In The News

  • Cities in the News 

    Tuesday, July 16, 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 citynews@iowaleague.org.     

    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.​​
     
  • Iowa State University Rural Development Symposium: Research, Practice, and Success 

    Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Register now for the Iowa State University Rural Development Symposium: Research, Practice, and Success.

    Cost: $75 per person

    Rural America includes every place that is not urban – from micropolitan areas with up to 50,000 residents, to the smallest, unincorporated towns and open country. Let’s talk about the challenges facing these places and how to build capacity and create support for rural development efforts.

    Learn what works – and why!

    • Engage with the researchers who study the issues and the people who put the research into practice – businesses, entrepreneurs, funders, and government officials.

    • Hear about current research and success for economic development and quality of life in rural America. Conference speakers include representatives from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Iowa State University, other Midwestern universities, and nonprofit organizations.

    • Learn what affects:

    o   Community well-being

    o   Labor markets

    o   Business succession and retention

    o   Business location and expansion

    o   Rural capital and innovation

    Register online: https://register.extension.iastate.edu/rural

     
     
  • Street Finance Report 

    Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    The City Street Financial Report information is available at: http://www.iowadot.gov/local_systems/publications/sfr/sfrsystem.aspx 

    The Code of Iowa, Chapter 312, Section 14 requires the submission of this report by September 30, 2019. In accordance with Section 312.15 of the Code of Iowa, the Iowa Department of Transportation must notify the State Treasurer if any city fails to comply. The State Treasurer will then withhold Road Use Tax (RUT) funds allocated to the city until the city complies.If the city has not complied by December 31, RUT funds shall not be allocated to the city and these withheld funds will revert to the street construction fund of the cities.

    Completed SFR are due at the Iowa Department of Transportation, on or before September 30.  On the first working day of October, the State Treasurer will be provided with a list of all delinquent cities and will begin withholding RUT funds.  Mayors of delinquent cities will be notified by email of their city’s non-compliance with the Code of Iowa and on the first working day of each subsequent month.  When a delinquent city complies, the State Treasurer will be notified immediately and that city will again be eligible to receive RUT funds.

    HELP IS AVAILABLE IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS!  There have been no changes made in this year’s report.  The training manual and step by step videos are available online at: https://iowadot.gov/local_systems/Street-Finance-Report-SFR/sfr-system 
    In person training sessions are also coming up for those who are interested!

    Class Locations and Dates:

    Review Class (1.5 Credits):     

                Ames - Friday, July 26, 1:00-2:30, Following MPA wrap-up @ Gateway

    Street Finance Report Training Classes (3 Credits):

                Creston - Wednesday, July 31, 1:00 – 4:00   OR   5:00 – 8:00

                Monticello - Wednesday, August 7, 1:00 – 4:00   OR   5:00 – 8:00

                Denison - Wednesday, August 14, 1:00 – 4:00   OR   5:00 – 8:00

                Kelley - Thursday, August 15, 1:00 – 4:00   OR   5:00 – 8:00

                Fairfield - Wednesday, August 21,  1:00 – 4:00   OR   5:00 – 8:00

                Algona - Wednesday, August 28, 1:00 – 4:00   OR   5:00 – 8:00

                Calmar - Wednesday, September 4,1:00 – 4:00   OR   5:00 – 8:00

     

    To register for a class, you are required to create an account on the IowaDOTU web page. If you have previously created an account you can log into the Non-DOT Users box, if not, please select Register here under the login box to create an account.  NOTE:  This is NOT the same log in as the Iowaid that you use to access the report.  Once you are logged in, you can search for the classed under the “Search” option at the top of the page third from the left or you can select the calendar method. These trainings are listed as City Street Finance Report. Click here to begin by visiting the Iowa Dept. of Transportation ( IowaDOTU ) website.

    Questions? Call 515-239-1256 or email marybeth.sprouse@iowadot.us

     
  • 2019 Alcohol Law Changes 

    Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Law changes effective July 1, 2019, may impact your alcoholic beverage control licensing or regulatory responsibilities. These law changes are the result of the passage of Senate File 618, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division's technical bill. Learn more ​​
     
  • NLC Releases Housing Report 

    Monday, July 15, 2019

    ​The National League of Cities (NLC) recently released Homeward Bound: The Road to Affordable Housing, a new report that offers guidance to cities on the issue of housing. Many communities in Iowa and across the country are faced with housing challenges and shortfalls, which can impact job security, economic mobility and wellness.

