THE MIDAS TOUCH‎ > ‎2004‎ > ‎

AUGUST

The Midas Touch
Monthly Newsletter of the MIDAS Council of Governments
602 1st Avenue South, Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501
Phone (515) 576-7183 FAX (515)576-7184

August, 2004


MIDAS Awards Certificates for Professional Transit Drivers of the Year

This summer's MIDAS driver training/picnic was held at beautiful Briggs-Woods park near Webster City. A highlight was the presentation of professional driver of the year awards by Transit Manager Cliff Weldon to Eileen Shockey Moss of the regional RTA system and to John Fox of the DART program. Both have excellent driving records, great rapport with riders, and outstanding driving skills.

Both drivers were invited to participate in the Iowa Public Transit Association's/IDOT annual professional driver bus Roadeo. Eileen gave an excellent performance by winning second place in the category, missing first place by just 10 points. Because of a prior commitment John could not participate in the Roadeo.



Workforce Data On-line

By accessing the following web site individuals may now access a query tool for employment statistics provided by the U.S. Census and the State Office of Workforce Development: http://lehd.dsd.census.gov . Access the site and then click on the OWI Online Map to enter the query tool. The web site is user friendly and easy to navigate in clicking through the various scenarios of finding data. Some of the tasks you may find helpful:
  • Examine earnings for new and incumbent workers in different industries to benchmark their performance and improve their placement strategies;
  • Identify the most promising industry targets for developing educational curriculums and to find new jobs at acceptable earning levels;
  • Identify the workforce composition in a local workforce area, earnings and turnover that are hiring enough workers to justify client placement advocacy;
  • Provide new evidence of emerging trends, and turning points in previously table trends - such as identifying change sin hiring patterns or new job creation;
  • Provide employers with information on where workers live and find out where to hire workers;
  • Provide statistics to enable transportation agencies to design services;
  • Permit employers to find out how much other employers are paying their workers for wage-setting strategies;
  • Permit employers to identify how the turnover for other firms in their industry compare to the turnover at their workplace;
  • Many others.


Committee of 82

Despite the rapid urbanization of some portions of Iowa, it is clear that the heart, and soul, and a majority of its people remain in rural areas. These areas, according to the latest census information, are the areas of Iowa that are stressed the most. What is/can be the agenda to make them grow once again? This is the question that a not for-profit organization called the “Committee of 82” has set out to answer. According to their web page it is a think tank by Iowans for Iowans. And it's mission is as simple as an Iowa farmer fixing a piece of machinery - find out what works and then do it. 

A key component of their agenda is the economic research by ISU that may be accessed at http://www.committeeof82.org . specifically, view a presentation entitled - Improving Economic Vitality in Rural Iowa: A Data-Based Approach. Some key concepts from the presentation are listed in this paragraph. It is the role of a variety of official within Iowa to review this information and then develop real rural policies designed for change. You will find that the following concepts may be controversial, and all should spark discussions in “local coffee and gossip shops.” That is good, because no concept is easy to implement, nor is there a quick “silver success bullet” to access.
  • Iowa counties are remarkably average when compared to neighboring states. Is this good when our neighboring states have struggling rural areas;
  • There is a crude “C” shaped pattern of poor growth to the north and west of Des Moines;
  • Counties in Nebraska and Kansas fare poorly, and the worst hit counties have agriculture as their base economy. The same is true of Iowa's non growth counties;
  • Counties around major cities that are within an approximate one hour commute do well;
  • National amenities, such as recreation, seem to matter in regard to growth;
  • A state (Iowa and all neighboring states in study) with 10% higher per capita personal and corporate income tax burden in 1992 experienced a 0.9% decrease in overall growth between 1990-2001;
  • An Iowa county with 10% higher property taxes per capita in 1992 experienced a 0.4% decrease in growth between 1990-2001;
  • An Iowa county with 10% or higher government wages and salaries per capita in 1992 experienced a 0.9% decrease in growth between 1990-2001;
  • An Iowa county with 10% more population aged 65+ in 1992 experienced a 2.7% decrease in growth between 1990-2001;
  • An Iowa county with a 10% higher per capita share of county income from farming in 1992 had a 7.7% decrease in growth between 1990-2001;
  • An Iowa county with 10% more commuters going 30+ miles to work in 1992 had a 0.3% increase in growth between 1990 and 2001;
  • An Iowa county with a 10% growth in livestock receipts in 1992 had a 0.5% increase in growth between 1990 and 2001;
  • An Iowa county with 10% more non-farm proprietors per capita in 1992 had a 1.1% increase in growth between 1990 and 2001.


