In The News

  • Cities in the News 

    Tuesday, June 18, 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 citynews@iowaleague.org.     

    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.​​

     
  • Annual Conference & Exhibit - Housing Info 

    Tuesday, June 18, 2019

    Housing information for the Iowa League of Cities Annual Conference and Exhibit has been released. After registering for the event you will receive and email with the link to make reservations in the League's room block. We recommend registering for conference and making hotel reservations early because rooms are limited and may fill before the room blocks close on August 26.
    Find more detail and register for the event at https://www.iowaleague.org/Conference2019/Pages/2019Conference.aspx.
     
  • Rural Development Symposium 

    Tuesday, June 18, 2019

    Join Iowa State University Extension for the Rural Development Symposium on August 15 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. Register online at https://www.register.extension.iastate.edu/rural.

    Rural America includes every place that is not urban – from micropolitan areas with up to 50,000 residents, to the smallest, unincorporated towns and open country. Let’s talk about the challenges facing these places and how to build capacity and create support for rural development efforts.

    Learn what works – and why!

    • Engage with the researchers who study the issues and the people who put the research into practice – businesses, entrepreneurs, funders, and government officials.

    • Hear about current research and success for economic development and quality of life in rural America. Conference speakers include representatives from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Iowa State University, other Midwestern universities, and nonprofit organizations.

    • Learn what affects:

      • Community well-being

      • Labor markets

      • Business succession and retention

      • Firm location and expansion

      • Rural capital and innovation

     
     
  • IEDA Downtown Forums Begin in July 

    Monday, June 17, 2019

    ​The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Downtown Resource Center will hold four downtown forums in July to bring together community leaders to discuss ideas, successes and challenges. Attendees will have an opportunity to share their experiences relating to the downtown forum discussion and communicate with other community leaders the exciting things occurring in their commercial districts.

    The day will include a self-assessment tool and discussion topics of five major characteristics that contribute to the success of a downtown. There will also be an overview of programs and grant opportunities for downtowns. The forums will be held at the following locations:

    July 16 – Sigourney, City Hall
    July 17 – Audubon, Library Cultural Center
    July 23 – Parkersburg, Civic Center
    July 24 – Cherokee, The Gathering Place

    The downtown forums are free to attend and additional information is available on the IEDA Web site.
     
  • Rural Housing 360 to Host Community Workshops 

    Monday, June 17, 2019

    ​Cities are invited to participate in community workshops hosted by Rural Housing 360, which will be held on a monthly basis beginning Friday, June 21 in Martensdale. Rural Housing 360 is a program that seeks to help communities find solutions to housing needs and has been featured during this year's League Small City Workshops.

    The community workshops will cover a variety of topics related to housing, including lot inventory and conveyance, employer engagement, funding programs, model home programs and more. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Steve Gilbert at Rural Housing 360: steve.gilbert@ruralhousing360.com.

     
  • Save the Date for Iowa Festivals & Events Conference 

    Monday, June 17, 2019

    ​Cities are welcome to join the inaugural Iowa Festivals & Events Conference, which will be held October 22-23 at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville. The conference was created by some of the state’s most successful event directors to provide educational and networking opportunities for event professionals in Iowa. This year's conference will cover a bunch of topics, including how to choose and secure the right entertainment, how to acquire festival and event sponsors, tips for successful promotion, how to keep attendees protected and more.

    The conference features two days of educational conference sessions and workshops, a vendor trade show, Tuesday evening 30hop Rooftop Patio networking reception, Wednesday's Iowa Festival of the Year Awards luncheon and more educational and networking opportunities. More information about the conference can be found on the Iowa Festivals and Events Association website.

     
  • BUILD Grant Applications Due July 15 

    Monday, June 10, 2019

    ​The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has funding available through its Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD), which replaced the former TIGER grant program. $900 million in discretionary grant funding is available for surface transportation projects under BUILD and will be awarded on a competitive basis to projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.

    Projects for BUILD will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental protection, state of good repair, innovation, partnership and additional non-Federal revenue for future transportation infrastructure investments. The DOT intends to award a greater share of BUILD grant funding to projects located in rural areas that align well with the selection criteria than to such projects in urban areas. The funding notice highlights rural needs in several of the evaluation criteria, including support for rural broadband deployment where it is part of an eligible transportation project.

    Grant applications are due July 15 and more info is available on the BUILD Web site.
     
  • State Fair Civic Innovation Pitch to ISU Extension 

    Monday, June 10, 2019

     
  • Check out the Conference Brochure! 

    Monday, June 10, 2019

    The 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibit registration is open! Check out the conference delegate brochure in the June issue of Cityscape magazine to see a glimpse of what will be offered this year! Be sure to take the time to get registered and watch for the housing information next week (registration is required before making hotel reservations).

     
  • Midstates Community and Economic Development Conference 

    Monday, June 10, 2019

    The Midstates Community and Economic Development Conference will be held Thursday, September 5th from 9 am - 3 pm in South Souix City, NE.  The conference is a partnership opportunity for the public, private, and non-profit organizations to advance community and economic development in the tri-state area.  The cost is $40 for registration unless you have three or more people attending (which brings the cost down to $30/person). Registration and more information can be found at: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/woodbury/news/midstates-community-and-economic-development-conference-2019.

     
  • 2019 Annual Conference & Exbibit - Registration Open! 

    Tuesday, June 04, 2019

    Registration is now open for the 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibit, September 25-27 in Dubuque.

