In The News

  • The League is Partnering with the National League of Cities on the Cities Are Essential Campaign 

    Friday, July 10, 2020

    Iowa League of Cities has partnered with the National League of Cities in advocating for direct funding for cities in Iowa. Our joint campaign, Cities Are Essential, is already underway. These funds will provide much-needed stability as cities deal with unplanned expenditures and revenue losses due to the pandemic. Your voice is vital to this effort. The League needs your stories on the impact of COVID-19 on your city. By providing your local stories, we can help to tell the national story. 

  • EPA Rulemaking Comment Collaboration 

    Friday, July 10, 2020

    In response to recently proposed rulemaking by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that establishes presumption algal levels to avoid “toxic” exposure in drinking water and body contact, the League is coordinating comments on behalf of its membership. The algal targets currently being considered are very low and would provide an opportunity for states to declare impairments with no data showing anyone is actually harmed. There are strong concerns that this will impact recreational and drinking water supplies, potentially leading to significantly increased expenses for cities. This collaboration has made participation in comment making for individual cities in Iowa more affordable. If your city would like to join this effort, email
  • Street Finance Report Training Opportunities 

    Thursday, July 09, 2020

    The Iowa DOT has released training information for the new version of the Street Finance Report. It is formatted in funds to follow city accounting and allows much greater flexibility to report the street related revenues and expenses for your community. Various in-person and live online training options are available. However, many clerks/finance officers should be able to follow the new format by using the printable instructions or pre-recorded videos. The report is scheduled to launch around July 15.​ Click here​ to view the training opportunities.

  • REAP Program Offers Funding for City Parks and Open Spaces 

    Wednesday, July 08, 2020

    ​The Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications for grants through its City Parks and Open Spaces program, which awards grants to parkland expansion and multi-purpose recreation developments. The grants are 100%, and no local match is required. Funds are not available for single or multi-purpose athletic fields, baseball or softball diamonds, tennis courts, golf courses and other organized sports facilities. Swimming pools and playground equipment are also ineligible.

    Grants are divided across three city population categories, ensuring funding is distributed to a variety of cities. Grant applications are due August 15. Applications and additional information are available on the REAP Web site.​

  • IEDA Community Catalyst Funding Goes to 26 Communities 

    Wednesday, July 08, 2020

    ​​The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) recently announced its 2020 Community Catalyst funding recipients. Communities will receive a total of $2.6 million in funding through the Community Catalyst program, which assists communities with the redevelopment, rehabilitation or deconstruction of buildings to stimulate economic growth or reinvestment in the community.

    The 26 recipients received the total maximum award of $100,000, including 10 communities with populations less than 1,500.​ The popular program received 73 grant applications last fall, demonstrating the need for funding assistance to boost local development.​

  • Iowa DOT Research Ideas Website 

    Tuesday, July 07, 2020

    The Iowa DOT research department has a new website, where users may submit new research ideas.

    The Iowa DOT research department's goal is to drive a quality program that delivers targeted solutions for Iowa's transportation future. Areas of focus include safety, mobility, accessibility, technology, and sustainability of economic, social, and environmental progress.  Whether you want to get involved in our research, already have an approved project in the works, or simply want to learn more about the team, visit the new website for more information.
  • Polco Offers Community Equity and Inclusion Survey 

    Monday, July 06, 2020

    ​Polco, a League Community Alliance Partner, is offering cities the ability to ask their residents important questions through its Community Equity and Inclusion SurveyThe survey is free for a limited time to local governments to use in their communities on Polco.

    The Community Equity and Inclusion Survey helps local governments assess their community for inclusion. It also empowers underrepresented residents to improve their community by helping shape local policies. The survey asks residents of all backgrounds about issues such as safety, fairness, respect and how welcome they feel inside of their communities.

    Polco is an award-winning civic engagement platform and suite of public input services that uses online surveys to bring the voice of everyday residents to community leaders. Polco adds reliability to results and fosters civility through unique verification capabilities and key design features. The platform produces organized data, dashboards, and maps in real-time for city officials.​​

  • Iowa Rural Summit Moves to Virtual Format 

    Monday, July 06, 2020

    ​The Iowa Rural Summit, originally scheduled for earlier this year before being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is now being offered as the 2020 Virtual Rural Summit. The online event will be held on August 20-21 and will provide an opportunity for community leaders to learn from each other, share new ideas and ways to collaborate.

    This year's sessions will cover how small communities can do big projects, rural development through health care, how community colleges can boost local development, the importance of developing a community vision, tackling rural workforce issues and much more. Individual registrations are $50, while a community team of up to 5 people can register together for a total of $150. More info is available on the Rural Summit website.

