In The News

  • Cities in the News 

    Tuesday, August 20, 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     

    ​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.​​​​​​

  • People's All-Star Voting starts August 19 

    Tuesday, August 20, 2019

    Voting started on Monday, August 19, to vote with a “like” for your favorite city project. Voting will take place in rounds, city projects with the most likes in the current week’s Facebook photo album will move to the next round. Albums for voting will be posted by 11 a.m. each Monday and voting concludes at 8 a.m. the following Monday, with the exception of the final round which will conclude at noon on Thursday, September 26. The winner of the People’s All-Star Community Award will be announced later that evening at the Awards Banquet during conference.

    The League’s All-Star Community Award promotes, acknowledges and encourages excellence in local government. Winners from each of the three population categories, who were selected by a panel of judges with expertise in the local government, are Kalona, Cedar Falls and Sioux Center/Orange City. Check out the articles in this and future issues of Cityscape magazine to learn more about those winners. Now it’s your turn to choose a winner!

    Follow the League on Facebook and Twitter for updates. #IowaLeague19​

  • 2019 Exhibit Hall 

    Tuesday, August 20, 2019

    We look forward to seeing everyone in the luau-themed Iowa League of Cities Exhibit Hall, Wednesday, September 25 from 5:30-8 p.m. and Thursday, September 26 from 8-10:55 a.m., during the Annual Conference & Exhibit in Dubuque. We have a great group of exhibitors this year, check out who they are online.

    During the exhibit hall be sure to fill out raffle tickets handed out by participating exhibitors and enter them to win the prize.  There is no limit to how many times you can enter for a prize. Raffle drawings will start at 10 a.m. on Thursday and you must be present to win.

  • Funding Available for Dam Mitigation and Water Trail Projects 

    Monday, August 19, 2019

    ​The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has two grant opportunities to support the improvement of water ways and related recreational opportunities. The grant opportunities are described below and additional information is available on the IDNR website.
    • Dam Mitigation Grants (applications due October 4)
      Funding is available for competitive cost-share grants to support dam mitigation projects that reduce recreational hazards and enhance aquatic species connectivity. Funds can be used to help decision makers be more aware of options prior to investing in repairs, technical assistance and project management.
    • Water Trail Enhancement Grants (applications due November 29)
      Funding is available for competitive grants for infrastructure or infrastructure improvements along state designated water trails or water trails on track for state designation.
  • August 18-24 is Water and Wastewater Workers Week 

    Sunday, August 18, 2019

    ​Join us in celebrating Water and Wastewater Treatment Workers of Iowa Week, August 18-24, as we thank the dedicated and hard working professionals who operate these vital services. Clean water and a reliable wastewater system are essential to any community's quality of life, helping promote public health and sustainable development.

    The League thanks all water and wastewater workers around the state for their outstanding service!​​

  • Annual Financial Report Webinar 

    Tuesday, August 13, 2019

    A new Annual Financial Report system is being implemented for the FY2019 AFR.  This new system will no longer use the spreadsheet forms and upload website of previous years.  The new AFR system will be 100% online.  In order to familiarize cities with the new online AFR system, the Iowa League of Cities will be hosting a live webinar with Ted Nellesen of the Iowa Department of Management on August 23 at 10 am.  There will be an opportunity for communities to ask questions to Ted in real-time, or by sending written questions to Ted directly at, prior to the webinar which he will answer during the webinar.  Every city must file an AFR for the previous fiscal year with the Auditor of State by December 1, so be sure to join us for this instructive webinar. To register visit,​​​​​​​

  • Webinar on Federal Communications Commission on changes to cable franchise 

    Tuesday, August 13, 2019

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on August 1 to approve changes on how local and state governments handle cable franchises. The order will go into effect 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected to occur in the near future. The result of this new order will impact local government by changing the in-kind portion of franchise agreements and franchise fees and the regulation of mixed-use networks by state and local franchising authorities. 