    The report studies the issue of housing and offers steps cities can take to make improvements, including guidance specifically for smaller communities. It also takes a look at several city case studies that review how those communities have made progress.

     
  • Are you ready for some F.U.N.? 

    Monday, July 15, 2019

    ​The 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibit will feature an Opening Luncheon that promises to get attendees laughing and thinking. Keynote speaker Paul Long will bring his concept of "Fundamism," infectious spirit and unique take on F.U.N. in the workplace. His shenanigans have been featured in media outlets like ESPN, the Washington Post and even the Wall Street Journal.

    Paul will share his experiences, including while working for a call center in the highly conservative industry of insurance where Paul had a conversation with a manager and several other employees. "Are you always this upbeat and optimistic?" asked one of the call center employees. "Give it time," retorted the manager, "this place will get to him." From that day forth Paul decided not to allow experiences to shape others but rather motivate and engage others to create memorable experiences for themselves.

    Join us September 25-27 in Dubuque to take part in the Opening Luncheon along all of the other great events and workshops during the conference, which is the largest training in the state designed specifically for Iowa’s elected and appointed city officials. See the full conference schedule to learn more about workshops and register for the conference.

     
  • 2019 Municipal Professionals Academy Registration 

    Tuesday, July 09, 2019

    Registration for the Municipal Professionals Academy, July 24-26 closes on July 17, after the deadline all registrations are subject to a $10 late fee. The Municipal Professionals Academy offers continuing education training for city clerks, finance officers and others to provide in-depth training for clerks and municipal staff to get useful, up-to-date information that will assist them in their job performance.

    The following are some helpful tips and links for navigating the registration process.  

    1. The link to registration can be found on our website at: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/communities/oslgp/2018-mpa    Available payment options are to pay by credit card (there is a non-refundable credit card fee) at the time of registration or make your payment by check after registering for courses through the online portal.  Checks should be sent to the Iowa League of Cities, 500 SW 7th Street, Suite 101, Des Moines, IA  50309-4506.

    2. QGIS Course: New for 2019, there is a QGIS course being offered before the Academy. This will take place on July 24th from 8 am – 12 pm and is a separate offering.  The cost of the course is $100 and can be registered for with registration for the Academy as well as a standalone course.  Participants will learn how to add, query, and create data through a step by step process that will result in a map ready to print and share with community leaders and decision makers.

    Sweatshirts: We sell sweatshirts as a way to keep everyone warm (the rooms are sometimes chilly) and to assist with offering scholarships. This year the shirts are heather grey with a red logo. An example can be found on the registration link.  If you wish to make a $25 donation to the scholarship fund without purchasing a sweatshirt, that option is also available.

    If you have further questions, please contact Sara Shonrock at (515) 290-1811 or sshonroc@iastate.edu or Cindy Hopton at (515) 294-8397 or chopton@iastate.edu

     
  • Estimates Available for FY 2020 Farm-to-Mark Road Funding 

    Tuesday, July 09, 2019

    ​The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) has released its Fiscal Year 2020 estimates for the city's share of Road Use Tax Funds (RUTF) that is transferred to the county for maintenance of farm-to-market (FM) roads. Under state law, counties assume responsibility for maintenance of FM roads in cities with a population of less than 500. The amount of associated RUTF is based on the total length of FM roads within the city.

    Many cities in this category have created 28E agreements with their county to return all or a portion of the responsibility for such roads back to the city, along with a corresponding amount of RUTF. These funds, like all RUTF, must be spent on road infrastructure-related expenses. Cities can check their actual RUTF distributions by visiting the Treasurer of State Web site.​​

     
  • Conference to Include Leadership Training 

    Tuesday, July 09, 2019

    Attendees of the Annual Conference and Exhibit (September 25-27 in Dubuque) will be able to join a variety of workshops designed to provide leadership training. In fact, the Leadership/Self-Development track at the conference offers five workshops that will cover important aspects of leadership.

