Iowa DOT Bike Maps are now available at the SICOG office.
Feel free to stop by the office, call the office at 641.782.8491, or contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like one.
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.
Do you know what your business is worth today and how to increase that value for the future? Does your business have a long-term vision? Register today to develop the strategies you need to future-proof your business and increase value in this FREE workshop led by experts that will be held on August 24, 2023 from 1 - 4 PM in the SWCC Performing Arts Center - Multipurpose Room in Creston.
Registration link can be found by scanning the QR code or visiting this website: https://ace.swcciowa.edu/modules/shop/index.html?action=section&OfferingID=977312
Up Coming Conferences and Summits
Housing Iowa Conference, September 6-8, at the Cedar Rapids DoubleTree in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This event welcomes housing developers, property managers, financiers, lenders, Realtors, homeless and supportive services professionals, housing advocates, policy makers, community development professionals, community leaders and anyone interested in learning more about housing in Iowa. Click here to register!
Des Moines Cybersecurity Conference, September 21, at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa. Discover cutting edge security approaches, and how to manage risk in the workforce. Click here to register!
Iowa Ideas 2023, October 12-13, and is a Virtual Conference. Iowa Ideas is an annual virtual conference designed to gather Iowans from all perspectives to explore, discuss and offer solutions on issues impacting the state. Click here to register!
2023 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! Summit, at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, Iowa. Learn from experts from across the state implementing 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! in schools, early care, out-of-school programs, health care clinics and communities. Sessions focus on how to adopt strategies that support the healthy choice as the easy choice and create policy, system and environmental changes within all sectors. Click here to register!
10 Iowa Smart Planning Principles
In the coming issues of The Windmill, I’ll cover the 10 Iowa Smart Planning Principles, now codified in Iowa Code Chapter 18B. This month, we’ll cover the third one: clean, renewable, and efficient energy. The Code reads as follows:
“3. Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy. Planning, zoning, development, and resource management should be undertaken to promote clean and renewable energy use and increased energy efficiency.”
The Code states that that the local government shall consider and may apply the 10principles in appropriate planning, zoning, development, and resource management decisions. The question becomes how to consider and apply them. When SICOG works on these issues, we like to take on the principles directly. We evaluate possible planning goals, objectives, actions, and policies in terms of how these may impact, positively or negatively, each of the 10 principles.
Energy is a major part of a community’s life. A community that has clean, renewable, and efficient energy is more likely to be appealing to younger people, who tend to be more sensitive to this issue. Perhaps in southern Iowa, where population density is low, the most important issue is efficient energy. Efficient energy is vital because the region has limited financial resources and older buildings, often with maintenance challenges. Local governments, residents, and businesses need ways to make energy as efficient as possible so they can afford to live and function. Programs and efforts to help people modernize and weatherize property, convert streetlights and traffic signal lights, and make other retrofits to energy systems and the grid are vital. By creating a local energy plan, for example, a community can perhaps tap into state and federal resources to improve in this area.
An area that perhaps our region can implement clean and renewable energy that makes sense is through small, personal or individual technologies. Grants, incentives, and/or favorable zoning to support a private owner’s choice to add roof or other forms of solar collection or small-scale wind turbines are ideal. This would result in a direct local benefit without unintended consequences to neighbors, like we see today with the large wind turbines. As much as can be done within current law, we should make it possible to sell back excess energy to the local or private utility in a way that it makes sense for the user. This would make our region more self-sufficient and create wealth.
This planning principle can show up in planning documents through goals, strategies, and policies adopted locally, codes such as zoning adopted locally, and operating procedures created and standardized for local staff and officials.
Iowa Communities Can Apply to Host Smithsonian Exhibit in 2024
Beginning next year, six Iowa communities will host a traveling exhibit from the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution next year. “Spark! Places of Innovation” will come to Iowa in 2024 through a partnership among the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street program, the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Humanities Council.
Filled with photographs, engaging interactives, videos and augmented reality, the exhibit explores the unique combination of places, people, and circumstances that sparks innovation and reveals why it flourishes in some rural places but not others.
The exhibit is designed for small cultural organizations with limited access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations. Eligible host sites include small museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural centers and other community venues in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents.
The exhibition will also serve as a springboard for local programming in the humanities, sciences and arts that inspire people to learn how innovation has impacted their communities and how they may become innovators themselves.