    The National League of Cities will be hosting a webinar on August 27 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.  The webinar will explain the order, when it goes into effect, the impacts it could have on your city, and what cities and municipal leagues can do to express their concern about this order.  To register for the webinar visit,

    For more information, please visit these resources:

    Iowa League of Cities Public Comments:

    National League of Cities CitiesSpeak Article:

    Best Best & Krieger article:​

  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources began testing for Manganese on July 1 during Sanitary Survey Inspections 

    Tuesday, August 13, 2019

    Iowa Department of Natural Resources began testing for Manganese during cities Sanitary Survey Inspections on July 1. Prior to newer studies indicating that elevated levels of manganese can cause adverse human health effects, manganese was long considered to be an aesthetic problem, causing taste, odor, and staining. It is important that you reach out to your public works officials or plant operators to get an understanding of whether your city has elevated levels of manganese and what steps can be taken to address it. 


  • GrantFinder Available to League Member Cities 

    Monday, August 12, 2019

    ​All cities are eligible to subscribe to GrantFinder, a program offered through the Iowa League of Cities' partnership with Praetorian Digital’s EfficientGov. EfficientGov is an information service that tracks innovative solutions to fiscal and operational challenges facing cities and towns across the country. EfficientGov provides local government leaders with unlimited access to information and tools that help reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of government.

    Through this partnership, the League is able to offer 100 of our members an annual subscription to GrantFinder, the largest searchable database of private, state and federal grants available to municipalities and local nonprofits. GrantFinder provides an excellent grant search function, a tracking system for grant application deadlines, a personalized grant calendar with programmed alerts and more.

    A subscription costs only $50 per year and is available on a first come, first serve basis until all subscriptions are purchased. If you are interested in receiving access, please contact the League at or (515) 244-7282. Cities can also fill out the GrantFinder Order Form and mail it along with payment to the League to gain access.​​
  • Cityscape ePub 

    Tuesday, August 06, 2019

    The League's electronic Cityscape magazine for the August 2019 ​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 to change your preference.​​​​​​​​

  • IDOT Accepting Applications for Federal Trails Funding 

    Monday, August 05, 2019

    ​The Iowa Department of Transportation is accepting applications for funding through the Federal Recreational Trails program. Funding is available to support the development and enhancement of local and regional trail systems. This year, additional funding is available for trail maintenance and paving projects that will be able to be let by October 30, 2020. Such projects would include but are not limited to overlays, paving of granular trails and minor rehabilitation to non-historic bridges. Ongoing trail maintenance such as mowing, sweeping and general repair are considered trail operating costs and are not eligible projects for this program.

    Applications are due October 1 and additional information is available on the Federal Recreational Trails program web page.​​

  • Registration Open for 2019 Fall Employment Conference 

    Monday, August 05, 2019

    ​The Fall Iowa Employment Conference will be held on October 23 at the Meadows Events and Conference Center in Altoona. The theme of this year's fall conference is Mental Health in the Workplace and provide sessions that discuss how employees are your most valuable asset and those individuals' mental health at work is just as important.

    City officials, including managers, supervisors, human resource professionals and others are invited to attend. Registration to the conference is open and additional information is available on the Iowa Employment Conference website. ​​​​​

  • Cities Asked to Participate in ISWEP Survey 

    Friday, August 02, 2019

    ​Cities are asked to participate in a survey from the Iowa Storm Water Education Partnership (ISWEP). The survey asks a variety of questions related to storm water management to gather data related to storm water programs, funding, staffing, best practices and more. ​​
  • Don't forget to register for the Annual Conference & Exhibit 

    Tuesday, July 30, 2019

    Make sure to register before August 13th for the Annual Conference and Exhibit! After August 13th, there's a late fee for registration. Don't miss out on a great way to network with other cities! Visit our website for a complete list of workshops!​​​
  • Property Tax Resources for SF634 

    Tuesday, July 30, 2019

    Two SF634 Webinars are now available on the League web site.  Webinar #1 covers the bill basics.  Webinar #2 discusses financial impacts and walks through the League’s new “Quick Calculator Tool” related to the bill.  This tool enables cities to transfer data from their budget certification pages directly into the tool, and auto-calculate the 2% “threshold” defined in the bill.

    The Iowa Department of Management has b​een working with the City Finance Committee to finalize the official budget forms and notification forms related to this change.

            Property Tax Model Tool has been updated annually to reflect the impact of various property tax bills

            Property Tax tracking Project - Cross section of 21 cities

            Special Report on Property Tax Levies

            Budget Special Report

            Property Tax Special Report​