SICOG 21st Annual Golf Invitational

Held September 13, 2023 at the Lenox Municipal Golf Course

SICOG held our 21st Annual golf tournament at the Lenox Municipal Golf Course on Wednesday, September 13. We were blessed with a beautiful, sunny day as we welcomed fourteen 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 "Take a Gamble". The teams had to test their luck by rolling a pair of lawn dice. If the player rolled any set of numbers that weren’t doubles, then they teed off per usual, and played best ball. If the player rolled a set of doubles, they were dealt one of the following hands:

  • Double 1’s “Snake Eyes”- Your team had to play worst ball

  • Double 2’s- Your team teed off from the “Pro” tee

  • Double 3’s- Your team teed off from the “Men’s” tee

  • Double 4’s & 5’s- Your team teed off from the “Women’s” tee

  • Double 6’s- Your team received a hole in one!!

After seeing your fate from the dice, the teams were able to pay the dealer $5 to reroll the dice for a better outcome!

The day concluded with: dinner provided by the Lenox Golf Course, handing out door prizes, and lots of laughs! Team Lenox Municipal Utilities won first place in the first flight, and Team Snyder & Associates won first place in the second flight! Congratulations to all! 

We want to thank everyone who donated prizes or food 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!

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.

View a List of Grant Opportunities Here!

IEDA Community Catalyst Building Remediation Program Opens for 2024 Projects

Recently IEDA held a series of workshops around Iowa to introduce the next Community Catalyst Grant opportunity.  This year, like in the past, the grant can fund up to $100,000, with 40% set aside for small towns under 1,500 people.  SICOG encourages every town that has a downtown building in disrepair or that is underused to consider applying. 

It is important that the following are true of any project:

  • Is a building owned by a private individual with a potential for commercial use on the main floor.

  • Has an owner willing to invest some of his/her own money in the project.

  • If renovated, has the potential of catalytic economic growth in the community – including a solid commitment to put commercial (preferably retail or food service) on the main floor.

  • Improves appearance and safety.

  • Makes use of underutilized property.

  • Exhibits appropriate design standards –appropriate for the downtown it is in.

  • Preferably (but not required) has potential for upper-story apartments.

  • With the City willing to invest some cash and, if relevant, in-kind.

While the grant is competitive, IEDA is likely to fund 25 or more projects.  Further, this grant does not have all the strings of a federal program, such as income limits, environmental reviews, Davis-Bacon, and others. The program is relatively easy to use.

SICOG is more than happy to visit your town and tour the building with the City and property owner or to talk with your city council about how to promote this program to building owners.  Each city can submit one pre-application between now and January 29.  If the State selects your project for a full application, we can assist with that as well.  If the State declines a pre-application and time remains, another project can be submitted. The full application is due April 15, 2024.

New this year is that the City can own the building as longas, after work is done, the plan is to sell it for private ownership.  No longer will “white boxing” be competitive.  Now IEDA wants to see a strong commitment for retail or food service in the building.

Contact Jeremy for assistance or with questions.

Best Development Awards

The Best Development Awards, brought to you by 1000 Friends of Iowa, recognizes Iowa’s thoughtfully considered projects and programs  that connect building, land, natural resources, development, positive community impact, and quality of life as well as the organizations and individuals responsible for those projects and programs. With a mission focused on responsible land use, 1000 Friends of Iowa promotes smart growth and smart shrink planning principles that help achieve socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable communities around the state.

There is a $25 fee to submit a nomination, and anyone can nominate (or self-nominate) a great project or program. The nomination deadline is November 17, 2023.

Winners will be chosen by independent jurors in December, and an awards ceremony is slated to occur over the lunch hour on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, for the following categories:

Held at the Capitol Rotunda during the state’s legislative session, the awards ceremony is a unique opportunity to let lawmakers know the positive impact that sustainable practices have on Iowa’s communities.

Contact Jeremy at SICOG for assistance if needed.

Nomination Forms Here

Keep Iowa Beautiful Hometown Pride Program Seeks New Communities

Your hometown can join the 100+ communities who have used Hometown Pride to help grow local leadership, create new community amenities, enhance civic pride, and increase economic vitality. New communities typically join as a group of 7-10 towns in a county/region.

 Contact Jeremy at SICOG with any questions.

FEMA Fire Grants 2023

This is the time of year when FEMA launches the Assistance to Firefighters Grants.  This grant is popular but increasingly competitive. Therefore, SICOG wants our member departments to get ready before the grant opens, which will likely be in November. Here are some things you can and should do today to get ready:

  • Gather your call volume information that you report to the State, so we know the number and types of calls for the past three years.

  • Hold a risk assessment meeting of your members and identify your greatest needs, problems, five-year goals, and put these things in writing.

  • Inventory your equipment, training, and vehicles.  Determine what needs replaced or upgraded the most.

  • Begin to get quotes for that equipment.  If you wait until the grant opens to ask fora quote, good luck, as vendors will be slammed. Three quotes are ideal, if possible.

Contact Jeremy at SICOG to share information and ask questions.

We hope to help at least a half dozen fire departments and non-affiliated (not part of a hospital or other entity) EMS agencies with grants this year.

SICOG Partnerships 2023

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!

Partnership Page

SICOG Executive Board Minutes- September 14, 2023