In The News

  • Cities in the News 

    Tuesday, April 16, 2019

    ​The Iowa League of Cities collects news articles from the week to share with our members. Cities are doing great things around the state, and we want to celebrate your success with you. If your city is in the news please share it with us at     

    Note: The articles compiled above come from independent media sources who are solely responsible for their content. Iowa League of Cities staff did not participate in writing any of these articles and Iowa League of Cities does not necessarily endorse the content of the articles. Some articles may be available only by subscription. All cities in the news will not be featured each week.​​

  • U.S. 30 Planning Study 

    Monday, April 15, 2019

    ​The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) is conducting a planning study of U.S. Highway 30 from just east of Lisbon to just west of DeWitt, in Cedar and Clinton counties. The study will be developed and released through a series of technical reports that identify the goals and guiding principles, existing conditions, safety performace, and the vision for improvement strategies of the U.S. Highway 30 corridor.

    An online public meeting is now available to view on the IDOT’s Public Involvement webpage: To view the meeting and related content, click on the U.S. 30 project from the list of public involvment events. The pre-recorded meeting will be available on the website throughout the duration of the planning study. IDOT is asking interested parties to take a few minutes to view the online public meeting and related materials.

    Visit the IDOT’s project-related public involvement event website at for information about scheduled public meetings and hearings, and opportunities to offer input to the IDOT during the development of certain projects. Comments and questions regarding the online meeting should be received by April 25. If you would to like receive future email notifications or submit a comment or question regarding this project, go to:

  • Join us at the 2019 Small City Workshops! 

    Monday, April 15, 2019

    ​Registration is now open for the 2019 Small City Workshops, which will visit six cities around the state in June. This year's topic will focus on ways cities can improve housing opportunities and feature the Rural Housing 360 program. Housing has become a critical issue for communities across Iowa and city officials often struggle to know what options are best for their local needs.

    Rural Housing 360 was launched with the aim of boosting housing opportunities in rural Iowa communities. The collaborative program brings communities, developers, state and federal agencies, housing trusts and other interested parties together to improve local housing stock. The session will be led by representatives from Housing 360, who will detail how the program works and how communities can get involved. Hear some of the early success stories from cities around the state that are actively addressing housing concerns and improving their community.

    Below is the schedule for this year's workshops:

    June 4 - Oakland
    June 6 - Allison
    June 11 - Laurens
    June 13 - Shueyville
    June 18 - Eldon
    June 20 - Grand Junction

    Additional information and online registration is available on the 2019 Small City Workshops page.

  • Community Catalyst Funds Awarded to 29 Communities 

    Monday, April 15, 2019

    ​The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) recently announced its 2019 Community Catalyst funding recipients. Communities will receive a total of $2.9 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 29 recipients received the total maximum award of $100,000, including 16 communities with populations less than 1,500.

  • FEMA Assistance for Flood-Impacted Cities 

    Monday, April 15, 2019

    Gov. Kim Reynolds received word that additional assistance is now available to public and nonprofit entities in flood-impacted counties.

    A disaster declaration issued by President Trump on March 23, 2019, made 56 counties eligible to apply for emergency work and emergency protective measures assistance under the federal Public Assistance Program.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on April 11 announced that 13 of those counties are now eligible to apply for additional assistance for permanent work through the Public Assistance Program, to include the replacement or repair of disaster-damaged facilities such as roads, bridges, and public buildings. The counties included in this latest announcement are: Adair, Boone, Butler, Cass, Emmet, Guthrie, Kossuth, O’Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Tama, Union, and Woodbury counties. Twenty other counties are also eligible for permanent work through the Public Assistance Program: Buena Vista, Cherokee, Crawford, Dallas, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Harrison, Ida, Jasper, Lyon, Marshall, Mills, Monona, Polk, Pottawattamie, Shelby, Sioux, Winneshiek, and Wright.

    Additional counties may be added to the Presidential Disaster Declaration for the Public Assistance Program.

    The Presidential Disaster Declaration also made available federal Individual Assistance for five counties, which provides aid to eligible homeowners, renters, and businesses. Residents in Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, and Woodbury counties are eligible to apply for this program, regardless of income.

    Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time), seven days a week, until further notice.

    For more information visit

  • Legislative Link 

    Friday, April 12, 2019

    The best way to stay on top of the action at the Capitol is to subscribe to Legisl​ative Link, the League's weekly email newsletter focused on legislative issues. Each Friday during the legislative session, subscribers get a summary of the activity on the hill that impacts cities. The newsletter also makes a great reference for weekend meetings with legislators and is available to to any city official. Subscribe now!​

  • TIF Administration Workshops Begin Soon 

    Tuesday, April 09, 2019

    ​The Iowa Department of Management will hold four, free workshops covering the proper administration of urban renewal areas and tax increment financing (TIF) districts. The workshop will cover all aspects of the urban renewal life cycle, from creation to sunsets and closing of areas.

    The same workshop will be conducted at each of these four locations, so you need to only sign up for one workshop. The workshops will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a morning and afternoon session separated by a one hour break for lunch, as lunchh will not be provided.

    This event is being provided at no charge, thanks to the generosity of our host cities. However, attendees are responsible for bringing or procuring their own lunch. Space is limited for each location, so registration is on a first come, first served basis.

