In The News

  • Iowa Arts Summit 

    Friday, April 25, 2014

    Friday, June 6 in Des Moines the Iowa Arts Summit will bring together community stakeholders from across Iowa for a day of learning, networking and professional development while celebrating the impact arts and culture have on Iowa’s quality of life through presentation of the Governor’s Arts Awards.

    Dynamic sessions featuring local, state and national speakers will provide an in-depth look at issues facing Iowa’s arts and cultural organizations. From encouraging community collaboration to driving our creative economy and investing in the future of rural Iowa, this important day will welcome an engaged and eclectic audience of arts and culture leaders and entrepreneurs, educators and economic development professionals, as well as local and state elected officials.

    Registration deadline is May 23. The 2014 Iowa Arts Summit is presented by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

  • 2014 MPA Registration Now Open 

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Registration is open for this year's Municipal Professionals Academy (MPA). ​The purpose of the MPA is to provide city clerks, finance officers, and others with continuing education training. MPA also provides

    • Useful, up-to-date information that will assist in their job performance.
    • In-depth training on a range of topics.
    • Interested clerks with information to qualify them for membership in the International Institute of Municipal Clerks' Academy.
    • Opportunities to meet clerks from across the state - make friends and business acquaintances.
    • Updates on new laws, programs and technology affecting Iowa municipal government.
    • Opportunities for credit toward recertification for Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association-sponsored certifications.
    • Opportunities to build professional skills and credentials as a municipal clerk/finance officer.

    MPA will be held July 23-25 in Ames.

  • Survey: Climate Adaptation on the Local Level 

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    The National League of Cities is collaborating with several partners on a survey to assess the current state of the local climate adaptation/preparedness field. The results from the survey will be used to ensure NLC is providing relevant, timely and usable resources to help you advance municipal climate efforts.

    This survey is designed for representatives of local government, including staff and elected officials and will take approximately 25 minutes to complete. The survey will close on May 2.

    For your time, your name will be entered into a drawing to win free registration and three nights hotel accommodations to support your attendance at the 2015 National Adaptation Forum in St. Louis, MO or the 2015 Resilient Cities Congress in Bonn, Germany. Three winners will be selected. 

    If you have any questions about the survey please contact Raksha Vasudevan

  • MLA Part Three 

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    MLA Part Three: Webinar Series will cover topics of interest to newly elected and more experienced city officials taught by state experts in the subject matter. The four topic webinar series will be released in stages during the first half of 2014. Webinars may be purchase on an individual basis or as a complete package for a discount.

    Emergency Management is the third webinar released as part of MLA Part Three. The session will be available May 12 and archived on the League's Web site for viewing throughout 2014. Online Registration is currently available for all parts of this training.

    May 2014: Emergency Management
    This session will feature an overview of emergency management with attention placed on preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. The session will also highlight the role that cities and city officials play in the process. Instructor: A.J. Mumm, Polk County Emergency Management

  • Solar Readiness Webinars Available Through IAMU 

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    ​The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) is offering three Solar Readiness Webinars over the next couple of months. The webinars will describe the technical aspects of solar interconnection (and the IAMU interconnection toolbox), address the top concerns of municipal utilities, look at utility benefits and challenges of rooftop and community solar, and review the technical and financial tools available to help your utility be "solar-healthy.”

    The webinars will be offered from 2-3 p.m. on the following dates:

    • April 24
    • May 22
    • June 26

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

  • Stormwater Management Featured at 2014 Great Connections Conference 

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    ​The Great Rivers and Great Lakes chapters of the International Erosion Control Association are hosting the 2014 Great Connections Conference at the Radisson Quad City Plaza in Davenport, April 29-May 1.

    The conference will feature high-quality training and information designed to prepare attendees for the construction season and set the tone for longer-range planning on topics such as MS4, active and post-construction stormwater management, construction general permit (CGP) compliance and much more. Stormwater, erosion and sediment control, locally-driven policy and education initiatives will be explored.

    Attendees can also take part in the Stormwater Field Day on May 1, which will tour several stormwater projects in the area including a low head dam removal, streetscaping that uses bio retention cells for water quality and quantity, and a large bioswale retrofit in a residential neighborhood.

    A full rundown of the conference agenda and online registration is available on the Great Connections Conference Web site.

  • Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program  

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    FEMA has announced the Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant program for Fiscal Year 2014, which includes Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA). The HMA grant program will provide funds to states, territories, Indian tribal governments and communities for hazard mitigation planning and mitigation projects prior to a disaster event.  Funding amounts are based on Congressional appropriation.

