In The News

  • Reminder: Street Finance Report Due September 30 

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    ​Cities are reminded to complete and electronically file the Street Finance Report by September 30. The report is required by the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), which has an online filing system along with instructions on its Street Finance Report Web site. Cities must use the forms provided by the IDOT and adopt the report by resolution prior to filing.
  • And the winner is… 

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    ​Earlier this month we congratulated the cities of Center Point, Marion and Washington on earning the League’s All-Star Community Award, which promotes excellence in local government. Later this month you can help choose the final All-Star Community Award recipient.
    You decide when you vote with your likes for the People’s All-Star Community on Facebook. Voting takes place in rounds, with the first elimination round beginning August 28. Cities with the most “likes” in the current week’s Facebook photo album will move to the next round. Albums for voting will be posted by 11 a.m. each Monday and conclude at 8 a.m. the following Monday, with the exception of the final round. The final round of voting will conclude on Thursday, September 27 at the League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit, and the winner of the People’s All-Star Community Award will be announced later that evening at the Awards Banquet.
    Check out the bracket on our Facebook page, and follow the League on Facebook ( and Twitter (#IowaLeague) for updates.
    In addition, the League is currently taking applications for the 2018 All-Star Community Award, which will recognize cities for projects completed in the 2017 calendar year. Learn more in the Awards section of
    Workshops, speakers, registration and other information about the Annual Conference & Exhibit, “Together We Can”, is also available online. See you in Davenport, September 27-29. #IowaLeague17
    In addition to the presentation of the All-Star Community Awards, the Awards Banquet at the conference will recognize an outstanding, young city official with the Rhonda Wood Smith Award and the next inductee into the Iowa League of Cities Hall of Fame. Be there to help celebrate success and progress in cities across Iowa. Together We Can share great ideas to help all the cities of Iowa.
  • Growing Sustainable Communities Conference to be Held October 3-4 

    Monday, August 14, 2017

    ​The Growing Sustainable Communities Conference will be held October 3-4 in Dubuque and celebrate its 10th anniversary. Hosted by the City of Dubuque and Sustainable City Network, the two-day conference will include a wide variety of workshops, mobile tours, keynote speakers, networking opportunities and vendor exhibitors. Training will cover important sustainability topics, featuring presenters from across the country who will deliver new research, case studies and the latest best practices to help you plan and implement projects and programs related to watershed and storm water management, solar energy, alternative fuel vehicles, placemaking, community partnerships, sustainability metrics and much more.

    The conference has attendees from a wide range of fields, including elected officials, municipal senior management and staff, as well as private-sector business leaders, university administrators, faculty and students. Additional information and online registration is available on the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference Web site.
  • Law Enforcement Agencies able to Purchase Naloxone Through State Agreement 

    Friday, August 11, 2017

    The Iowa Department of Public Health and Department of Administrative Services have created a master agreement that enables public agencies and law enforcement entities to purchase Naloxone at a reduced rate of $75. Some law enforcement agencies may not have access to the required medical provider needed to purchase Naloxone. Through the agreement, State Medical Director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk has agreed to purchase Naloxone for such agencies that meet criteria.

    To submit an application to the Department of Administrative Service and access the agreement, please contact Kathy Harper.

  • DNR workshop on assistance for abandoned, contaminated properties 

    Friday, August 11, 2017

    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 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 or old buildings with asbestos or other contaminant concerns. Brownfields affect the quality, character and tax base of your community!   
    The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) may be able to help with these issues! The IDNR has a technical and financial program to help local governments and non-profits answer these environmental questions before they take title, and can even help with environmental cleanup grants of up to $25,000 to prepare the site for your community redevelopment plan! 
    IDNR is hosting a FREE workshop at the Marshalltown Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., to offer you strategies, resources and technical and financial assistance at both the state and federal level, to help turn your brownfield sites from obstacles into opportunities for your community. 
    Register online to attend or contact Mel Pins, Iowa DNR at or (515) 725-8344. Local elected officials, city administrative staff, urban planners and community economic development officials are all encouraged to attend! Lunch will be provided at no cost!
  • Cityscape ePub 

    Tuesday, August 08, 2017

    The League's electronic Cityscape magazine ePub magazine for the August 2017 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 to change your preference.

  • GASB 77 Video Released 

    Tuesday, August 08, 2017

    The Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement (GASB) Number 77 requires governments that enter into tax abatement agreements to disclose information as of June 30, 2017. Primarily it involves cities using TIF.

    A video, taken from a training at the Iowa Municipal Professionals Academy, explains who GASB 77 affects, tools developed by the Iowa Department of Management, and sample note disclosures created by the Auditor of State’s office.​ In addition a Q&A has been prepared covering common questions. Sign into the League site and learn more in the Finance area of the Member Resources section.

  • Challenges to Providing Safe Drinking Water 

    Tuesday, August 08, 2017

    On September 21-22, a symposium on safe drinking water titled, “CHALLENGES TO PROVIDING SAFE DRINKING WATER IN THE MIDWEST” will be held at the Shivers Facility on the Drake University campus in Des Moines. Safe drinking water has never been a more pressing issue for Iowa and the Midwest. 

    The 1.5-day symposium will feature Iowa-based and nationally-recognized speakers and discussion panels on a variety of drinking water issues facing the Midwest and the Nation. Some of the topics to be addressed include the Health Impacts of Nitrate in Drinking Water, Drinking Water Treatment Concerns, New and Emerging Drinking Water Threats, and Communicating with the Public on Drinking Water Issues. Learn more.

