In The News

  • Registration Now Open for 2016 Budget Workshops 

    Thursday, September 29, 2016

    ​Registration is now open for the 2016 Budget Workshops! The workshops provide the latest projections and information important to city budgets as well as guidance on completing the state budget form. Registration is $40, which includes lunch. As usual, we will be holding six workshops across the state in November and December:

    November 8 | Sioux City
    November 10 | Clear Lake
    November 15 | Red Oak
    November 17 | Cedar Rapids
    November 29 | Ottumwa
    December 1 | Ankeny

    All workshops run 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and will feature morning presentations on Budget Projections and Issues and an Iowa Department of Management Update. The afternoon will include two concurrent sessions: Budget Form Basics, which gives step-by-step instructions on completing the state budget form and Pro Tips: Best Practices for Preparing City Budgets and Fiscal Management, this year's advanced session that will cover effective ways to develop the city budget and present it as well as strong financial policies.

    More information and online registration is available on the 2016 Budget Workshops page. We look forward to seeing you this fall!

  • U.S. Communities Summit 

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016

    ​Join us for a free educational event to learn how to save valuable time and money through competitively solicited contracts by a lead public agency through the U.S. Communities Program. The U.S. Communities Strategic Sourcing Summit, hosted by the Iowa League of Cities, brings together agencies and suppliers from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on  November 11 at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf. Connect and learn more about saving using a cooperative purchasing program.

  • 2016 Over the Road Registration is Open 

    Tuesday, September 27, 2016

    This year's Over the Road: Budget, Examinations/Audits and Accounting session has been expanded to offer hands-on preparation of the budget (held in a computer lab) in addition to the full Over the Road session. We will also have a meal associated with the session.​ This is provided regionally to reach clerks that are new or unable to travel to attend the Municipal Professionals Institute.
  • Best Development Awards Nominations 

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    1000 Friends of Iowa is now accepting nominations for the 15th Annual 2016 Best Development Awards. This year the award has three new categories -- Renewable Energy, Complete Streets/Transportation, and Urban Placemaking/Green Spaces -- expanding the awards program to 12 categories.
    1000 Friends of Iowa established the Best Development Awards 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 organizations, and individuals that are responsible for these projects.
    Nominations for the 2016 Best Development Awards can be made through November 15. For more information about the awards program or to see previous winners and the 2015 awards ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol, visit
  • NLC City Summit to be Held November 16-19 

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    ​The National League of Cities (NLC) will host its annual City Summit November 16-19 in Pittsburgh. Elected and appointed city officials are invited to the conference, which offers technical training on a wide variety of topics and leadership development. The summit also provides an opportunity for city officials from across the country to come together and share ideas while learning from each other.

    Attendees will also be able to see the host city of Pittsburgh, which has experienced a remarkable transition in recent years. Check out a YouTube video about the conference to learn more about the benefits of attending. Also, much more information and online registration is available on the City Summit Web site.

  • Human Resources Management Featured in Next League Webinar 

    Monday, September 19, 2016

    Register now for the Human Resources Management for Cities webinar, which will be available October 18 and feature guidance on successfully managing employees and understanding the major employment laws that affect municipal governments. Topics to be covered include workplace policies, employee manuals, performance evaluations and hiring best practices.

    Registration: $35 | Register Online
    Below are the webinars available in the 2016 Webinar Series, more information on each webinar is available on the webinar series website.
    • Understanding Iowa's Property Tax System | Available Now
    • Assessing and Replacing Outdated Utility Infrastructure | Available Now
    • Placemaking: Building Your Community Identity | Available Now
    • Open Meetings and Open Records Laws and Best Practices | Available Now
    • Human Resources Management for Cities | October 18

    Each webinar will be pre-recorded and released on the date listed. The webinars will be archived, giving registrants the ability to access and view any purchased webinar whenever they like. Webinars from the 2014 series and 2015 series are also archived and available for purchase.  

  • Good to See You 

    Saturday, September 17, 2016

    Thank you for attending the 2016 Annual Conference & Exhibit. We hope you had a safe trip home!

    This year nearly 450 people attended the Annual Conference & Exhibit in Des Moines. Thank you for your participation!

    Handouts and presentations from most workshops are online, so if you missed them during the workshop you can view them on the post-conference Web page. You'll also find photos from the event, a post-event survey and a customizable news release on that page.