    Projects submitted for consideration must be consistent with the goals and objectives identified in Iowa’s State Hazard Mitigation Plan and local mitigation plan for the jurisdiction in which the activity is located. The FMA grant provides an excellent opportunity for communities to initiate mitigation projects that provide protection against natural hazards.  Eligible mitigation project activities include (but are not limited to):

    • Mitigation Planning consistent with 44 CFR Part 201 (only for flood hazard)
    • Property Acquisition and Structural Demolition and Relocation (for NFIP insured properties)
    • Structural Elevation (for NFIP insured properties)
    • Dry Flood Proofing (for NFIP insured properties)
    • Minor Localized Flood Reduction Projects (should benefit NFIP insured properties)
    • Non-structural Retrofitting of Existing Buildings and Facilities (for NFIP insured properties)
    • Mitigation Reconstruction (for NFIP insured properties) 

    The HMA FY 2014 Hazard Mitigation Assistance program guidance provides critical information about eligibility, the National Evaluation Process, and other key aspects of each program. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also recently changed the program guidance for this funding. Applicants with proposed projects located in a FEMA-identified Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are eligible for funding only if the jurisdiction in which the project is located is participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and not withdrawn or suspended.  

    Funding & Cost Share

    This is a cost share grant program which means that awarded grants will be funded as follows: 

    • Federal (FEMA) share of total eligible costs  – 75 percent maximum

    • Local share of total eligible costs – 25 percent

    FEMA has established the application deadline for States to submit their application by July 25. In order to meet FEMA's deadline, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) must receive local sub-applications by July 7. For more information visit the HMA Grant Web site of the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management

  • IEDA Announces New City Energy Managment Program 

    Friday, April 18, 2014

    ​The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Energy Office with Community Development and Main Street Iowa are pleased to announce the City Energy Management Program, designed to help cities set energy reduction goals and implement energy efficiency projects through the shared use of a Regional Energy Manager (REM).

    The IEDA Energy Office has secured the services of energy managers who will directly work with up to 20 cities to help identify opportunities to reduce energy costs in city-owned buildings, exterior lighting and water/wastewater facilities. This assistance will be given to the selected cities who will provide an in-kind match to achieve energy efficiency within their community.

    All cities in Iowa are eligible to apply. Selected cities will receive one-on-one customized assistance in many areas from an experienced REM including: enrolling city-owned buildings into the Iowa Public Building Benchmarking Program; establishing a City Energy Advisory Team; coordinating meetings with utilities and city management to discuss energy priorities; developing energy efficient procurement guidelines; setting energy reduction goals; developing a city Energy Action Plan; identifying cost-effective projects to reduce energy use and costs; tracking energy savings over time to gauge success; and much more.

    IEDA will accept applications through May 31. Initial meetings with the selected cities will take place in mid to late-June, and work will be carried out between July 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015.

    To apply, complete the application form at under the funding opportunity #78642, City Energy Management Program.

    For more information contact Carrie Weber at or (515) 725-2033.

  • Tim Shields Endowment Golf Fundraiser to be Held June 6 

    Friday, April 18, 2014

    ​The annual Tim Shields Endowment Golf Fundraiser will be held Friday, June 6 at 10 a.m. at Otter Creek Golf Course in Ankeny. The format of the outing will be 4-person best-shot, and prizes will be awarded in flights. All city officials and event sponsors are invited to play as well as form their own 4-person teams.

    The annual golf outing raises money for the Tim Shields Endowment, which provides education and leadership development for local elected and appointed officials. Please contact Mickey Shields at the League with any questions or to register and submit a team, or (515) 244-7282.

    What: Tim Shields Endowment Annual Golf Fundraiser
    When: Friday, June 6, 2014 | 10 a.m. shotgun start
    Where: Otter Creek Golf Course, Ankeny |
    Cost: $65/player

    About the Endowment
    Tim Shields was a former director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Iowa. Tim is best known from his tireless service in that capacity for 24 years until his passing on May 26, 2004. Working for the Institute, Tim traveled the state, providing leadership training, facilitating strategic visioning exercises for communities and warmly encouraging the best municipal service possible for citizens.

    The Tim Shields Endowment Fund was created to memorialize and further Tim’s belief in quality municipal government in the state of Iowa. The endowment provides education and leadership development for local elected and appointed officials. Direct contributions to the endowment may be sent to: Tim Shields Endowment Fund, c/o The Community Foundation of Johnson County, 325 E. Washington Street, Iowa City, IA 52240.

  • 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