In The News

  • IAMU Stormwater Design Webinar Series Begins in June 

    Tuesday, June 02, 2015

    ​The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) and the Iowa Storm Water Education Program (ISWEP) is offering the Stormwater Design Webinar Series, which features six webinars June through November. The webinars will take a look at a variety of topics related to stormwater design and management. Below you can find the schedule for the webinars:

    • June 16: Iowa Flood Center, Real-time Data & Analysis Tools for Engineering Solutions to Stormwater Management
    • July 21: An Analysis of Soils for Land Use Planning, Development, and Stormwater Management
    • August 18: Green Roofs and Living Walls (includes new Iowa Stormwater Management Manual (ISWMM) Green Roof Design Standards)
    • September 15: GP#2 Management via an Interactive Website Which Reduced Construction Site Inspection Time by 50%!
    • October 20: Floating Islands for Retention Basin Nutrient Management (a fairly new BMP to Iowa)
    • November 17: Streambank Stabilization Options for Urban Streams

    Additional information and online registration is available on the ISWEP Web site.

  • June is Invasive Species Awareness Month 

    Monday, June 01, 2015

    Governor Terry Branstad proclaimed June as Invasive Species Awareness Month as a way to draw attention to the threat Iowa’s woodlands, wildlands and waterways are under from unwanted pests. Each year in Iowa, millions of dollars, both public and private, are spent to control invasive plants, insects, animals and diseases. Invasive species threaten Iowa’s lands and waters by competing with and destroying native plants and animals and by disrupting complex natural ecosystems.

    Emerald ash borer, zebra mussels, oriental bittersweet, Eurasian watermilfoil, and bighead and silver carp make the news as they increase their presence in the state. 

    “Awareness of invasive species is an important first step towards behavior change which can prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species in Iowa,” reads the proclamation from Governor Branstad. “Invasive Species Awareness Month is an opportunity for government to join forces with business, industry, conservation groups, recreation groups, community organization and cities to take action against the introduction and spread of invasive species.”

    For more information on Iowa’s invasive species and what you can do to help visit the fisheries and forestry pages of​

  • Online Registration Open for League's Conference 

    Monday, June 01, 2015

    ​Registration and hotel room blocks for the League’s Annual Conference and Exhibit opened Monday, June 1. Unlike previous years, registration is required BEFORE making a housing reservation; housing information and room block codes will be given during the online checkout process.

    Join other cities from across the state on September 23-25 in Cedar Rapids. Register early to receive a reduced rate and to receive hotel information!

    Your city should have received copies of this year’s conference brochure, which includes a preliminary list of workshops and events, in the mail. If you’d like more copies, please let us know at or call (515) 244-7282. More information and registration is also available on the conference page of our Web site.

    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. Join us September 23-25 in Cedar Rapids at this event planned just for you!

    Check the upcoming June issue of Cityscape magazine for even more information.

  • New Process for Child Labor Work Permits 

    Monday, June 01, 2015

    Youth under 16 years of age cannot be employed unless they have a work permit. The State of Iowa recently made changes to the role of employers in processing these permits.

    Local school officials and IowaWORKS offices will no longer issue work permits. After receiving a job offer, the youth and a parent fill in the required information on the Child Labor Application/Work Permit. Then the youth will need to provide to the employer one of the following proofs of age: a certified birth certificate, current passport, certified baptismal record showing the date and place of birth and the place of the child’s baptism or a Physician’s Certification of Minor’s Age. If these are not available, federal identification such as visa or resident alien/green card can be provided. The employer then must complete the work permit.The Guide to Completing Child Labor Application/Work Permit provides additional information and instructions for the new process.

  • Keep Iowa Beautiful Announces Beautification Grant Recipients 

    Friday, May 29, 2015

    ​Keep Iowa Beautiful recently announced the award of $80,000 in beautification grants to 19 projects across the state. This is the fifth year of the grant program that provides a major boost for community beautification and enhancement in communities of 5,000 and under. The program has now awarded $400,000 to over 90 communities since it began.

    Funding and reimbursement is available for expenses incurred only after July 1, 2015, and the project must be completed by June 30, 2016. Funding is authorized by the Iowa Legislature from the Solid Waste Alternative Program. Additional information about the program and a full list of the 2015 project recipients can be seen on the Keep Iowa Beautiful Web site.

  • IPRA to Host Two Free Parks Workshops in June 

    Friday, May 29, 2015

    ​The Iowa Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) is offering two Parks Workshops in June that are free to members of the IPRA or Iowa League of Cities. The first workshop will be held June 10 at North Ridge Pavilion in Coralville and feature presentations on conservation, creating an oak savanna and making playgrounds safe. The second workshop is set for June 18 at Lakeside Center in Ankeny and will focus on making parks ADA compliant. Please contact the IPRA at (641) 236-3917 to reserve your spot.

  • IPERS Offers Training for Reporting Officials 

    Thursday, May 28, 2015

    ​The Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System (IPERS) is offering training for reporting officials in July. This training is geared toward helping new reporting officials and those who have never attended IPERS training, understand their responsibilities. The training covers the basics of reporting, from who is covered by IPERS to wage reporting. Training will also cover more complex procedures, such as optional coverage, temporary employment and adjusting wages. You’ll also learn where to go for answers!​

    Registration and location information is available on the IPERS Web site.

  • Registration Open for 2015 Small City Workshops 

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    Our 2015 Small City Workshops get started next week! We will hold six workshops around the state in June with information and guidance designed for small city officials. This year's workshop topic is Sustaining the Small City and will include a two-part presentation and discussion on how small cities can be sustainable in the face of growing challenges such as population and business loss, demographic shifts and budget shortfalls.