    See you at the 80’s themed-2017 event, Together We Can, to be held September 24-26 in Davenport!

  • 2016 Speer Financial, Inc 

    Monday, September 12, 2016

    Speer Financial, Inc. has offered financial advice to Iowa's large and small communities since 1954. Speer Financial is a Registered Independent Municipal Advisor with expertise in all aspects of municipal finance including debt management, capital improvements planning, tax increment financing, disclosure reporting and State Revolving Fund (S.R.F.) Advising.

    The League is proud to Partner with Speer Financial, Inc. Learn more about Speer Financial, Inc. and the Community Alliance Programs.

  • Excavation Safety Workshops 

    Monday, September 12, 2016

    Registration is now open for the Excavation Safety Workshops hosted by Iowa LTAP. This workshop explains the hazards of excavation and trenching and also provides assurance that all relevant duties of a competent person at an excavation site will be fully covered and explained.

    The workshop dates and locations are:

    • Denison - October 25
    • Ames -  October 26
    • Iowa City - October 27
  • Art Project Grants Available Through Iowa Arts Council 

    Friday, September 09, 2016

    Cities are eligible to apply for Art Project Grants, available through the Iowa Arts Council and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The Art Project Grant Program helps fund the creation and presentation of an original work of art, arts experience or arts learning opportunity and must demonstrate public value to Iowans through deliberate public engagement and access to project activities.

    Grants awards of $1,000 to $10,000 will be made, and grant applications are due November 1.

  • MSA 

    Tuesday, September 06, 2016

    MSA is a full-service firm providing engineering, surveying, environmental, planning and funding services to public and private clients in the Upper Midwest. Professionals in their 14 offices help clients overcome challenges and build strong communities. MSA has Iowa offices in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque and the Quad Cities.

    The League is proud to Partner with MSA. Learn more about MSA and our Community Alliance Programs

  • If I Were Mayor Essay Contest 

    Tuesday, August 30, 2016

    Promoting good city government is important to the Iowa League of Cities, and the If I Were Mayor essay contest provides 7th grade students the opportunity to reflect on the role of the key elected official in their own city. To enter, 7th grade students need to return an essay and entry form by December 1, 2016. This contest is sponsored by Snyder & Associates​See the entry form for complete essay contest rules and details.​​​​

  • Horizontal Infrastructure Bid Thresholds to Decline in 2017 

    Monday, August 29, 2016

    ​The Iowa Department of Transportation recently announced lower competitive bid thresholds for horizontal infrastructure. The changes take effect January 1, 2017, and only pertain to horizontal infrastructure public improvement projects. Horizontal infrastructure is defined as publicly owned roads, bridges or culverts. The 2017 thresholds will be as follows:

    • Cities 50,000 or less - Must receive bids for projects $47,000 and higher
    • Cities more than 50,000 - Must receive bids for projects $67,000 and higher

    Drops in excavation and pavement costs were the biggest factor in the overall threshold decline. For a full rundown on public improvement projects, including bid and quote thresholds, please visit our Construction Bidding Procedures page.

  • Annual Urban Renewal Report System Now Available 

    Friday, August 26, 2016

    ​The Annual Urban Renewal Report (AURR) filing system is now open on the Iowa Department of Management's Web site. All cities with an urban renewal area must complete and submit the AURR by December 1 of each year. While cities are not required to publish the AURR, they must have the council approve the report before the submission deadline.

    The online reporting system requires a variety of documents to be uploaded in PDF format, including urban renewal plans, maps and amendments. The Department of Management will mail a letter to each city with its username and password from last year to access the system. 

  • IPERS Posts FY 2016 Investment Returns 

    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS) recently released its Fiscal Year 2016 investment performance, which showed a return of 2.15 percent. The FY 2016 return is short of the actuarial assumption of 7.5 percent and is a decrease from the FY 2015 return of 3.96 percent. Over the past three years, the return has been 7.17 percent. The IPERS trust fund balance stood at $28.27 billion at the close of the Fiscal Year.

    IPERS is the largest public pension system in Iowa with more than 325,000 members. Over 110,000 retirees and their beneficiaries receive IPERS retirement benefits. Additional information can be found on the IPERS Web site.