Iowa Town Hall Meetings on Digital Services
The Department of Management, Office of the Chief Information Officer is excited to announce more than 50 public town hall style meetings to get feedback from everyday Iowans on digital services. If you ever felt like the digital world is passing you by, this is your chance to speak up and help Iowa identify ways to help you and your community.
Attendees will hear a short persentation on digital services followed by a discussion with the audience on the barriers and potential solutions for full participation in the digital aspects of society. All meetings will start at 6pm at the designated locations and are anticipated to last about 90 minutes.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Maria Guevara at email@example.com by no later than at least 7 days prior to the event you plan on attending.
Go to ocio.iowa.gov/broadband/digital-equity to see a full list of all the meetings!
SICOG Region Meetings:
The Southern Iowa Council of Governments' Annual Meeting will be held March 28, 2023, at SICOG, located at 101 E. Montgomery St, Creston, IA 50801, at 1pm.
Iowa DOTs City Bridge Program
The Iowa Department of Transportation has finalized its offers of funding for the Federal Fiscal Year 2024 City Bridge Program. For this funding cycle, three cities in our region have accepted the offer. Carbon, Corning, and Fontanelle.
The Iowa DOT annually makes Federal-aid and State funds available for the purposes of reducing the number of “poor” bridges on the local roadway system. Bridges are ranked to receive funding based on a priority point system.
Beginning in November, Iowa DOT will make another round of offers for Federal-aid and State funds to qualifying bridge projects. If a city wishes to place a bridge on the candidate list, the city should submit a request by email, on city letterhead, that includes the following: The Federal Structural Number, Street name, Feature crossed, the most recent cost estimate available, and confirmation the structure is located at least in part within city limits.
The request needs to be signed by a city official. Requests for FFY 2025 are due by Friday October 1, 2023. Evaluations of the bridges will be based on the most recent bridge inspection approved in SIIMS by September 30, 2023. Please send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, SICOG provides an 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. There are many other sources, so if you have project, please contact us.
Planner’s Desk – Setting Goals in A Political Climate
Given all the federal and state mandates on local governments, it is tough to meet basic requirements, let alone set proactive goals to guide its work. Local governments then become reactive to community development activities. Rather than future energy needs, often they wait for a company to come to the area and propose a project, which may be controversial. The challenge becomes how to focus on annual and long-term goals when scant resources are devoted to current programs and realities.
We have a few suggestions. First, make it a point at the first of the year or a new term in office for elected leaders to have a goals session. Involve key staff in the process and invite stakeholders.
Second, take stock in the current situation. Inventory assets and opportunities. Determine challenges likely to be faced. Third, record the goals and action steps you have created to guide discussion as issues come forward, so the policy decisions at those times are less reactive and more proactive. Fourth, implement some of the goals and projects.
The key is to be proactive as much as possible. Have goals that are realistic but that are not “going to happen anyway.” These are projects, policy actions, or staffing modifications that improve the community that might not happen without strong public leadership.
Governor Reynolds, IEDA Announce $2 Million in Manufacturing 4.0 Funding
Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced that Iowa will be investing an additional $2 million in the Manufacturing 4.0 Technology Investment Program to enhance productivity, efficiency and competitiveness in Iowa’s largest industry. The program helps small- to mid-size Iowa manufacturers invest in the adoption and integration of smart technologies with grant funding made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
“The Manufacturing 4.0 grant program is doing exactly what we intended – helping businesses grow and compete amid a rapidly changing landscape,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Manufacturers are using these grants to increase productivity, train workers, improve safety, and cut costs. We now have the opportunity to help more manufacturers invest in technology to support their workforce, promote competition, and ensure future growth.” Iowa’s Manufacturing 4.0 initiative launched a strategic plan in January 2021 to ensure the state’s manufacturers continue to remain globally competitive through the fourth industrial revolution – Industry 4.0 – and its emphasis on automation and smart technology. As a result, the Manufacturing 4.0 Technology Investment Grant program was created. In the first cycle, IEDA granted over $7 million through 2022 awards with project investments totaling over $31 million.
The program offers two grant opportunities to prioritize both the equipment and connectivity with the advanced technology for manufacturers with 3-150 employees.
Companies can apply for a combined amount of $75,000 between the two grants over the lifetime of the business and a 1:1 match is required. Prior to applying, manufacturers must complete an Industry 4.0 assessment provided by Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) to determine need and readiness.
Applications opened on March 1, 2023 and will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are allocated. More information on the program can be found at https://www.iowamfg.com/technology-investment-program/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
Traffic Enforcement Funding
For federal fiscal year 2024 (October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024), the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau has reserved up to five million dollars to target traffic safety activities available solely to law enforcement agencies statewide.
If you have an identifiable traffic safety problem in your community, please submit your application. Contracts will be awarded based on a variety of decision points that encompass the level of traffic safety problems in a jurisdiction and the ability for the agency to address them.
Deadline for applications is March 22, 2023. The following link is to the application form: https://iowagrants.gov/viewStorefrontOpportunity.do?OIDString=1675184248814%7COpportunity&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
If you need additional assistance, please contact the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau at 515-725-6126 or contact your SICOG office.
Iowa HOME Program 2023
One-hour workshops are set for March 15 for the 2023 HOME Program. This is a flexible grant program for local governments, developers, and non-profit housing entities to invest in a variety of housing programs impacting single-family and multi-family housing. This program provides grants for new construction and rehab for both owner and renter-occupied units, homebuyer assistance, and tenant-based rental assistance. Grants can be considerable in size. However, there are income restrictions targeted to the lower half of the regional population. This grant can make a difference in any SICOG community and may help a project move from infeasible to feasible.
