In The News

  • IDOT RISE Funding Available 

    Friday, July 22, 2016

    Funding is available through the Revitalize Iowa's Sound Economy (RISE) program at the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT). RISE provides grant assistance for projects that promote economic development through the establishment, construction, improvement and maintenance of streets that improve or maintain highway access to development sites, economically depressed areas, trucking terminals, points of shipments and tourist attractions, among other things.

    All cities and counties in the state are eligible to apply for and receive funds under the RISE program. Joint applications from two or more counties or cities are encouraged when mutual action is required to support economic development. Joint applications shall designate a lead county or city to serve as a principal contact point for the department.

    Grant applications are due September 1 and must be filed with the IDOT. More information and application packets are available on the RISE Web site.

     
  • Cities Encouraged to Utilitze IEDA Nuisance Property & Abandoned Building Remediation Program 

    Friday, July 22, 2016

    ​Cities are eligible to apply for funding assistance through the Iowa Economic Development Authority's (IEDA's) Nuisance Property & Abandoned Building Remediation Program. Low interest loans are available to assist in funding the demolition or remediation and reuse of residential, commercial or industrial structures, and a project may include properties at multiple sites and locations.

    Assistance under the program is in the form of a loan and does not have a minimum or maximum loan request amount. Interest rates will range from one to three percent and will vary based on the term of loan. Communities with a population of 2,000 or less may request a loan at zero percent with loan terms of 12, 24 or 36 months. Final amounts, terms and interest rate will be included in the contract between the community and IEDA.

    Additional information on the program can be found on the IEDA Web site. 

     
  • Brownfield & Abandoned Site Resource Grant Workshop 

    Thursday, July 21, 2016

    The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has grants and technical assistance available for brownfields and is hosting a FREE workshop on September 21 in Ames to offer tips, tricks, success stories,and a road map for how we can help you tackle brownfield sites in your community!  To find out more about this brownfield resource workshop go to www.ksutab.org/education/workshops. For more information you can contact Mel Pins mel.pins@dnr.iowa.gov or (515) 725-8344.

    ​Does your community have vacant, abandoned or underutilized commercial or industrial sites where questions about environmental contamination have hindered interest in sale, reuse and redevelopment? Does your community wish to acquire and direct redevelopment at these sites, but has been hesitant to because of environmental liability, assessment or cleanup costs? If so, you have a “brownfield”, defined as sites where environmental angst has dissuaded reuse and redevelopment. Brownfields are commonly former gas stations, abandoned petroleum bulk plants, old buildings with asbestos, or other contaminant concerns. Brownfields affect the quality, character, and tax base of your community, and this workshop is for you!  

     
  • Hawkeye on Safety 

    Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    ​Hawkeye on Safety 2016 is a one-day conference to provide current information on health and safety topics in construction and facilities, as well as key networking opportunities needed to keep current in safety standards and trends.

    The event will take place 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, at the Coralville Marriott. To learn more or register, visit their Web site.

     
  • I-80 Planning Study 

    Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    ​The Iowa Department of Transportation is conducting a planning study of Interstate 80. The study will be developed and released through a series of technical reports that identify the existing condition of I-80, the way the system is performing, short- and long-term issues, and strategies to improve the route. Each report will be accessible online as it becomes available on the Iowa DOT’s I-80 Planning Study Web site.

     
  • Leadership Development Offered at Annual Conference 

    Monday, July 18, 2016

    ​Attendees of the League's Annual Conference & Exhibit, to be held September 14-16 in Des Moines, will have the opportunity to attend a special leadership development workshop.

    The Leadership Role for City Officials workshop will be held Wednesday, 1:30-4:30 p.m. and feature three components that will provide guidance to city officials on improving leadership qualities. The workshop will start by helping attendees gain an understanding of their leadership traits and evaluate how they view leadership in their city. Discussion will then move to team building and provide tips for cities on strengthening their understanding of roles and responsibilities within the organization as well as ways to better plan for future projects. The workshop will wrap up with methods for creating a successful culture, including how to improve council and staff relationship and dealing with difficult people.

    The League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit is the largest training in the state designed specifically for Iowa’s elected and appointed city officials. The conference also includes ample opportunity to network with peers and learn from one another. The small city workshop track is part of the conference's overall workshop schedule, which includes nearly 40 options that cover a wide range of municipal government issues. See the full conference schedule to learn about these workshops and register for the conference.

     
  • Water Recreation Access Cost-Share Program  

    Monday, July 18, 2016

    The Water Recreation Access Cost-Share Program is available for constructing or improving boat access facilities to Iowa's lakes and streams. Projects can include boat ramps, loading/off-loading docks and other structures to enhance use by the public. Political subdivisions of the State of Iowa may participate in the program. The project must have a cost share eligible estimate of $1,000. The application must be submitted and approved prior to expenditure of funds by the local sponsor, or it is ineligible.  

    Projects that will not be funded include:

    • Acquisition of land when the principal use of the land will be for something other than recreation boating access.​
    • Development which will not provide improved or increased public access to boating waters.
    • Force account labor (sponsor's own labor and equipment) or donated labor and equipment use. Cost for materials may be eligible for reimbursement for these types of projects.
    • Projects which contain commercial use (defined as facilities for which a fee is charged).