Summary of New Laws Available From the League of Cities

The General Assembly made a significant number of changes to laws of interest to local governments and MIDAS has been asked about those changes. MIDAS refers to the experts, the League of Cities, which has compiled an excellent special report entitled "New Laws of Special Interest to Cities" that is now available in both print and electronic formats. The report outlines changes that local governments should become aware of. The electronic version can be accessed by members at www.iowaleague.org/MembersOnly/SpecialReports.aspx?id=3 . If you would like a printed copy please contact the League <mailto:publications@iowaleague.org> by clicking on the hot link, or calling the League at (515) 244-7282.

Des Moines Recreational River and Greenbelt Funding

Approximately $4 million secured by Congressman Latham in the legislation for Fiscal Year 2005 will be dedicated to the Des Moines Recreational and Greenbelt project being administered by the Corps of Engineers. The primary purposes of projects within the Greenbelt area are recreation, stream bank stabilization, and environmental enhancement along the Des Moines, Boone, and Raccoon Rivers. The Corp currently lists three active segments of the master project; Riverfront Development and Trails in Fort Dodge, the Des Moines River walk, and the Cordova Center in Marion County.

“Over a Cola-Some Serious Issues”

RAGBRAI:. Like a swarm of seven year Locust they came, they boarded the buses to showers, food and downtown parties, they partied hardy, arrived back at the campgrounds where the drunks stumbled off the buses, some slept, some were too drunk to know what to do or where to go, some passed-out, some were obnoxious, and then like the Locust swarm they were quickly gone. For the vast majority (99+%) they were a very pleasant group to be around. Most had very nice things to say about Fort Dodge and were impressed with the clean and beautiful community. But because of the obnoxious small percentage we are glad they have moved on to terrorize another deserving overnight stop. The many small towns along the route are the real winners - they see the fun and not the seedier side of the small percentage during the overnight stops. 

Economic Development At Its Finest If you have not done so drive west of Fort Dodge on Highway 7 and view the wealth of activity occurring on the VeraSun Energy site. The construction of the 110 million gallon per year (mgy) ethanol plant will require approximately 500 temporary jobs over a two year period and then over 50 permanent jobs to run the plant. We already have reports of construction workers moving to our area towns and purchasing homes. When combined with 50 mgy plants being planned for Renwick and Goldfield, Ethanol could well be the future energy that drives our region's economy. The VeraSun Energy site has the potential to become a “cluster industry” site similar to those found in Eddyville, Iowa and Blair Nebraska. What a “shot in the arm” to the local economy that will be. Economic wealth is gained by processing a region's raw materials - grain is the raw material of our area and it is great to see it finally being used in a value-added mode.

MIDAS Technical Assistance


Calhoun County:
County - Discussed with a Supervisor the potential of assistance for a business. Discussed with Economic Development Director possible meeting between Twin Lakes and Xenia Rural Water.
Knierim -Preparation of a Model Code of Ordinances.
Lake City - Met with City Officials to address a zoning issue.
Lohrville - Provided administrative assistance for a CDBG infrastructure program. Discussed with City Clerk possible CDBG housing application for this year.
Manson - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Program.
Pomeroy - Answered questions by City Clerk on tax abatement, zoning for a camper, and IRS forms. Preparation of a Model Code of Ordinances.
Rockwell City - Provided administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program.
Somers - Contract with City to provide codification services.

Hamilton County:
Blairsburg - Attempted to find programs to renovate a vacant building.
Ellsworth - Discussed with Public Works Director programs that could assist in constructing a road to a new commercial area. Discussed with City Clerk a CDBG water application.
Kamrar - Preparation of a Model Code of Ordinances.
Stratford - Discussed possible use of MIDAS Housing RLF to refinance an existing loan for a housing development.
Webster City - Met with Board of Adjustment to review operational procedures. Provided a citizen with information on economic assistance available to start a business. Assistance to Planner to address a minor lot split within a rural subdivision.

