In The News

  • Annual Conference and Exhibit Hotel Room Block Now Available 

    Tuesday, June 08, 2021

    ​Housing information for the League's 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibit is now available. Details on hotel room options and making reservations will be emailed to those that register for the conference. We recommend registering for conference and making hotel reservations early because rooms are limited and may fill before the room blocks close on August 14.​​​​

     
  • 2021 Small City Workshops Start This Week 

    Monday, June 07, 2021

    ​The 2021 Small City Workshops will be held in June, featuring four in-person workshops at different locations around the state, along with a virtual session. Each workshop will run 5:30-8 p.m. The cost is $50, dinner is included for the in-person events.

    This year's series is Financing and Funding for City Projects. Cities are faced with the challenge to fund a variety of projects. Some of these needs include facilities, infrastructure and nuisance abatement efforts. The workshop presenters are governmental consultants who serve as bond counsel and funding specialists. The presenters will cover the bond issuance process, urban renewal and TIF authority, capital planning, securing and administering grant funding and practical advice cities can utilize to achieve their goals.

    Workshop Schedule
    June 8 | Glidden
    June 10 | Eagle Grove
    June 15 | Central City
    June 17 | New London
    June 22 | Virtual (via Zoom)

    Additional information and online registration is available on the 2021 Small City Workshops page. ​​​​​​​​

     
  • League Dues are on the Way 

    Monday, June 07, 2021

    Dues renewals for membership in the Iowa League of Cities are on their way. The renewal notice will be sent electronically to the email we had on file for the city clerk, the mayor and the finance director. The email itself serves as the invoice for payment. If you didn’t receive the email, please reach out to League staff. If we don’t have your email address, a paper invoice was mailed out. Your membership dues are essential for the League to continue to support the mission of serving as your unified voice. With your financial support, the League is able to continue our century-old tradition of providing advocacy, training and guidance. The League thanks all its members for their continued support!​​​​​
     
  • Cityscape ePub 

    Tuesday, June 01, 2021

    The League's electronic Cityscape magazine for the June 2021​​​​​​​​ ​​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 www.iowaleague.org to change your preference.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

     
  • Send us your city photos! 

    Tuesday, June 01, 2021

    Want your city to be featured in the League's annual calendar? Send us a high-resolution photo that represents your city: library, town squares, public safety, festivals, beautification, etc. Please email the photo to mailbox@iowaleague.org.​​​​​ Calendars will be given out at our Annual Conference & Exhibit​.​​​​

    Photo Requirements: JPEG, 300dpi, 8x10 or larger​​

     
  • 2021 Annual Conference & Exhibit Registration is Open 

    Tuesday, June 01, 2021

    ​Delegate registration is open for the League's 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibit! Join us in Coralville, September 15-17, as we host the largest training in the state specifically designed for city officials. And for those unable to make it to Coralville, there is a registration option for a limited slate of virtual workshops.

    The Annual Conference & Exhibit offers nearly 40 educational workshops that cover topics of importance to city officials, along with a variety of networking events that allow attendees to share ideas on how to improve their community. A full schedule of events can be reviewed online.

    Stay tuned as additional details about the conference will be released over the coming weeks. A conference app will also be available for download later this summer. We hope to see you at Camp Coralville! ​​

     
  • Grants Available Through State Recreational Trails Program 

    Monday, May 24, 2021

    Grants are available through the State Recreational Trails Program (SRT) at the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT). The program is accepting project applications until July 1 for Fiscal Year 2022 funding allocations. The SRT provides funds to establish recreational trails in Iowa for the use, enjoyment and participation of the public.

    Please contact Scott Flagg, state recreational trails program manager, at scott.flagg@iowadot.us or (515) 239-1252 if you have any questions or concerns. Visit the SRT page to see applications and instructions as well as more information about the program.​​​
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  • Upcoming Webinars - gWorks 

    Monday, May 03, 2021

    gWorks will be hosting multiple educational webinars during the spring and summer. Each webinar will be about 30 minutes and pre-registration is encouraged. Learn more about each topic by clicking on the registration link.

    How Planning Your Work Reduces Friction and Prevents Emergencies

    Tips and Tricks that Simplify Your Accounts Payable Run
    ​How to Make Your Bank Reconciliation Process Easy and Painless
    June Fiscal Year-End Procedures - Session 1
    June Fiscal Year-End Procedures - Session 2
    Understanding How Dates Affect Bank Reconciliation
    9 Tips and Tricks to Help Keep Your Payroll Process Simple & Stress-Free
    How to Streamline Your Billing Process
    ​Council Reports and What They Tell You

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  • SF 587 - City Backfill Phase-Out, Elderly Tax Credit, Mental Health Funding 

    Monday, April 26, 2021

    SF 587 | Backfill Phase-Out, Elderly Property Tax Credit, Mental Health Funding 

    In 2013, the Iowa Legislature passed changes to the property tax system in Iowa, including a few components that reduce city property tax revenues. At the same time, they appropriated a "backfill" to help offset portions of these revenue reductions going forward and froze these amounts in the fiscal year 2017.