    Included in the track is Sage Advice from the Warren & Charlie of City Management, which will be held Thursday, September 26, 8:15-9:15 am. With more than 76 years of public service, speakers Decker Ploehn and Mark Jackson will share their 10 tips for what has made their cities, councils and themselves successful.

    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 a great opportunity to network with peers and learn from one another. See the full conference schedule to learn more about workshops and register for the conference.
     
  • Iowa Parks and Recreation Association offering Pool Tours 

    Tuesday, July 09, 2019

    The Iowa Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) is offering two separate pool tour days this summer. Each facility offers their own unique approach to staffing, uniform requirements, rotations, concessions, class offerings and so much more. Maintenance workers are encouraged to attend as well for tours of the mechanical systems and cleaning operations.

    Tour # 1 on Thursday, July 25 ⇒ Meet at the Urbandale Pool - 7201 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, IA 50322 10:30 a.m. 

     

    The other pools tours include the Clive Aquatic Center and Ankeny Cascade Falls. ⇒ Registration Deadline: Monday, July 22.

     

    Tour # 2 on Wednesday, July 31 ⇒ Meet at the Story City Pool - 618 Hillcrest Story City, IA 50128 - 10:30 a.m. Other pool tours include Ames Furman Aquatic Center, Municipal Pool and wading pool ⇒ Registration Deadline: Friday, July 26.Once registered for your tour(s) you will receive detailed information of the days itinerary participants are encouraged to share rides between locations light lunch provided. Registration and questions: kelly@iapra.org. Fee for each person per tour date: $10.00.​​​​​​

     
  • IISC Accepting Letters of Interest 

    Monday, July 08, 2019

    ​​Cities can apply to become a community partner through the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) at the University of Iowa Office of Outreach and Engagement. IISC is a campus-wide effort to enhance the capacity of rural and urban communities in Iowa to address the environmental, equity, economic and cultural issues they face today and plan for a sustainable future.

    Community partners are matched with university students and faculty to implement projects that will advance the community's sustainability and vitality. Through the program, community partners will receive roughly 20,000 hours of work from students and faculty from a variety of disciplines.

    Applications are due September 1, 2019 and additional information is available on the IISC website. Interested communities are encouraged to contact IISC Director Travis Kraus at travis-kraus@uiowa.edu or (319) 335-2798. 

     
  • Cityscape ePub 

    Monday, July 01, 2019

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

     
  • Annual Conference to Include Workshop on How to Recruit, Train and Retain City Clerks 

    Monday, July 01, 2019

    ​​This year's Annual Conference and Exhibit, to be held September 25-27 in Dubuque, will feature a wide variety of workshops and education for all types of city officials. Included in the schedule is the Small City workshop track, with five workshops specifically designed for officials from our smaller communities (although all conference attendees are welcome to join).

    One of the workshops in the Small City track is How to Recruit, Train and Retain Your City Clerk, which will be held Thursday, September 13, 2-3 pm. Hear speaker Patrick Callahan discuss the importance of having a qualified professional city clerk and what mayors and council members can do to recruit, hire, train and retain qualified and competent city clerks.

    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 a great opportunity to network with peers and learn from one another. See the full conference schedule to learn more about workshops and register for the conference.

     
  • July is Small Cities Month 

    Sunday, June 30, 2019

    ​​Celebrate Small Cities Month, designated by the National League of Cities (NLC) to help recognize the achievements of small cities across the country. NLC is highlighting different small city stories throughout July on its Facebook page and encouraging city officials to share their innovations and solutions with this year's theme: Why I Love My Small City: Stories of Resilience, Courage & Community.

    Join us in recognizing the importance of our small cities and the work they do to provide safe, healthy and vibrant communities!

     
  • What's Next for Stormwater Utilities Workshop to be Held August 1 

    Sunday, June 30, 2019

    ​City officials are invited to the What's Next for Stormwater Utilities Workshop, which will be held August 1 in Johnston. Offered by the Iowa Storm Water Education Partnership (ISWEP), the workshop will provide attendees the opportunity to hear from national and local experts on topics such as stormwater utility surveys, funding, rate structures, affordability, asset management and the capital planning process.

    Additional information about the workshop and online registration is available on the ISWEP website.