Humboldt County:
County - Attended meeting between local officials and Broin Company to finalize logistics for an ethanol plant near Renwick.
Gilmore City - Provided administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program.
Humboldt - Discussed funding for a water main improvement with local officials.

Pocahontas County:
Fonda - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program.
Havelock - Assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program. Provided to City Clerk information on nuisances.
Laurens - Provided administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program. Answered questions by City Intern regarding narrative for a RISE application. Discussed Nuisance Abatement with City Attorney. Discussed with City Intern information for new CDBG application.
Palmer - Assistance to administer a CDBG program.
Pocahontas - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG sanitary sewer infrastructure program. Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG storm sewer infrastructure program. Provided City Administrator information for LMI survey for new CDBG application.
Rolfe - Prepared narrative for a Commercial Tax Abatement Plan.

Webster County:
County - Administrative assistance to administer a community facility grant. Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG program for rural water. Reviewed funding options to renovate a trail with Park Ranger at Brushy State Recreation Area. Served as secretary to monthly City/County meeting. Met with a business considering expansion options.
Callender - Discussed CDBG water application with City Clerk.
Dayton - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG water infrastructure program. Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG storm sewer infrastructure program.
Duncombe - Provided assistance to City on Safe Shelter grant.
Fort Dodge - Began to prepare application narrative for a EDA infrastructure assistance.
Gowrie - Administrative assistance for a CDBG infrastructure program.
Harcourt - Provided codification services.
Moorland - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program.
Otho - Discussed possible CDBG application with Mayor.

Wright County:
County - Assistance with preparing a Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Clarion - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Assistance with preparing a Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Dows - Assistance with preparing a Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Eagle Grove - Assistance with preparing a Hazard Mitigation Plan. Discussed TEA-21 Enhancement funding for Three Rivers Trail expansion with City Administrator.
Galt - Assistance with preparing a Hazard Mitigation Plan. Discussed CDBG application with City Council member.
Goldfield - Assistance with preparing a Hazard Mitigation Plan. Provided information to a prospective business expansion.
Rowan - Assistance with preparing a Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Woolstock - Assistance with preparing a Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Regional Benefit:
  • Participated in meetings of the National Rural Development Partnership.
  • Participated in two meetings of the Iowa Rural Development Council.
  • Assisted the Highway 20 Association.
  • Assisted the MIEDC.
  • Survived RAGBRAI


MIDAS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

 

Full Membership Meeting of the MIDAS Executive Committee

Meeting Place and Time: Sandstone Inn (300 Central Avenue, Fort Dodge, Iowa) at 6:30 P.M.

A G E N D A

1.        Approve Agenda

2.        Minutes from last Meeting

3.        Subcommittee reports

4.        Issues from the members

5.        Next meeting date of September 15th, 2004

6.        Adjournment

 

Subcommittees to the MIDAS Executive Committee

Budget and Administration Subcommittee (special workshop on FY05 budget)

Membership: Stan Watne, Jim Howard, Floyd Magnusson, Wes Sweedler, Harlan Hansen, Wilbur Ekstrand, Gerald Thomas, Dennis Bowman, Maria Hadar,

Meeting Place and Time: MIDAS Conference Room (602 1st Avenue South) at 5:30 P.M.

 

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Transit Subcommittee

Membership: Darrell Rusher, Jack DeWolf, Larry Hood, Buck Boekelman, Sharon Perry, Ike Nelson, and Ryan Heiar

Meeting Place and Time: DART Conference Room (530 1st Avenue South) at 5:30 P.M.

 

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Planning Subcommittee

Membership: Vicky Boyington, LeeAnn Waltzing, Vince Triggs, Merle Chamberlain, James Crean, Catherine Bergman, Bob Hudson, and Mark Gillette

Meeting Place and Time: Sandstone Inn (300 Central Avenue, Fort Dodge, Iowa) at 6:00 P.M.

 

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For those desiring to attend these meetings, but require special accommodations please contact 515-576-7183 Extension 212.