    All workshops are scheduled for 5:30-8 p.m. and the cost is $35 (dinner is included). The workshops will be held on the following dates and locations:

    June 2 | Osceola
    June 4 | Solon
    June 9 | Manning
    June 11 | Fayette
    June 16 | Emmetsburg
    June 18 | Ellsworth
  • League Site Login Changes Coming 

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    Do you share an email address or login to the League's Web site? If so, the changes coming to the League's Web site will impact you.

    Shared Web Site Accounts:
    Going forward a Web site login can only be attached to one person's account. Where we found multiple people sharing the same existing account during our software migration, we assigned the account to the city clerk. These accounts are tied to event registration and subscription records, so going forward they must be unique to the individual.

    Shared Email addresses:
    Using the same email account to serve multiple people could cause confusion when password resets are requested. If three people with unique logins share an email address and one of them requests a password reset, all three user accounts will have a password reset link generated and emailed to the same email account.

    Best practice:
    We encourage city officials to set up individual email addresses and League Web site logins. If you have questions, contact or call (515) 244-7282.

  • Fleet Seminar 

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    Join the city of Ames Fleet Department and other public fleet managers on June 16 for an interactive discussion on best business practices for fleet operations. The 100 Best Fleets in North America is a program that rewards peak performing fleet operations and is convening this event. The city of Ames is one of the top 100 Fleets for 2015.

    This event is an opportunity to improve operations through better technologies and leadership. Presenters include representatives from Iowa Clean Cities Coalition; city of Ames; Dublin, Ohio; Dakota County, MN and Iowa State University. The event will be June 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ames Public Library. For more information and registration, contact

  • Water and Wastewater Operators Must Renew Certificates by June 30 

    Monday, May 25, 2015

    ​Water and wastewater operators are reminded that their current certificates will expire June 30 and renewal applications must be submitted prior to the deadline. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) maintains an Operator Certification database for each operator's individual details regarding their certificate and training. Operators may also use the system to apply for their renewal certificate and make an online payment.

  • IDNR to Host Floodplain Management Workshop 

    Monday, May 25, 2015

    ​The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host a Floodplain Management Workshop on June 30 in Manchester. The workshop is designed for local officials to help them properly manage new development in floodplains. All cities and counties must follow floodplain management requirements set by the IDNR as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency if the city or county is participating in the National Flood Insurance Program.

    The all-day workshop is free to attend and anyone interested should contact Bill Cappuccio at the IDNR to register: or (515) 725-8202.

  • COPS Hiring Program Accepting Grant Applications 

    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    ​The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) is now receiving applications for its COPS Hiring Program (CHP) grants. The program offers funding assistance for law enforcement agencies hiring and rehiring entry level career law enforcement officers in an effort to create and preserve jobs and increase their community policing capacity and crime prevention efforts.

    Awardees may receive up to 75 percent of the approved entry-level officer salary and fringe benefit costs, with a minimum 25 percent local cash match requirement and a maximum federal share of $125,000 per officer position over a three-year grant period. Grant funds may be used to hire new, full-time sworn officer positions, to re-hire officers who have been laid off, or to re-hire officers who are scheduled to be laid off on a specific future date as a result of local budget cuts. As in the past, CHP requires that each position awarded be retained with local funds for a minimum of 12 months at the conclusion of 36 months of federal funding for each position.

    Applicants may apply for the number of officer positions equal to 5 percent of their actual sworn force strength, up to a maximum of 15 officers for agencies with a service population of less than 1 million.

    Under Fiscal Year 2015 CHP additional consideration will be given to applicants who select one of the following community policing problem areas: Homicide/Gun Violence, Homeland Security Problems, or Building Trust. Additional consideration will also be given for applicants who indicate that the officer position(s) requested will be deployed as a School Resource Officer.

    Applications are due June 19 and must be submitted using the COPS Office Online Application System. For more information on the program and application instructions, visit the COPS Hiring Program Web site.
  • Funding Available Through Community Policing Grant Program 

    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    ​Cities can apply now for Community Policing Development grants, which are designated for advancing the practice of community policing and supports the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.

    The program helps law enforcement agencies through training and technical assistance, the development of innovative community policing strategies, applied research, guidebooks and best practices that are national in scope. The program is administered by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office as part of the U.S. Department of Justice's efforts to advance community policing in America.

    The 2015 grants will fund projects related to the following topic areas:
    • Microgrants Initiative for Law Enforcement
    • Critical Response Technical Assistance
    • Community Policing Emerging Issues Forums
    • President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Field Initiated Projects
    • Collaborative Reform Initiative Program Evaluation

    The program is open to all public governmental agencies, profit and non-profit institutions, universities, community groups and faith-based organizations. Applications are due June 19 and must be submitted using the COPS Online Application System. More information and application package materials are available on the COPS Web site.

  • IEDA Hosting Downtown Forums in June 

    Monday, May 18, 2015

    ​The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Downtown Resource Center is hosting four downtown forums in June to bring together community leaders interested in engaging in a discussion about their downtowns. Attendees can network with other downtown leaders, learn about the host location and engage in conversations about the challenges and opportunities that exist in Iowa’s beautiful downtowns. The forums will be held at the following locations:

    June 10 – Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce, 1121 Broadway, Emmetsburg, IA 50536
    June 11 – Quilts & Other Notions Creative Center, 201 North Elm Street, Creston, IA 50801
    June 17 – Franklin Street Brewery, 116 South Franklin Street, Manchester, IA 52057
    June 18 – Public Library, 214 West State Street, Williamsburg, IA 52361

    The downtown forums are free to attend, and anyone interested needs only to RSVP here and select the location and date of the forum they plan to attend.