deployment; rather, they are collecting information to demonstrate the need and show support for expansion of the statewide stream sensor network. If funding does become available, the IFC team will assess your proposed locations to determine site suitability.

    Our IFC sensors provide near real-time river level information at about 250 locations statewide, displaying data every 15 minutes on the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS). The self-contained sensors are mounted on bridges and operate using solar power. The sensors measure river levels using a sonar signal, and data are transmitted via cell modem to the IFIS public interface. 

    Contact Breanna R. Shea with questions at (319) 384-1729.

     
  • GrantFinder Subscription Available to League Members 

    Friday, September 28, 2018

    ​All cities are eligible to subscribe to GrantFinder, a program offered through the Iowa League of Cities' partnership with Praetorian Digital’s EfficientGov. EfficientGov is an information service that tracks innovative solutions to fiscal and operational challenges facing cities and towns across the country. EfficientGov provides local government leaders with unlimited access to information and tools that help reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of government.

    Through this partnership, the League is able to offer 100 of our members an annual subscription to GrantFinder, the largest searchable database of private, state and federal grants available to municipalities and local nonprofits. GrantFinder provides an excellent grant search function, a tracking system for grant application deadlines, a personalized grant calendar with programmed alerts and more.

    A subscription costs only $50 per year and is available on a first come, first serve basis until all subscriptions are purchased. If you are interested in receiving access, please contact Mickey Shields at mickeyshields@iowaleague.org or (515) 244-7282. Cities can also fill out the GrantFinder Order Form and mail it along with payment to the League to gain access.
     
  • Best Development Award Application Process Open 

    Thursday, September 27, 2018

    1000 Friends of Iowa is accepting nominations for its 2018 Best Development Awards, which began in 2001 to showcase development projects and programs in Iowa that best reflect the principles of smart growth and sustainability and to recognize the efforts of the cities, businesses and individuals that are responsible for these projects.

    Awards are given in 12 categories: stormwater management, transportation/complete streets, renewable energy, placemaking/greenspace, mixed use, innovative leadership, renovated civic, new civic, renovated commercial, new commercial, renovated residential and new residential. Nominations can be made through October 31; more information about the awards is available on the 1000 Friends of Iowa website.

     
  • Census: Create a Complete Count Committee  

    Thursday, September 27, 2018

    The next census does not officially begin until April 1, 2020; however, the U.S. Census Bureau is now encouraging state, tribal and local governments to create Complete Count Committees (CCC). The primary function of these committees is to increase awareness and to motivate residents to respond to the 2020 Census. Essentially, these groups serve as census ambassadors to increase census self-response rates and build overall community awareness of the census process. These groups are generally comprised of government and community leaders from education, business, healthcare and a wide cross section of community organizations. These groups are often designed with a particular focus on households that may be hard to count (immigrant communities, homeless populations or even gated communities).

     

    Community leaders know how best to reach these groups and thus can cater messages to encourage better participation. Activities could include media briefings, rallies, newsletter articles and interfaith breakfasts. More than 10,000 CCCs were formed during the 2010 Census with a majority organized at the local government level. Now is the time to be forming CCCs. For additional information visit www.census.gov or email the regional U.S. Census Bureau office servicing Iowa at Chicago.rcc.partnership@2020census.gov. ​