Before applying, it is suggested that you contact Special Projects and Outreach Coordinator Jessica Rundlett at email@example.com or 515-281-7471.
Iowa Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Community Fund
Iowa EECBG Community Fund will competitively fund selected local government energy efficiency projects in cities and counties not eligible for Formula EECBG allocations. Energy efficiency projects could include building energy assessment and energy efficiency upgrades, replacement of stoplights and streetlights with high-efficiency bulbs, and more activities outlined in https://www.energy.gov/scep/blueprint-2a-energy-efficiency-energy-audits-building-upgrades. Projects benefiting “disadvantaged cities” (about a quarter of our region) will be prioritized. There will be no required local cost share although cost share will be a consideration in application scoring. Award sizes are currently planned to be between $50,000 and $300,000. Local governments are encouraged to begin identifying and planning projects.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com at the Iowa Economic Development Authority for additional information. As you contemplate projects, communicate with SICOG about how we can help with the application when it opens.
Master Gardeners “Taste Testing at Story Time”
In January 2023, SICOG helped the Master Gardeners organization put forth a project to Iowa Department of Public Health’s Healthy Eating and Active Living program for funding. The Master Gardeners program hosted their “Taste Testing at Story Time” on June 14 and July 12. The Master Gardeners partnered with the Winterset Public Library, utilizing the book “Up, Down, and Around” by Katherine Ayers during story time. Children who participated got to learn about gardening, learned how to plant fresh vegetables, and got to taste the vegetables they planted.
In June, 32 children and 10 adults attended “Taste Testing at Story Time”, and the children were read “Up, Down, and Around” and “I Love Bugs” by Emma Dodd. In addition to planting in the garden and tasting the vegetables, children also got to search for bugs that were made from recycled materials that were in the garden and learned about pollination and how bugs affect gardens. Of all the vegetables planted 10 radishes and 6 cucumbers have been produced so far.
In July, 12 children and 6 adults attended Taste Testing at Story Time, and the children were read “Up, Down, and Around” and “Good Night, Veggies” by Diana Murray and Zachariah Ohora. Children had fun tasting different vegetables, but due to rainy weather, they were kept inside and made veggie and bug stickers, did veggie coloring sheets, made bug finger puppets, and other crafts relating to the stories.
Going forward, a new book about vegetables will be introduced every year at story time and the Master Gardeners will grow vegetables pertaining to the book that is chosen.
Members from the Master Gardeners stand behind the planted garden.
Members from the Master Gardeners stand behind a table with healthy snacks and activities for the program.
A member from the Master Gardeners reads a book during story time to children and adults.
Children and adults look for bugs in the garden.
SICOG Partnerships 2023
*Creston City Water Works
*Clarke County Development Corporation
*City of Osceola
*John Wayne Birthplace Society, LTD of Winterset
*First National Bank of Creston & Afton
*Iowa State Savings Bank of Creston & Lenox
*Lenox Municipal Utilities
*Corning Municipal Utilities
*Garden & Associates, LTD of Creston & Oskaloosa
*Greater Regional Health
*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
*Veenstra & Kimm, INC of West Des Moines
*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
*Community Development Corp of Greenfield
*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!
SICOG Executive Board Minutes- July 5, 2023
Chairman Jerry Walker called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. at the SICOG office. The following members were present: Akin, Dunbar, Fitch, Friday, Geist, Leners, Pantini, Risser, and Walker.
Staff present: Waddle and Brimm.
Fitch made a motion to approve the agenda. Risser seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Leners made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 6, 2023 meeting. Akin seconded the motion. All ayes. Motion carried.
Pantini made a motion to approve the financial reports as presented for the months of May and June. Fitch seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Fitch made a motion to approve the representation letter to the state auditor’s office as presented and to authorize the board chairman and the executive director to sign and submit the letter. Risser seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Other items discussed included: grant report, state audit invoice, projects by county & city, NICRA, roof, By-laws, golf invitational, legislative.
Leners made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 1:28 p.m. Fitch seconded the motion, all ayes. Motion carried.
Minutes Submitted by Brimm
SICOG Closed Monday, September 4 in Observance of Labor Day
SICOG Executive Board Meeting- Wednesday, September 6
ATURA Board Meeting- Tuesday, September 12
SICOG 21st Annual Golf Invitational- Wednesday, September 13
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
Sam Wengryn, 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