  • Time is running out 

    Monday, August 07, 2017

    ​The League offers an early registration discount to those who register for the Annual Conference and Exhibit this week, before the late fee kicks in on August 23! Register now to get $50 off registration, taking the price from $255 to $205.
    Late August 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 along the Mississippi River on Thursday morning? Sign-up for the free event before August 23 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 help your city.
    More information and registration for the League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit is available online. See you September 27-29 in Davenport!
  • Conference Workshop to Offer Effective Meetings Guidance 

    Monday, August 07, 2017

    Join colleagues at the 2017 Annual Conference and Exhibit, which will be held September 27-29 in Davenport, and learn how to improve your city council meetings. The conference is the premier statewide event for city officials and features a variety of networking events, an 80s-themed exhibit hall, interesting general session speakers and a schedule of workshops that offer important training opportunities.
    Building Effective Meetings is part of the workshop schedule and will be held Friday, September 29, 9:15-10 a.m. Attendees will hear how they can improve their meetings, from preparing the agenda to adopting rules that help run a smooth meeting. Utilizing effective meeting tips will help get the city's business done while being more efficient with the city's time and resources.

    This workshop is in the City Clerk track, which is part of the conference's schedule of more than 40 workshops that cover a wide range of municipal government issues. See the full conference schedule to learn about these workshops and register for the conference.​
  • Healthiest State Initiative to host 7th Annual Walk across Iowa 

    Friday, August 04, 2017

    On October 4, the Healthiest State Initiative will host the 7th Annual Walk across Iowa. YOU can help to achieve their goal of having an organized walk in all 99 counties! Register your community's, school's or workplace's walk and learn more online.

    Those who sign up on behalf of their school, business or community can access walk resources, such as toolkits to help spread the word throughout their organization. To activate social media engagement, the Healthiest State encourages all participants to post a photo of themselves and use the hashtag #GetYourWalkOn. All participants are eligible to win weekly prizes if they like the page, share the post and tag two friends. Schools and communities will also have an opportunity to win a $1,000 to enhance the health and well-being of their school or community.

    Walking is one of the best ways to stay healthy. It’s also a great way to connect with friends and family. Walking together gives us on opportunity to catch up and refresh our minds, and the physical benefits add up, too! Attendees of the League's Annual Conference & Exhibit have the opportunity to take advantage of all these benefits when they participate in the Afternoon Stroll, sponsored by the Healthiest State Initiative and Delta Dental, on Wednesday afternoon of the event. Learn more in the schedule of events.

  • RISE Funding Available Through IDOT 

    Friday, August 04, 2017

    ​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.

  • GrantFinder Program Offers Cities Robust Grant Database 

    Tuesday, August 01, 2017

    ​The Iowa League of Cities recently partnered with Praetorian Digital’s EfficientGov, 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.

    In addition, GrantFinder allows users to develop a grant calendar, set grant alerts and save previous grant applications and resources. A subscription costs only $50 per year and is available on a first come, first serve basis until all subscriptions are purchased. We still have a number of spots available to any cities interested in subscribing to GrantFinder.

    Cities are encouraged to contact Cara Freedman, account manager for GrantFinder, and her team to schedule a 10 minute tour of the program. Cara can be reached at or (866) 463-7792. Also, our Grant Management and Funding Sources webinar provides a tutorial on GrantFinder that helps explain the benefits and shows how it works.

    If you are interested in receiving access, please contact Mickey Shields at 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.

  • Congratulations, All-Star Community Award winners 

    Tuesday, August 01, 2017

    ​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: Center Point's Library Expansion and Community Center

    3,000-9,999 in population: Washington Area Performing Arts and Events Center

    More than 10,000 in population: Marion's Klopfenstein Amphitheater for the Performing Arts

    People’s Choice Winner: You decide beginning August 28 at

    Congratulations to this year’s winners!

    For more photos of the winning projects, check out the All-Star Winners Album at

    The League is currently accepting applications for the 2018 All-Star Community Awards, which will recognize projects from the 2017 calendar year. Learn more in the Awards section of

  • Be part of your Iowa League of Cities 

    Monday, July 31, 2017

    On Friday, September 29, at the Annual Business Meeting during the Annual Conference and Exhibit, voting delegates will consider the legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session. The proposed language was unanimously approved by the Legislative Policy Committee on July 11 and will be reviewed by the Executive Board on August 17. Review the proposed priorities prior to the Annual Conference, and send us your questions.
    The agenda for the meeting also includes a report on a Bylaws update, voting on changes to the League’s Constitution, and the election of officers and directors to the League's Executive Board.
    Anyone from a member city is encouraged to attend the Annual Business Meeting. However, each member city is only allowed one vote and must designate a voting delegate. The authorized delegate is the mayor or the mayor’s designated alternate. If the mayor chooses to not attend the conference or will not be able to participate in the meeting, the mayor must designate an alternate, which must be done in writing and submitted to the League 10 days prior to the meeting. The League has a sample letter to help you do just that.
    If the mayor has not appointed an alternate in advance, a member city official in attendance may request that the presiding officer of the meeting designate an individual as the voting delegate. The appointed alternate must fill out the appropriate credentials before 5 p.m., Thursday, September 28; this may be done at the conference registration desk.
    If you haven't done so already, there is still time to register for the Annual Conference & Exhibit! See you in Davenport, September 27-29!​