    Links to register can be found below:

    Please email or call Ted Nellesen with the Iowa Department of Management if you have questions: or (515) 281-3705

  • 2019 Municipal Professionals Academy Registration 

    Tuesday, April 09, 2019

    Registration for the Municipal Professionals Academy, July 24-26 is now open. The Municipal Professionals Academy offers continuing education training for city clerks, finance officers and others to provide in-depth training for clerks and municipal staff to get useful, up-to-date information that will assist them in their job performance.

    The following are some helpful tips and links for navigating the registration process.  

    1. The link to registration can be found on our website at:    Available payment options are to pay by credit card (there is a non-refundable credit card fee) at the time of registration or make your payment by check after registering for courses through the online portal.  Checks should be sent to the Iowa League of Cities, 500 SW 7th Street, Suite 101, Des Moines, IA  50309-4506.

    2. QGIS Course: New for 2019, there is a QGIS course being offered before the Academy. This will take place on July 24th from 8 am – 12 pm and is a separate offering.  The cost of the course is $100 and can be registered for with registration for the Academy as well as a standalone course.  Participants will learn how to add, query, and create data through a step by step process that will result in a map ready to print and share with community leaders and decision makers.

    Sweatshirts: We sell sweatshirts as a way to keep everyone warm (the rooms are sometimes chilly) and to assist with offering scholarships. This year the shirts are heather grey with a red logo. An example can be found on the registration link.  If you wish to make a $25 donation to the scholarship fund without purchasing a sweatshirt, that option is also available.

    If you have further questions, please contact Sara Shonrock at (515) 290-1811 or or Cindy Hopton at (515) 294-8397 or

  • 2019 Nuisance Abatement Conference Registration Opens 

    Monday, April 08, 2019

    ​Registration has opened for the 2019 Nuisance Abatement Conference, a day-long training opportunity that will feature guidance on how cities can effectively clean up neighborhoods and improve properties. The 2019 conference will be held May 15 at the Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center and costs $75 (registration includes lunch).

    A variety of speakers and sessions are featured at the conference, including guidance on utilizing a nuisance abatement checklist, how COGs can boost local efforts, dealing with abandoned and derelict properties, neighborhood revitalization and catch-all sessions that allow attendees to ask lots of questions. The conference will also include two general sessions that will provide general guidance and allow for important discussion.

  • IAWEA to Host Small Community Workshops 

    Monday, April 08, 2019

    ​The Iowa Water Environment Association (IAWEA) invites cities to its Small Community Workshops, which has five remaining workshops at locations around the state in April. The workshops cover a variety of wastewater issues, including regulations and compliance, operator training and recruitment, funding mechanisms and case studies. Representatives from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), USDA Rural Development, State Revolving Loan Fund and others will be present to discuss their role in helping small communities.

    Each workshop will run 4-7 p.m. and will include dinner. The cost is $25, and all city officials are welcome to attend. The full schedule of workshops and additional info is available on the IAWEA website.

  • Cityscape ePub 

    Tuesday, April 02, 2019

    The League's electronic Cityscape magazine for the April 2019  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.​​

  • Bags & Golf Tourney 

    Tuesday, April 02, 2019

    Join the Iowa League of Cities on Friday, June 14 at Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny for the second annual Iowa League of Cities Bags & Golf Tourney, a fundraiser for the Tim Shields Endowment Fund. Don’t golf? Join the Bags Tournament! Anyone can easily master this classic tailgate and backyard game.

  • Help Celebrate Keep Iowa Beautiful Month 

    Monday, April 01, 2019

    ​​April is Keep Iowa Beautiful Month, and cities are encouraged to help celebrate by promoting local beautification, clean up and recycling projects. Cities can also issue proclamations designating April as "Keep (your city name) Beautiful Month." A sample proclamation is available on the Keep Iowa Beautiful website.

    Keep Iowa Beautiful is a charitable organization that works with citizens, communities and regions to improve the quality, beauty and cleanliness of Iowa. The organization empowers Iowans to have a greater commitment in building pride and respect in the places we live.

  • REAP Conservation Education Program Accepting Grant Applications 

    Monday, April 01, 2019

    ​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 due May 15, and additional information about the program is available on the Conservation Education Program website.

  • The Square Goes to Colfax 

    Monday, March 25, 2019

    ​Episode 9 of The Square is now available! This month we ventured out to Colfax where we had the pleasure of talking with City Clerk Nancy Earles and City Administrator Wade Wagoner about what it's like to serve in their roles. Nancy had a lot of interesting stories from her career working as a city clerk... some of the strangest things can come through city hall. Wade shared thoughts on how cities can be innovative to find solutions to problems, which sometimes comes with risk but also great reward.

    We get into who is eligible to serve on a city council in this month's Your Questions Answered segment and put one of our co-hosts, Mickey Shields, on the spot in the Get to Know Your League interview. The episode wraps up with our monthly trivia as we answer which is the smallest city in the U.S. to be granted a Carnegie library (spoiler: it's in Iowa!) and ask, because winter must end at some point, what is the oldest municipal golf course west of the Mississippi River?

    We want your feedback! Send your questions, trivia answers and comments to