Spring Cleaning always sounds like a good idea until you are knee-deep in old books, toys, clothes and wondering why you did this to yourself. . ., and yet, I’m of a mind to do some spring cleaning . . . of our organization. Here’s some items on my list:
Dust off - the organizational by-laws. When were they last looked at? Do the requirements in them still make sense in this technology-changing world or is sending meeting notices by pony express or telegram still an option listed? What items may need updated? Does it still meet the needs of the organization?
Polish up – the board policies or handbook. What characteristics make a good board member? Should members have a certain employment history, experience in leadership, expect to volunteer a certain number of hours each month? Have you held a board membership training lately?
Clean the windows – review the mission and vision statement. Do current goals, strategies, and direction focus on the organization’s mission? What needs to be tweaked for a clearer program of work that will move the organization forward?
Wax the floors – What image is being promoted? Does the brand statement match the work being done? Is it time to revisit the website and social media messaging to make sure they meet the needs of the organization’s audience? Perhaps it’s time for a customer service class for staff so customers or clients experience a friendly, knowledgeable customer experience.
Chase away the dust bunnies – It's easy to have a file retention policy. It isn’t always so easy to follow one. Is it time to go through those file cabinets or boxes and shred the documents no one is required to keep?
Let in a little sunshine – ask members, employees, and customers what the business could be doing better. Ask for ideas or suggestions.
As author Gary Zukav writes, “The spring wakes us, nurtures us and revitalizes us. How often does your spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar, it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power, it comes frequently, or very frequently.” Welcome Spring!
Iowa Council of Governments representatives provided a continental breakfast for legislators and visited with them about continued and new funding for programs that assist our cities and counties.
Notice of Public Comment Period
SICOG serves as a Transportation Planning Agency to the five-county RPA 14/ ATURA Transportation Planning Affiliation region. (Adair, Taylor, Union, Ringgold, and Adams Counties.)
The FY2024 Draft Transportation Planning Work Program (TPWP) outlines the proposed RPA/14 ATURA budget and the work SICOG will accomplish as the administrator of the regional transportation planning affiliation during FY2024. This document is available for review and comment at the SICOG Office or on the SICOG Website under Featured Publications.
Please contact Jessica Hagen at the SICOG Office (641) 782-8491 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information or to make comments.
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.
Federal Home Loan Bank Provides Housing Grant Funds
Now is the best time to begin preparing your 2023 Competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP) application. FHLB Des Moines has increased the grant request limit to $1,000,000 per project and a maximum subsidy of $50,000 per unit. The program funds projects of local governments, non-profit, and for-profit developers. If your community has a possible housing project, this program is worth exploring.
The 2023 AHP application round opens Monday, May 1 and closes Friday, June 2 at 4:30 p.m. Contact Jeremy at SICOG for assistance.
This open grant (no set deadline) is designed for major economic development and industrial projects. The Public Works grants fund infrastructure to support economic opportunities. The Economic Development Administration's (EDA) supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States by fostering job creation and attracting private investment. Under this NOFO, EDA solicits applications from applicants in order to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, planning, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works program. Grants and cooperative agreements are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities, including those negatively impacted by changes to the coal economy and nuclear power plant closures. Contact SICOG to discuss major projects that might fall into this program.
Transportation Grant for Fuel Infrastructure
Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program (CFI Program)
is a new competitive grant program created to strategically deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling infrastructure to communities, in addition to along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs). CFI Program investments aim to increase infrastructure accessible to drivers of electric, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas vehicles. This program provides two funding categories of grants: (1) Community Charging and Fueling Grants (Community Program); and (2) Alternative Fuel Corridor Grants (Corridor Program).
This first round of funding makes $700 million of funding available to deploy infrastructure projects in urban and rural communities in publicly accessible locations, including downtown areas and local neighborhoods, particularly in underserved and disadvantaged communities. Eligible applicants include but are not limited to state government entities, city and county governments, public universities, metropolitan planning organizations, etc. The application deadline for this round is May 30, 2023. Contact SICOG to learn more.
