In The News

  • Cities are Vibrant and Innovative 

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    ​Cities are vibrant, innovative centers for work, play and life. The Iowa League of Cities wants to help spread that message across Iowa. Help spread the message in your city by participating in the inaugural City Week, October 6-10, 2014.

    The impact City Week will have in each community is up to that city. The Iowa League of Cities developed to provide ideas and guidance for cities or citizens looking to learn more and participate.

    We are excited to promote City Week as part of an ongoing effort to raise public awareness about the services cities perform and to help cities educate their public on how city government works. Join us in promoting good government and highlighting the many services city governments provide and your city’s contributions to a better quality of life in Iowa.

    Learn more on the City Week Web site, and on page 18 of the April issue of the League’s Cityscape magazine.

  • U.S. Communities Offers Cities Potential Cost Savings 

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    ​A League Endorsed Program, U.S. Communities is a national nonprofit cooperative purchasing program that provides local governments competitively bid contracts for a wide variety of goods and services. There are no user fees to use the program and cities can save on time and administrative costs through contracts that have already been through a competitive bid process. Combining the purchasing power of the thousands of public agencies across the country also leads to significant discounts on vendor prices.

    There are numerous contracts and suppliers to choose from including Home Depot, Cintas, Graybar, Carquest, Hertz, Tapco and Independent Stationers. Cities can purchase their hardware supplies, office supplies, equipment rentals, office furniture, auto parts and more through these and other contracts and see real savings.

    Getting started is easy as cities can register on the U.S. Communities Web site and start shopping immediately by going to the U.S. Communities Marketplace, where you can search over 1 million products and services.

  • Damage Prevention Summit 

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    This year’s 6th Annual Damage Prevention Summit is a free, educational event for anyone interested in industry Best Practices and preventing damage to crucial underground facilities. The Summit, held April 29-30, brings together the best in the Excavation and Damage Prevention Industry to exchange the latest information and technology available to promote work place safety and communication. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in CPR/first aid workshop, trenching and shoring competent worker workshop, locate rodeo, exhibits, and hear from national and regional leaders in damage prevention.

  • 2014 League Webinar Series Continues 

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    The next event in the 2014 League Webinar Series will be held Thursday, April 17 with Council Meeting Decorum and Procedures. The webinar will begin at 6:00 p.m. and review best practices as well as ideas for rules and procedures that will help improve your city council meetings.

    The League Webinar Series includes nine webinars throughout the year that provide education and training on various topics. Please view the full schedule of webinars as we will cover a wide range of topics important to city officials.

    Each webinar costs $35 and will be archived on the League's Web site for later viewing.

  • Spring 2014 Introduction to Planning and Zoning Workshops 

    Tuesday, April 08, 2014

    The dates and locations for the Spring 2014 Planning and Zoning for Local Officials workshops hosted by Iowa State University have been set:
    • Monday, March 31, 2014 | Okoboji, Arrowwood Resort
    • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 | Carroll, Carrollton Inn
    • Monday, April 7, 2014 | Decorah, Hotel Winneshiek
    • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 | Clear Lake, Best Western Holiday Lodge
    • Monday, April 14, 2014 | Cedar Rapids, Clarion Hotel and Conference Center
    • Monday, April 21, 2014 | Sioux City, Bev’s on the River
    • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | Creston, Supertel Inn and Conference Center

    All workshops begin with registration and a light meal at 5:30 p.m. The program begins at 6 p.m. and concludes by 8:45 p.m. The registration fee is $65 per individual. This fee is reduced to $50 per individual if a city or county registers 5 or more officials to attend. The fee covers the workshop instruction, workshop materials, and meal.

    Registration is available exclusively online. Click on the “Intro to Planning and Zoning Workshops” tab at the top of the page, then click on the “Register Online Here” link. When you register you will have the option to pay by credit card, or to be invoiced via email.