 

 


Executive Committee Minutes of July 21st, 2004


1.        Chairman Hansen called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M. A quorum was present

Executive Committee Present Staff/Visitors:

Merle Chamberlain - Calhoun County Cities Cliff Weldon

Gerald Thomas - Calhoun County ED Shirley Helgevold

Larry Hood - Calhoun County Steve Hoesel

Catherine Bergman - Hamilton County ED

Bob Hudson - Hamilton County Cities

Vince Triggs - Pocahontas County ED

Wilbur Ekstrand - Pocahontas County Cities

Jack DeWolf - Pocahontas County

Darrell Rusher -Humboldt County Cities

Harlan Hansen - Humboldt County

Jim Howard - Humboldt County ED

Dennis Bowman - Wright County ED Alt.

Stan Watne - Wright County

V.H. "Buck" Boekelman - Webster County Cities

Absent or Excused Members/Alternates

Wes Sweedler - Hamilton County

Vicky Boyington - Wright County ED

LeeAnn Waltzing - Wright County Cities

Floyd Magnusson - Webster County

James Crean - Webster County ED

Maria Hadar - Regional Representative

2.        Motion by Bergman, second by Hood to approve the agenda. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

3.        Motion by Triggs, second by Watne to approve the minutes of the June 16th Executive Committee Meeting. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

4.        Administration and Budget Committee Report by Hoesel:

¨  Motion by Boekelman, second by Hood to accept and place on file the June financial report including Sections 01/02/03/04 checks 20835 to 20964, Section 05 check 1094, Section 06 check 1088, and Section 07 checks 1148 to 11497. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

¨  Hoesel distributed information about the MIDAS Housing Revolving Loan Fund, informing the members that approximately $500,000 is available for loans.

¨  Hoesel distributed information about the MIDAS Economic Assistance Revolving Loan Fund, informing the members that approximately $40,000 is available for loans.

5.        Planning Committee Report by Helgevold:

¨  Motion by Watne, second by Howard to authorize the following action:. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

Contract between MIDAS and City of Laurens to provide CDBG administrative services in an amount of $18,000.

Contract between MIDAS and Webster County to provide CDBG administrative services in an amount of $6,000.

Contract between MIDAS and the U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA) for $51,000 of technical assistance and planning assistance, including preparation of the ongoing Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Plan.

Contract between MIDAS and city of Dayton to provide $2,650 to update a Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Contract between MIDAS and the Region V Drug Task Force to provide secretarial assistance in an amount of $6,500.

Contract between MIDAS and MISA to provide secretarial assistance in an amount of $10,000.

Permission for Helgevold to attend a professional training course in Des Moines regarding census information tables and how to import the information into the Arc View GIS platform.

Permission for Helgevold to attend the Midwest Transportation Conference in Indianapolis.

Adoption of an annual update to MIDAS schedule of fees for local service projects. The primary changes are with the number of hours estimated to complete the task. The table maintains a 75% subsidy provided by EDA, COG Assistance, and Dues.

6.        Transit Committee report by Weldon:

¨  Motion by DeWolf, second by Boekelman to authorize a contract with Elderbridge Agency on Aging to provide $35,500 in elderly ride subsidy assistance. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

¨  Motion by Hood, second by Bowman to authorize a contract with IDOT to provide $114,770 of capital funds (03-0103-050-04 06980) to purchase replacements to CC14, CC15, and 96-1. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

¨  Motion by Howard, second by Bowman to request the City of Fort Dodge to accept IDOT agreement 03-0103-269-04 06970 to provide surveillance cameras for buses. The contract is in an amount of $16,000. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

¨  Motion by Watne, second by Triggs to approve a services contract and equipment lease agreement with Wright County. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

¨  Motion by Watne, second by Hudson to authorize a contract with Shelters direct in an amount of $6,585.94 to provide a 120' X 60" bus shelter to be installed East of the DART building. Funding will come from a federal grant of approximately $3,500 and a local share match from Jefferson Lines. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

¨  Motion by Watne, second by DeWolf to authorize a contract with Minnesota Body and Equipment Company in an amount of $513,797 to purchase 10 (6 for the RTA and 4 on behalf of the City of Fort Dodge) vehicles. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

7.        Other topics of discussion by the membership were:

·          None

8.        Motion by Hood, second by Howard to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 P.M. Ayes all - Motion Carried.

Respectfully submitted for Secretary Catherine Bergman by staff member Stephen F. Hoesel.