    The Summit is sponsored by the Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC), a public-private state non-profit that works to support small towns addressing issues such as housing, broadband access, business development and leadership.​​

  • Iowa Arts Summit August 7 

    Monday, July 06, 2020

    Iowa Arts Summit is presented by the Iowa Arts Council is August 7. The biennial Iowa Arts Summit features dynamic breakout sessions with presentations by leading state and national voices in the arts. Hear from Iowa's most creative minds and learn how they are transforming their organizations and communities. Experience pop up art and live music by Iowa artists along with the presentation of the Governor's Arts Awards. The summit brings together artists, filmmakers, creative entrepreneurs, non-profit professionals and community leaders for a day of networking, learning and celebrating the arts in Iowa.

    Registration for the entire summit is $15 in advance or $20 on the big day, and scholarships are available for artists and art students. For more information and to register, visit here​Link to the conference program:


  • Street Finance Report Released Around July 15 

    Tuesday, June 30, 2020

    The new version of the Street Finance Report (SFR) is currently scheduled to be released around July 15. A new instruction book will be available for download as well as YouTube self-help videos. The due date of the report is still September 30.​ The Iowa DOT will host training classes for those interested in learning more about how to complete the City Street Finance Report (SFR). These trainings are especially important this year as the SFR will be in a completely new format. Please take this brief survey​ to let the Iowa DOT know what training options would be most helpful.

  • Send us your city photos! 

    Friday, June 26, 2020

    Send us your city photos! This year the League will be mailing out Iowa calendars in conjunction with our Annual Conference & Exhibit and we need your help! Send us a high-res photo from 2020 that represents your city: library, squares, public safety, festivals, beautification, etc. Please email the photo to​​​​​
  • Save the Date! 2020 Virtual Annual Conference & Exhibit 

    Friday, June 26, 2020

    Save the date for our virtual Annual Conference & Exhibit on Sept.16-18! Plan to join us for workshops, general sessions and more. Stay tuned for updates regarding the schedule of events and registration information.

  • Grant Writing Training - August 10-11 

    Monday, June 22, 2020

    Des Moines Regional Police Academy and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants training, August 10-11. 

    The $2.2 trillion stimulus package includes $150 billion for State, Local, and Tribal governments and even more for healthcare providers and other local organizations. Are you and your agency prepared? Continually updated and perfected, this class has been delivered almost 2,000 times to over 100,000 grant-seeking professionals just like you.

    Click here for full event details.

    Tuition is normally $455 but early registration discounts are available now through July 10. Seating is limited, online reservations are necessary.

    Register early by yourself and you'll receive an instant $50 off your tuition. Register early as part of a group of 5 or more and you'll each receive an additional $50 discount. That means everyone in your group of 5 or more gets $100 off their tuition! Payment is not required at the time of enrollment.

    More information including learning objectives, class location, graduate testimonials and online registration is available here. If you prefer friendly, personal service, please call or write:

    Janet Darling
    at Grant Writing USA
    888.290.6237 toll free

    Lt. Bagby
    Des Moines Regional Police Academy

    More than 10,000 agencies across North America have turned to Grant Writing USA for grant writing and grant management training.

  • FY 2021 Publication Rate Announced 

    Friday, June 19, 2020

    ​The Iowa Department of Administrative Services recently set the publication rate for Fiscal Year 2021. Effective July 1, 2020, each line of eight-point type two inches in length, or its equivalent, for the publication in a newspaper of any notice, order or other required publication is subject to the following rate:
    • One insertion = 50.3 cents
    • Each subsequent insertion = 33.9 cents
    As required by state law, the rate was calculated by applying the consumer price index for all urban consumers as determined by the Department of Labor, which increased 0.3 percent from April 2019 to April 2020, to the previous rate. Cities are encouraged to review publication rates to ensure all charges are accurate.
  • Cities Receive CDBG Funds for Water and Wastewater Projects 

    Monday, June 15, 2020

    ​The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) recently announced $4.6 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding awards to 14 communities across the state to support community water and sewer infrastructure projects. A full list of the awarded projects​ can be seen on the IEDA Web site.

    The CDBG program is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CDBG funds enable communities to make needed improvements to water and sewer systems, improve housing conditions for low-income homeowners, provide facilities for disabled and at-risk individuals, and make transformative improvements to their downtowns. IEDA is responsible for administering the CDBG funds in the non-metropolitan areas of the state.​​