    SF 587 proposes to phase out the commercial and industrial property tax backfill for every city over either 4 or 6 years, depending on that city's valuation growth. Cities whose total taxable value (not counting gas and electric utilities) in FY21 was more than 31.14% higher than its FY14 value will receive the 4-year phase-out, while cities that have seen less growth receive the 6-year phase-out. You can download the spreadsheet to see if your city gets the 4-or 6-year plan. Note that there are two tabs in the downloadable spreadsheet​. For additional analysis or detail, contact research@iowaleague.org.

    This bill also creates a new elderly tax credit/property tax freeze for individuals who reach 70 years of age and earn less than 250% of the federal poverty level. The way the bill is currently drafted, cities' property tax revenues would be reduced by the amount of additional tax credit that would be required, above the amount that the state would otherwise fund for the traditional elderly tax credit. New applicants of the new elderly tax credit would be fully paid through city property tax reductions. Cities are encouraged to contact their legislators about impacts on their community.

    ​Additional resource: 
     

    Legislative Service Agency: Financial impacts to cities 

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  • National League of Cities American Rescue Plan Survey 

    Monday, March 29, 2021

    The passage of the historic American Rescue Plan means over $65 Billion will be delivered directly to cities, towns and villages. To gauge how conditions, from the economy and infrastructure to housing and education, have changed this past year and how new funding will be used to address these challenges, the National League of Cities (NLC) is conducting a short survey and invites you to participate. 

    The results will be part of NLC’s research efforts to showcase local leadership during the pandemic. They will also shape the type of strategies and programs NLC is developing to help communities leverage newly available funds. Make your voice count! Please respond no later than Tuesday, March 30. Complete the Survey​

     
  • HUD Older Adult Homes Modification Program 

    Friday, March 05, 2021

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Older Adult Home Modification Program (OAHMP)​ is now accepting grant applications through May 5, 2021. City governments are among those eligible to apply. The overall purpose of the Older Adult Home Modification Program (OAHMP) is to assist experienced nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and public housing authorities in undertaking comprehensive programs that make safe and functional home modifications and limited repairs to meet the needs of low-income elderly homeowners. The goal of the home modification program is to enable low-income elderly persons to remain in their homes through low-cost, low barrier, high impact home modifications to reduce older adults’ risk of falling, improve general safety, increase accessibility, and improve their functional abilities in their home. This will enable older adults to remain in their homes, that is, to “age in place,” rather than move to nursing homes or other assisted care facilities.
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  • Iowa DOT COVID-19 Impacts on Highway, Road, Street Funding and Relief Funding Allocation Feedback Requested 

    Thursday, February 11, 2021

    The Iowa DOT released a COVID-19 memo with an update on COVID-19 impacts on highway/road/street funding. It also outlines its recommendations for allocation of Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021​ (CRRSAA) federal relief funding to local governments. Any related input is sought by February 26.​​​​
     
  • Utility Rate Survey 

    Monday, February 01, 2021

    The League recently conducted its biennial Utility Rate Survey, concluding in winter 2020. With 365 cities and local government organizations participating, we hope this information will provide a great resource for comparison purposes during future utility rate reviews. The survey participants represent a diverse set of communities across the state in terms of geographic location, community population and utility rate structure.​​​
     
  • Iowa LTAP Work Zone Sign Package Program Applications Due November 27 

    Monday, November 02, 2020

    The Iowa Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) Small City Work Zone Sign Package Program is open and will be accepting applications until November 27. The program assists small cities, less than 10,000 in population, to make their work zones safer for workers and the public by acquiring a basic work zone sign/device package. Applications can be found on Iowa LTAP's website​.
     
  • Census & Differential Privacy 

    Friday, October 09, 2020

    Did you know the census intends to apply a new privacy methodology called differential privacy to its 2020 counts? The tradeoff is a significant increase in data inaccuracy, that may impact cities in a number of ways. One concern is that cities may not receive equitable funding distribution for those federal and state programs that use census counts distorted by differential privacy. Read more on the census and differential privacy​.​​​​​

    The Iowa League of Cities submitted a letter stating related concerns to the Census Bureau.