    If you have any questions ​contact Michelle Wilson at (515) 725-8441 or Michelle.Wilson@dnr.iowa.gov.  ​

     
  • August 2 is National Night Out 

    Thursday, July 14, 2016

    ​The annual National Night Out event will be held on August 2, which is designed to build community-police partnerships, promote crime prevention and strengthen neighborhood organizations. Cities across Iowa and the country participate in National Night Out, created in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and now involves more than 38 million people and 16,000 communities.

    National Night Out is held on the first Tuesday of August each year, and participating communities hold a wide variety of events to help bring people out. Block parties, potlucks, police and safety demonstrations, and youth games are popular activities. One of the most important aspects of the event is the chance for citizens to meet their community's police officers and create lasting relationships.

    More information about National Night Out, including how to register your community, is available on the NATW Web site.

     
  • 2016 IMPA Registration Still Available 

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016

    Registration for the 2016 Iowa Municipal Professionals Academy to be held in Ames July 27-29 is still available.
    This up-to-date advanced training is for city personnel responsible for administrative and financial duties at city hall. Choose from a robust list of concurrent sessions covering topics that affect the city on a daily basis.
     
  • Small City Workshop Track Included at Annual Conference 

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    ​The 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibit, scheduled for September 14-16 in Des Moines, includes a Small City workshop track that will feature information and guidance of particular interest to small city officials. However, as with all workshops, officials from any sized city are welcome to attend.

    Included in the track is The Devil is in the details...using debt to fund projects and capital equipment, which will be held Thursday, September 15, 10:45-11:45 a.m. This workshop will discuss ways cities can smartly finance major projects or purchase large equipment. There are many types of loans and leases and each has IRS regulations that can limit the value to the city. This session will explain IRS regulations and the state code procedures that must be followed.

    The League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit is the largest training in the state designed specifically for Iowa’s elected and appointed city officials. The conference also includes ample opportunity to network with peers and learn from one another. The small city workshop track is part of the conference's overall workshop schedule, which includes nearly 40 options that cover a wide range of municipal government issues. See the full conference schedule to learn about these workshops and register for the conference.
     
  • IAMU to Host Equipment Demo and Exhibit Day 

    Friday, July 08, 2016

    ​The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) is hosting an Equipment Demo and Exhibit Day on July 28. The event is free and open to all city officials and will offer an opportunity to see different types of equipment. Track loaders, bucket trucks, leak and line locators, line fusion equipment, fiber slicers and more will be onsite. The event will run 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes a lunch. More information and online registration is available on the IAMU Web site
     
  • IDOT Releases Updated RUTF Per Capita Estimates 

    Thursday, July 07, 2016

    ​The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) recently released updated Road Use Tax Fund (RUTF) distribution estimates. The RUTF is state-shared revenue designed to assist state, county and city governments with the construction, repair and maintenance of Iowa’s road infrastructure. The fund is accumulated through motor vehicle registration fees, motor vehicle fuel taxes, an excise tax imposed on the rental of automobiles and a use tax on trailers. The fuel tax rate was increased by 10 cents through action taken during the 2015 legislative session (resulting in a rate of 31 cents per gallon of gasoline and 32.5 cents per gallon of diesel).

    Below are the updated five-year per capita distribution estimates:

    Fiscal Year
    IDOT RUTF Per Capita Forecast
    FY 2017
    $120.00
    FY 2018
    $119.50
    FY 2019
    $121.00
    FY 2020
    $121.50
    FY 2021
    $122.50

    Cities are reminded that the IDOT issues per capita forecasts only. Cities are only entitled to receive their share of the amount actually collected. The estimates are subject to dramatic changes, and cities should consider using a conservative estimate. Cities can check their actual RUTF distributions by visiting the Treasurer of State Web site.
     
  • Cityscape ePub 

    Tuesday, July 05, 2016

    The League's electronic Cityscape magazine ePub magazine for the July 2016 edition has been released.

    Take the time to chose 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.

     
  • Annual Conference Features Economic Development Workshops 

    Friday, July 01, 2016

    ​The League's Annual Conference & Exhibit, to be held September 14-16 in Des Moines, will include an Economic Development Track of workshops that will provide guidance on this important topic for city officials.

    Featured in the track is Sergeant Bluff: Guide to Growth, a workshop that will be held Thursday, September 15, 8:30-9:30 a.m. This session will have a panel discussion on how to strategically invest limited funds to grow the tax base and create new jobs. The panel will provide a case study on Sergeant Bluff's planning efforts to identify future growth opportunities and leverage community assets to create a “development action plan” targeted to foster the city’s next wave of economic development.

    The League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit is the largest training in the state designed specifically for Iowa’s elected and appointed city officials. The conference also includes ample opportunity to network with peers and learn from one another. The economic development track is part of the conference's overall workshop schedule, which includes nearly 40 options that cover a wide range of municipal government issues. See the full conference schedule to learn about these workshops and register for the conference.
     
  • IDOT Announces FY 2017 Farm-to-Market RUTF Transfer Estimates 

    Friday, July 01, 2016

    ​The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) has announced its Fiscal Year 2017 estimates for the city's share of Road Use Tax Funds (RUTF) that is transferred to the county for maintenance of farm-to-market (FM) roads. Under state law, counties assume responsibility for maintenance of FM roads in cities with a population less than 500. The amount of associated RUTF is based on the total length of FM roads within the city.

    Many cities in this category have created 28E agreements with their county to return a portion or all of the responsibility for such roads back to the city, along with a corresponding amount of RUTF. These funds, like all RUTF, must be spent on road infrastructure related expenses. Cities can check their actual RUTF distributions by visiting the Treasurer of State Web site.