    More information about registration is posted on that page. For registration questions contact (515) 294-6222 or

    For other information about the workshops please contact:
    Gary Taylor at (515) 290-0214 or
    Alan Vandehaar at (515) 231-6513 or
    Linda Doering at (515) 294-8707 or
  • Online Registration Now Open for 2014 Small City Workshops 

    Tuesday, April 08, 2014

    ​Online registration is now available for the 2014 Small City Workshops, which will be held in June at six locations around the state. This year's topics are Human Resources Management for the Small City and The Balancing Act: Diversifying Revenues and Becoming More Efficient. The workshops run 5:30-8 p.m.; the cost is $35 and includes dinner. Below are the dates and locations:
    • June 3 – Primghar
    • June 5 – Sheffield
    • June 10 – Earlville
    • June 12 – Wellman
    • June 17 – Oakland
    • June 19 – Madrid
  • Wetland Delineation Training Class 

    Monday, April 07, 2014

    ​A Wetland Delineation Training class will be held at the University of Northern Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairie Center on June 9-13. The Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Service teamed up to teach the Corps 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual with the Midwest Regional Supplement. This week long class will teach the basics of what a wetland delineation is, vegetation, soils and hydrology indicators, how to fill out data sheets for a delineation submitted to the Corps, how to tackle difficult sites and much much more. This class is ideal for those who deal with the Corps Regulatory Program or are tasked with the identification of wetland boundaries and delineation. This class has daily field trips and appropriate field attire is required. Cost is approximately $250.

    For more information, please contact Albert Frohlich with the Rock Island District Corps of Engineers Regulatory Branch at (309) 794-5859 or

  • Keep Iowa Beautiful Annual Conference to be Held May 7 

    Friday, April 04, 2014

    ​Keep Iowa Beautiful (KIB) will hold its 10th annual conference May 7 at the Webster City Community Theatre. This year's conference theme is "Moving Forward: Creating a New Home, Work and Where You Live" and will feature keynote speaker James T. Dittoe, author of 90 Days to a Winning Community. Dittoe has more than 30 years of experience in community and economic development. In 1994 he founded Winning Communities, Inc. to help cities, towns and counties across America envision the future.

    Workshops planned for the conference include art in rural communities, creating a new identity, rivers and water trails, community tree planning, planting and care, hometown pride, K-12 service learning, and Keep America Beautiful.

    The day-long conference is a great opportunity for community leaders and volunteers to share and learn ways to build stronger communities. Early registration (before April 25) is $25 for KIB members, $35 for non-members and $10 for students. This includes lunch, breaks and conference materials.

  • Stormwater Design Webinar Series Begins April 8 

    Friday, April 04, 2014

    ​The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) and the Iowa Storm Water Education Program (ISWEP) will be holding a Stormwater Design Webinar Series over the next several months that will feature information and guidance on various aspects of stormwater programs. Below is the schedule for the series:

    • April 8 | Unified Sizing Criteria - Small Storms & LID Hydrology
    • May 13 | Infiltration Based Practices - What’s New in the ISWMM
    • June 10 | Conservation Sub-Division Design 101: From the Owner/Developer, Consulting Engineer and Municipal Planner’s Point of View
    • August 12 | Detention Basin Double-Duty: Retrofits That Manage Water Quality
    • September 9 | Calculating Pollutant Load & Volume Reductions with Center for Watershed Protection’s and EPA National Storm Water Calculators
    • October 14 | Regional Detention Basins & Constructed Wetlands for Stormwater Management & Recreational Opportunities
    • November 11 | Working Upstream in the Watershed - Turning to our Agriculture Neighbors for Flood Control with SRF Sponsored Project Funding

    Each webinar will run 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and cost $35 (or buy access to all 7 for $210). More information and online registration is available on the IAMU Web site.

  • Cityscape ePub 

    Tuesday, April 01, 2014

    The League is offering our monthly Cityscape magazine electronically, as well as in paper. View the April 2014 edition.

    Take the time to chose 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.

  • HSEMD Announces Trainings 

    Tuesday, April 01, 2014

    ​The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) announce several trainings designed primarily for city employees:

    Basic Public Information Officer Training
    This 2-day training will equip participants with the basic skills needed to be a full or part-time Public Information Officer. Topics covered will include oral and written communications, understanding and working with the media and basic tools and techniques. Training will occur in Belmond on July 30-31.

