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Southern Iowa Council of Governments' 20th Annual Golf Tournament
     SICOG held our 20th Annual golf tournament at the Lenox Municipal Golf Course on Wednesday, September 14. We were blessed with a sunny, warm day as we welcomed sixteen teams from our eight county region!
     The day consisted of eighteen holes of golf with a slight twist, and for lunch, SICOG provided a ham sandwich, chips, a cookie, and water. 
     As a specialty hole this year, we had "Fire in the Hole". The teams had to try teeing off while wearing a firefighters coat and gloves! The teams could purchase "Fire Insurance" to ensure that one team member could tee off without wearing the coat and gloves.  It was a difficult task to accomplish, but the golfers did great, and it was very entertaining! 
     The day concluded with: dinner provided by the Lenox Golf Course, handing out door prizes, and lots of laughs! Team Norbert Bradley won first place in the first flight, and Team SWCC won first place in the second flight! Dan Cooper, a team member from The City of Osceola, got a HOLE IN ONE!! Congratulations to all! 
     We want to thank everyone who donated or came and spent the day with us! We truly couldn't have done it without you! Please, enjoy some of the pictures taken that day, below, and we hope to see you next year!

 "It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark."
    What?  I was asked the other day about the value of planning.  The person I was visiting with was trying to convince me that a Comprehensive Plan for their community was a waste of time and paper.  “It just gets put on a shelf and forgotten,” they said.  Hmm.  Is that the fault of a bad plan or is that the fault of the community who spends time creating a plan and then forgets to work the plan?  
    I once had an economic development professor tell me that many struggling communities or organizations are like a child on his or her way to school who gets fascinated with a butterfly.  The child joyfully follows the butterfly as it flits from one beautiful flower to another, no matter which direction the butterfly goes. The child may eventually get to school, but it has taken him or her way more time and many more steps to reach the front door.  He or she may have even missed out on essentials (breakfast, lessons, music, lunch, recess) depending on how long he or she followed the butterfly. He or she may even have gotten so lost following the butterfly that he or she never reached the school.
    Likewise, a community may jump from one new idea to the next based on the success or “wow factor” another community had with a project, whether or not that project fits the needs or vision of their community.  The community enjoys and celebrates the small successes whether or not it leads them closer to their vision.  And that is great, but how much longer does it take to reach their ultimate goal because they didn’t have a plan and got distracted by a “pretty butterfly”?
    Conversely, Noah made a plan.  He would build a boat.  He designed it.  Got the materials. Focused on the job, step by step.  And had the boat ready when the rain began to fall.
    So what does this have to do with planning?  A good comprehensive plan focuses on the needs and vision of the community or organization.  It recognizes where the starting line is and where the finish line is for the targeted timeline.  (i.e Where should the community be in 5 years.) It not only determines the direction, but also develops the steps needed to stay on the path.  It engages others to help keep the community moving ahead. (It may also show funders that you have a project ready for grants/loans/funds.) Creating a comprehensive plan with benchmarks along the way, and then following it, will mean success after success. It guides you to reach your goals, as Noah did – before the rain starts to fall.  

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your community or organization create a comprehensive plan.

The following are deadlines for popular grants our members and associated organizations should consider.  The SICOG due date is a date when the applicant should have all relevant information to SICOG to finish the application on time.  SICOG has the staff and experience to assist our communities submitting the best possible applications for these funds.  
There are many other sources, so if you have project, please contact us.