SICOG Executive Board Minutes- March 7, 2023
Chairman Jerry Walker called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m. at the SICOG office. The following members were present: Akin, Christensen, Davidson, Dunbar, Fitch, Friday, Holmes, Pantini, Trickey, Walker and Zabel.
Staff present: Waddle and Brimm.
Pantini made a motion to approve the agenda with the proposed change. Christensen seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Trickey made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 7, 2023 meeting. Akin seconded the motion. All ayes. Motion carried.
Zabel made a motion to approve the financial reports as presented for the month of February. Fitch seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Other items discussed included: grant report, audit, IEDA, EDA, Partnership Program, membership, personnel committee, project board meetings annual meeting and roof replacement.
Fitch made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 1:45 p.m. Trickey seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Minutes Submitted by Brimm
SICOG Executive Annual Board Minutes- March 28, 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, Davidson, Fitch, Friday, Holmes, Leners, Pantini, and Walker.
Staff present: Waddle and Brimm.
Guest present: Brian Downes (Director John Wayne Birthplace Museum – Madison County), Ron Riley (representing Central Plains Electric – Union County), Meegen Roan (owner Meegen Weeks Law – Union County) and Raelynne Risser (representing Adams Community Economic Development Corporation – Adams County).
All un-designated proxies were given to the Chairperson to vote on their behalf and designated proxies were voted by the designee.
Akin made a motion to approve the agenda, as presented. Pantini seconded the motion. All ayes. Motion carried.
Walker inquired about a quorum and Brimm reported the following: nine executive board members and four project board members were present along with 21 proxies on file. A total of 34 out of 49 members were represented for a quorum.
Davidson made a motion to approve the minutes of the March 29, 2022 meeting as prepared. Christensen seconded the motion. All ayes. Motion carried.
Fitch made a motion to recess the meeting at 1:05 p.m. Christensen seconded the motion. All ayes, motion carried. Walker re-opened the meeting at 1:16 p.m. Akin made a motion to approve the Private Sector Representatives to the Executive Board of Directors (Davidson, Leners, Risser, and Geist). Friday seconded the motion. All ayes, motion carried.
Leners made a motion to appoint the President from Southwestern Community College as the Member-at-large Representative to the SICOG executive board. The President (Marjorie McGuire-Welch) or her appointee (Wayne Pantini) will be attending the meetings. Christensen seconded the motion. All ayes, motion carried.
Akin made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 1:20 p.m. Pantini seconded the motion. All ayes.
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
*North Stone Apartments & Corkrean Construction of Winterset
*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 & Creston
*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 of Corning
*Lenox Chamber of Commerce
*Lenox Development Corporation
*R Realty of Creston
*Rainbow International of Winterset
*Ringgold County Development Corporation
*Saylor Realty, LLC of Osceola
*Southwestern Community College
*State Bank of Brooks of corning
*Subway of Corning
*TS Bank of Treynor in Corning
*Union County Development Association
*Union State Bank of Greenfield
*Union State Bank of Winterset
Interested in becoming a partner?! Call us today at (641) 782-8491 or go to the Partnership page on the SICOG website and fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
ATURA Board Meeting- Tuesday, May 9
SICOG Closed Monday, May 29 in Observance of Memorial Day
SICOG Executive Board Meeting- Tuesday, June 6
SICOG Executive Board
Jerry Walker, Chairperson, Adair County
Diane Fitch, Vice Chairperson, Madison County
Karen Zabel, Secretary, Taylor County
Scott Akin, Treasurer, Adams County
Randy Dunbar, Clarke County
Dan Christensen, Decatur County
Colby Holmes, Ringgold County
Rick Friday, Union County
Doug Davidson, Private Sector
Tom Leners, Private Sector
Raelynne Risser, Private Sector
Jodie Geist, 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