This year’s funding round opens March 17 with projected due date of early May. More info can be found at https://www.iowafinance.com/programs-for-property-developers/home-program/.
Contact SICOG for assistance or more information.
IEDA Sports Tourism Grant
The Sports Tourism Grant from the IEDA’s Enhance Iowa program will provide financial assistance for projects that market or promote sporting events in Iowa. Eligible sporting events include professional, collegiate, and amateur level sporting events. Promotion/marketing activity can occur for up to two years. Cities, counties, Iowa not-for-profit economic development organizations or other Iowa not-for-profit organizations, including those that sponsor or support sporting events, are eligible to apply for assistance of up to 50% of the eligible cost to actively promote or market an eligible sporting event. Eligible applicants can apply jointly. Applications are due 90 days before tourism event.
Contact SICOG for assistance.
IEDA Announces Special Round of Upper Story Housing Grant
IEDA announced today that they will be hosting a special round of CDBG applications for Upper Story Rehabilitation and Downtown Revitalization projects. The application forms must be completed by April 30th, which is an EXTREMELY tight timeframe. The regular round will likely take place toward the end of 2023. This program works best with development of two to four apartments in one building, but it can be separate buildings owned by the same person. The space must have been vacant for at least 5 years. Rent amount and tenant incomes are capped for 5 years after lease-up. Contact SICOG today if you or a developer/owner in your town has a possible project.
T-Mobile Offers Hometown Grants for Community Projects
T-Mobile is committing up to $25 million over the next 5 years to support small towns across America by funding community projects. The T-Mobile Hometown Grants program will help fund projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections such as a town-square pavilion, a historic building, an outdoor park, a ball field or a library. About 25 grants are awarded nationally each year for all kinds of community projects, such as pocket parks and open spaces. Info and examples of funded projects are found at https://www.t-mobile.com/brand/hometown-grants.
Contact SICOG for assistance.
SICOG Executive Board Minutes -
February 7, 2023
Chairman Jerry Walker called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. at the SICOG office. The following members were present: Akin, Christensen, Dunbar, Fitch, Holmes, Leners, Trickey, Walker and Zabel.
Staff present: Waddle and Brimm.
Guest present was Tracee Knapp, representative for Congressman Nunn.
Fitch made a motion to approve the agenda. Akin seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Fitch made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 6, 2023 meeting. Christensen seconded the motion. All ayes. Motion carried.
Leners made a motion to approve the financial reports as presented for the month of January. Akin seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Fitch made a motion to hold the annual meeting on Tuesday, March 28 at 1:00 p.m. at the SICOG office. Holmes seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Zabel made a motion to approve the EDA Resolution as presented. Christensen seconded the motion. Walker took a roll call vote: Walker (aye), Akin (aye), Dunbar (aye), Christensen (aye), Fitch (aye), Holmes (aye), Zabel (aye), Leners (aye) and Trickey (aye). All ayes, motion carried.
Fitch made a motion to approve travel for Waddle to attend the EDA/NADO Conference in Denver, CO during April 10 – 12. Trickey seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Other items discussed included: grant report, audit, IEDA, EDA, board website, project board meetings and insurance.
Christensen made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 1:30 p.m. Holmes seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried
Minutes Submitted by Brimm
SICOG Partnerships 2023
*Creston City Water Works
*Clarke County Development Corporation
*City of Osceola
*First National Bank of Creston & Afton
*Iowa State Savings Bank of Creston & Lenox
*Lenox Municipal Utilities
*Corning Municipal Utilities
*PCSB of Clarinda, Corning, Creston, Lenox and Mount Ayr
*American State Bank of Lamoni, Osceola & Winterset
*JEO Consulting Group of Ankeny
*Snyder & Associates, Inc of Ankeny & Atlantic
*Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative of Corning, Mount Ayr & Stanton
*Tyler Insurance Services of Creston & Mount Ayr
*Adams Community Economic Development Corporation
*Afton Development Corporation
*Akin Building Center of Corning
*City State Bank of Mount Ayr
*Clarke County Hospital
*Clarke Electrical Cooperative of Osceola
*Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Orient, St. Charles & Winterset
*First National Bank of Osceola
*FNB of Fontanelle & Greenfield
*Grundman Insurance Agency
*Lenox Chamber of Commerce
*R Realty of Creston
*Ringgold County Development Corporation
*Saylor Realty, LLC of Osceola
*Southwestern Community College
*State Bank of Brooks
*Subway of Corning
*Union State Bank of Greenfield
*Union State Bank of Winterset
SICOG Executive Board
Jerry Walker, Chairperson- Adair County
Diane Fitch, Vice Chairperson- Madison County
Karen Zabel, Secretary- Taylor County
Rick Friday, Treasure- Union County
Scott Akin- Adams County
Randy Dunbar- Clarke County
Dan Christensen- Decatur County
Colby Holmes- Ringgold County
Doug Davidson- Private Sector
Tom Leners- Private Sector
Bill Trickey- Private Sector
Wayne Pantini- Member-At-Large
Beth Waddle, Executive Director
Judy Brimm, Finance Director
Jeremy Rounds, Regional Planner
Jessica Hagen, Transportation Planner
Terry Niestadt, Regional Planner
Kendra Comstock, Planning Tech