    Critical Employee Emergency Planning
    The goal of this training is to help give your agency the necessary tools to help prepare your critical employees and their families before, during and after a disaster. Training will occur in Belmond on July 29.

    Incident Command System (ICS) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Interface
    This 1-day course is designed to be delivered to incident commanders, command and emergency operations center personnel from the same community. Exercises and group discussions are used extensively to allow participants to begin developing an interface plan for their jurisdiction. Training will occur in Waterloo on June 17.  

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

  • 2014 Iowa SMART Conference to be Held May 1 

    Monday, March 31, 2014

    ​The 2014 Iowa SMART Conference will be held Thursday, May 1 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines. The annual conference is co-sponsored by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Utility Association and is designed for economic development professionals, community leaders, elected officials, chamber of commerce executives and business leaders.

    The all-day conference features general sessions, networking opportunities and workshops that address critical economic development topics, such as local government financing, housing, broadband/connectivity, community improvement and tourism.

    More information and online registration is available at the SMART Conference Web site.

  • IAMU Offers Consumer Confidence Report Training 

    Monday, March 31, 2014

    ​The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) is holding six workshops across the state in April to to assist water system employees with preparing the annual Consumer Confidence Report. City water utilities are required to file the report by July 1 of each year, and the process can be time consuming. The goal for the workshops is to have each attendee leave with a draft or final copy of their report.

    The workshops will be held at the following locations:

    • April 16 - Mason City
    • April 17 - North Liberty
    • April 22 - Ankeny
    • April 23 - Independence
    • April 24 - Alta
    • April 25 - Atlantic

    More details and online registration is available on the IAMU Web site.

  • Pyrotechnics Guild International 

    Monday, March 31, 2014

    The Iowa chapter of the Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI) has scheduled a PGI Display Operator Certification (DOC) Course. The course is designed to meet the need for both a "basic" course in fireworks display safety and as the first step in an optional certification process which, when completed, results in the successful trainee becoming a PGI Certified Display Operator.

    The course closely adheres to well-established Shoot Site Safety Practices and to the Safety Guidelines of the PGI and is congruent with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Codes 1123 & 1124. These two codes cover the Transportation, Handling, Storage of 1.3G Display Fireworks and the Planning, Setup and Operation of 1.3G Displays. IMWCA recommends members engaged in fireworks displays receive this training.

    When:Saturday, April 26

    Where: Fairfax Fire Department, 525 Vanderbilt St, Fairfax, IA

    Cost: $80, $70 for recertification, ($30/$25 if you have textbook)

    To learn more or to register for the class email Mark Woodburn

  • Still Time to Register for the 2014 Leadership Summit 

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    The 2014 Leadership Summit will take place in Des Moines on April 25-26, 2014. This event will provide elected and appointed city leaders an opportunity to discuss challenges facing our cities, focusing on how leadership at the local level can better address contemporary issues in local government. A full agenda and online registration is now available.

    Mayor Ted Ellis, Mayor of Bluffton, IN and former President of the National League of Cities will provide the keynote address for the event. Mayor Ellis will provide attendees with a stimulating and thought provoking illustration of leadership at the local level. A native of Bluffton, Ellis was elected as mayor of Bluffton in 1995 after serving nine years on the Wells County Council. He is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in economics. Ellis is the elected treasurer of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the international association representing local and regional governments and their national associations. He is a past president of Indiana Association of Cities and Towns and is a founding member of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. Ellis was named a “Sagamore of the Wabash” by the governor of Indiana and received the Russell Lloyd Award from the Indiana Association of Cities and Town for “outstanding contributions to local government.”

    Who Should Attend?
    Both newly elected and experienced mayors, council members, city clerks and city administrators will benefit from attendance. Leadership in city government involves making policy decisions that affect the day-to-day lives of citizens. The inaugural Leadership Summit includes general sessions that will provide insight and useful strategies to take back to your community.