    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. When you attend the Annual Conference & Exhibit you’ll have the opportunity to:

    • Choose from nearly 40 education workshops and trainings.

    • Connect with city officials to learn new ideas.

    • Find resources to help your City Shine.

    • Adopt the League’s legislative priorities for the next session.

    • Become better at helping to lead and serve your community.

    From nuisance property to city budgets and economic development, the information, training and connections at the League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit can help make your City Shine. 

     
  • The Square Recaps the 2019 Legislative Session 

    Wednesday, May 29, 2019

    A new episode The Square is now available! This month's episode features a recap of the recently completed legislative session, which included several pieces of legislation important to city governments. We sat down with Robert Palmer and Daniel Stalder from the League's Government Affairs team to get their thoughts on the session. They provided some interesting perspectives on what it's like to work in the Capitol, a few of the important issues that came out of the 2019 session and what kind of work is planned before next year. Also, be sure to read the New Laws of Interest Special Report to get more information on the bills passed that affect cities.

    The Get to Know Your League segment includes a fun interview with Kim Gannon, our claims examiner with IMWCA. And this month's Your Questions Answered features a question from Decorah city council member Johanna Bergan, who asked what cities can do create a more equitable government.

    Our top trivia expert Ryan Pealer provides the answer to last episode's trivia question that asked which state has the most disc golf courses per capita, and for this month's trivia we have the following: What city is home to the American Gothic House Center, which was the inspiration for Grant Wood's famous painting?

    Be sure to send your trivia answers, question of the month and any comments to thesquare@iowaleague.org!
     
  • NLC State of the Cities Report Now Available 

    Tuesday, May 28, 2019

    ​The 2019 State of the Cities Report from the National League of Cities (NLC) was recently released and highlights important municipal issues. The annual report reviews content from mayor's state of the city speeches from around the country and provides analysis of major issues cities are facing.

    This year's findings showed economic development, infrastructure, health and human services, energy and environment, and city budgets as the top five issues that cities are facing. Additional details and direct feedback from city officials is found throughout the report as well as examples of solutions cities are using.

     
  • 2019 Legislative Session 

    Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    Governor Reynolds continues to sign legislation that was passed during the 2019 legislative session. After the legislative session concludes, Governor Reynolds has a 30 window to sign or veto legislation. That 30 day period ends on May 27, 2019. The League will releases its annual New Laws of Interest to Cities after all legislative action is concluded.

     
  • City Street Finance Report Training 

    Wednesday, May 15, 2019

    Each Summer the Iowa DOT offers training classes for those interested in learning more about how to complete the City Street Finance Report (SFR).  These classes provide an overview of the entire reporting process, including where to find your information, what should be included, how to use the online system, filling out the forms, as well as time for questions.  Please read the descriptions below as the options have changed from previous years.  Some locations have limited seating so sign up early!

    Street Finance Report Training
    This class will cover everything you need to know to complete the SFR forms and navigate the electronic reporting process.  We will also cover upcoming changes so you can make changes in your general ledger now that will make next year’s report easier!  Everyone is welcome, but this class will be most helpful to those who are just starting out, have changed jobs, or still have questions as you look through the report.
    Credits:  3 IMFOA Hours 

    Street Finance Report Review  
    A compact review session will be held following the wrap up of the Municipal Professional’s Academy at Gateway Hotel in Ames.  This class is for city personnel who have completed the SFR previously and are just interested in the changes in the upcoming report along with a short review of the reporting process.
    Credits:  1.5 IMFOA Hours

    Class Locations and Dates 

    ​Location Date ​ ​Sessions Offered
    ​Ames​ ​Friday, July 26 ​Review Class 1-2:30 p.m.​​
    Creston
    ​Wednesday, July 31 ​​1-4 p.m. ​5-8 p.m.
    ​Monticello ​Wednesday, August 7 ​​1-4 p.m. ​5-8 p.m.
    ​Denison ​Wednesday, August 14​ ​​1-4 p.m. ​5-8 p.m.
    ​Kelley ​Thursday, August 15 ​​1-4 p.m. ​5-8 p.m.
    ​Fairfield ​Wednesday, August 21 ​​1-4 p.m. ​5-8 p.m.
    ​Algona ​Wednesday, August 28 ​​1-4 p.m. ​5-8 p.m.
    ​Calmar ​Wednesday, September 4 ​​1-4 p.m.​ ​5-8 p.m.
     
    And finally…Can’t make it to a class?  
    Thought of a question at an odd time and want to find the answer now?  
    Feel pretty confident with most of the report but need the “class” information for a section or two?  
    We’ve got you covered with online VIDEO!
    The training is posted in segments and may be viewed as many times as you’d like.  It is available NOW on the IDOT webpage at: https://iowadot.gov/local_systems/Street-Finance-Report-SFR/sfr-system
    No IMFOA Credits are available for watching this video training.

    Registration Process
    To register for a class, you are required to create an account on the IowaDOTU web page.  If you have previously created an account, please log in.  Once you are logged in, you can search for the classes:
    Step 1:  Click “Search” near the top of the page
    Step 2:  In the search field enter “City Street Finance Report”  
    *** Please note, this is a completely separate system than the one you use to log into for the Street Finance Report.  It most likely does not have the same user name or password.

    For more information about these training sessions, contact Mary Beth Sprouse at MaryBeth.Sprouse@iowadot.us​ or (515) 239-1256.