Source/Program Funding Uses SICOG Due Date
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Hazard mitigation plans and projects, including tornado safe rooms, building and utility retrofits, minor flood control projects, elevations and relocations of buildings in flood hazard areas and storm water management projects (Eligible: local governments and some nonprofits) Floating (NOIs as soon as possible)
Wastewater and Drinking Water Financial Assistance Program  Grants up to $500,000 for water and wastewater projects that have a direct impact on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, such as new treatments, storm water improvements, and related projects (Eligible: local governments, water and sewer operators, and IDNR permit holders) October 10
Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) Grants  EPA grants to clean up and redevelop sites that have real or perceived environmental hazards.  Grants can fund environmental assessments, revolving loan funds for development projects, and hazard cleanups, all of which can revitalize underutilized properties. (Eligible: local governments and certain nonprofits) October 15
Iowa Child Care Business Incentive Grants Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have announced a second round of funding for the Child Care Business Incentive slots grant. This new opportunity seeks to provide additional flexibility in the ways employers can partner with local child care providers to meet the needs of their employees. Grants will support projects that increase licensed or operational child care slots, add slots to meet new time/day requirements of employees, or fill currently licensed (but unfilled) slots for the benefit of employees.  (Eligible: businesses and providers, with other partners possible) October 30
IDNR Fish Habitat Program and Wildlife Habitat Promotion Programs and projects to improve fishing and wildlife habitat. (Eligible: County conservation boards) October 30
CDBG Water and Sewer Program Water and wastewater capital improvements: plants, mains, lagoons, pumps, towers, etc. (Eligible: local governments) October 30 (next quarterly round)
Iowa West Foundation  Community development, economic development, education, and human needs projects (Eligible: local governments and nonprofits serving Adams and Taylor Counties) October 30
IDNR Solid Waste Alternatives Program Program to encourage landfill alternatives – recycling, diversion, new technologies, new manufacturing processes, etc. (Eligible: local governments and certain nonprofits) October 30
IEDA Enhance Iowa Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Grant Funds for capital projects, such as trails, libraries, community centers, pavilions, entertainment venues, museums, recreational facilities, and more (Eligible: local governments and certain nonprofits). October 30 (if funds remain after July round)
IFA Iowa HOME Program Housing Program for developers with 10 years of housing experience – ownership and rental, including new construction, rehab, and adaptive reuse; up to 80% of the area median income (Eligible: local governments, COGs, developers, non-profits). November 15
IHSEMD Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program Funding from FEMA to support the development of hazard mitigation projects, mostly related to flooding but also including other activities (Eligible: local governments, some non-profits). November 15
Community Catalyst Building Remediation Program (SEE ARTICLE) Grants to communities for the redevelopment, rehabilitation or deconstruction of buildings to stimulate economic growth or reinvestment in the community.  Strong applications will show the potential of catalytic economic growth in the community; improve appearances & safety; make use of underutilized property, exhibit appropriate design standards; and be well-funded (Eligible: local governments who apply on behalf of private property owners). November 30
Theater Catalyst Grant Provides IEDA Catalyst Grants specifically to renovate and revitalize former or operating theaters, including movie and live show theaters.  This is a specific set-aside to address the detrimental impacts of COVID and a changing economy ((Eligible: local governments who apply on behalf of private property owners). November 30
IDNR Derelict Building Program Funding is available for certified asbestos inspections, removal and disposal of asbestos, structural engineering analysis, Phase I and II environmental assessments, building deconstruction, and building renovation. (Eligible: Cities population 5,000 or less) December 15
CDBG Community Facilities and
This annual competitive program offers grants to assist communities for a variety of projects including day care facilities, senior centers, vocational workshops and other community services such as storm water projects. (Eligible: local governments) Ongoing, until funds run out
Iowa Historic Preservation Tax Credits – small projects Up to 25% of project cost in the form of a State tax credit to offset the costs of the building rehabilitation or restoration. Project must affect a designated historic building on the National Register of Historic Places.  Projects can have eligible costs up to $750,000 (Eligible: property owners – governments can partner to mobilize the project). Ongoing
ITC/ IRDC "Power of Connection" Community Grant Program Grants up to $5,000 for capacity building, strategic planning, studies or assessments for a variety of community programs and issues (Eligibility: rural communities) Ongoing
Highway Safety Improvement Provides grants for low-cost, systematic safety improvements in the $10,000/mile range, focusing on lane departure crashes. (Eligible: local governments) Ongoing
Traffic Engineering Assistance
Program (TEAP)
Provides 100 hours of engineering assistance for operations and traffic safety issues. (Eligible: local governments) Ongoing

As always, SICOG provides this un-exhaustive list of grants to generate ideas about possible projects and provide funding guidance. Grant funding sources are increasingly interested in creative solutions to problems and many are willing to support not just construction but also operations.  If your community has a problem that outside funding might address, then please contact your SICOG office.  We would be glad to help and can attend a local meeting at no cost to discuss the project or idea.
Community Catalyst Building Remediation Program Opens Again for 2023 Projects

There is still time to apply for this program and nearly all towns in the region should be looking at it, to address deteriorated buildings in your downtown area.  
Through the Community Catalyst Building Remediation Program, the Iowa Economic Development Authority will provide grants to communities for the redevelopment, rehabilitation or deconstruction of buildings to stimulate economic growth or reinvestment in the community.  Strong applications will show the potential of catalytic economic growth in the community; improve appearances & safety; make use of underutilized property, exhibit appropriate design standards; and be well-funded.  Economic growth may include the creation of additional jobs, growth of new or existing businesses, development of new housing units, increase property values, or potential population growth.
Maximum grants are $100,000 and rarely does IEDA fund a grant less than that amount.  40% of funds will be awarded to cities with populations under 1,500.  A mandatory pre-application process will precede the official grant application.  Applications are by invitation only after approved pre-application.  City must be the applicant.  Funds available for the rehabilitation of one commercial building per community or two buildings with same ownership that are adjacent to each other.  The pre-application is due January 27, 2023.  Local governments should start to promote this opportunity to local commercial building owners who need building improvements, and talk with Jeremy or Terry at SICOG soon to work on an application.

The Technical Committee & Policy Board of the RPA 14 / ATURA Transportation Planning Affiliation 
(Adair, Taylor, Union, Ringgold, and Adams Counties) will meet at:

1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at the Olive Branch Restaurant,
108 E. Iowa St., Greenfield, IA 50849
 SICOG Executive Board Meeting of September 7, 2022
Chairman Jerry Walker called the meeting to order at 1:04 p.m. at the SICOG office. The following members were present: Birt, Christensen, Davidson, Fitch, Leners, Lesan, Riley, and Walker.
Staff present: Waddle and Brimm.  
Guest present was Fred Schuster, Senator Grassley’s office.
Riley made a motion to approve the agenda with the additions. Christensen seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Lesan made a motion to approve the minutes of the August 2, 2022 meeting.  Birt seconded the motion, all ayes.  Motion carried.
Fitch made a motion to approve the financial reports as presented for the month of August.  Lesan seconded the motion, all ayes.  Motion carried.
Riley made a motion to add the Executive Director as a signatory on all bank accounts and contracts. Birt seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Birt made a motion to approve the budget as presented and with the proposed changes. Riley seconded the motion. All ayes, motion carried.
Other items discussed included: grant report, contract income, legal, insurance audit, IEDA, IFA, EDA, building renovations, CEDS, golf invitational, computer/software/IT upgrades, legislative update and miscellaneous. 
Christensen made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 2:00 p.m.  Leners seconded the motion, all ayes.  Motion carried.
Minutes Submitted by Brimm

SICOG Executive Board Meeting –  Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

ATURA Board Meetings –Tuesday, November 8th, 2022 – Taylor County

SICOG Closed Friday, November 11th, 2022 in Observance of Veterans Day

SICOG Closed Thursday & Friday, November 24th & 25th in Observance of Thanksgiving

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