THE MIDAS TOUCH‎ > ‎2006‎ > ‎


Newsletter Changes to Implement the Accountability Legislation

After January 1st, 2007 MIDAS will convert to a web-based Newsletter which means that mail paper copies will only be sent to those that specifically request that type of delivery. For several years the Newsletter has been posted on-line at with the posting occurring around the first of the month. If you desire to be sent a hard copy of the Newsletter after January 1st please complete the following form and return to Mary Jo DeLanoit, Office Manager. 

Request for Paper Copy of Newsletter to be Sent by Regular Mail

Name: ________________________________________________
Street Address: _________________________________________
City/State/Zip __________________________________________

Clip the completed form and mail to: Mary Jo DeLanoit, MIDAS Council of Governments, 602 1st Avenue South, Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501

Mid Iowa Growth Partnership (MIGP) Web Site is Now Functional

The MIGP web site is now up and running at: and we invite you to visit and provide comments. MIGP is a voluntary support program for nine Northcentral Iowa counties. It was designated a regional collaborative by the State of Iowa in 2005 for Calhoun, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Kossuth, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, .Webster, and Wright Counties. 
MIGP Services: Site Selection Assistance (labor, sites, buildings etc.), Data Standards (via LocationOne), Financial Assistance & Incentive Packaging (regional, state & federal) and Regulatory & Permitting Assistance (local, county, state, etc.).
Mission Statement: To consolidate assets and facilitate a collaborative effort for economic growth and vitality in the nine county region.
Vision: to become the most reliable source for regional economic development information for members and businesses seeking opportunity and prosperity in the region.
MIGP endeavors to assist, promote, and develop for both existing and new businesses and/or new investments considering the Mid Iowa Region.

Smaller Councils for Communities Under 500 Population

The 2003 Legislature passed Senate File 230, which makes it easier for a small community to reduce the size of its council from five to three members. This option is available to any City under 500 population. The change may be made by the current Council, but citizens have the right to petition for an election. However, there are legal requirements that a public hearing be held prior to June 1st of a regular city election year and at least 10 days notice must be given for the hearing. The legal proceedings can be found in Code of Iowa, Chapter 372.4. 

FEMA Legislation Expands Role of Regional Planning Organizations

House and Senate conferees to the fiscal year 2007 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Bill (HR 5441) have approved a compromise package that contains provisions reforming the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Under the final agreement, FEMA is required to expand its regional planning and preparedness efforts by working directly with regional development organizations and other key state and local stakeholders. Source: NADO

Hamilton County Bio-Digester

Hamilton County is determining the feasibility of developing a bio-digester to convert manure, industrial fats, and other wastes into methane gas. Novi Energy of Novi, Michigan, has been selected to perform the economic feasibility study. The consultant has begun meeting with waste producers and potential energy consumers of the Webster City area to determine waste amounts, approximate costs of those wastes, and willingness of end users to consider non traditional end products of methane gas and inert fertilizers. Project organizers hope to complete the study and begin implementation of the concept by early 2007. The support group received three proposals and Novi was chosen as most able to complete a very good study and execute a project if the numbers indicate good prospects. Congratulations to Hamilton County, USDA, and other local groups as this innovative program proceeds. 

Advance Notice of Grant Opportunities

USDA RCDI Training GrantsOctober 10, 2006
CDBG Community Facilities (human service programs)December 12, 2006
CDBG Water/Sewer (water and sewer grants)November 15, 2006
CDBG Housing Fund (housing rehabilitation and other housing programs)November 29, 2006
CDBG Community Facility Fund (Daycare, special Needs, Elder Care, etc.)December 12, 2006
State Recreational TrailsJanuary 1, 2007

2005 Population Estimates for MIDAS Cities and Counties (2005 Estimate/2000 Census Actual)

Badger - 586/610Hamilton County - 16,209/16,438Pocahontas County - 7,930/8,662
Barnum - 196/195Harcourt - 318/340Pocahontas - 1,876/1,970
Belmond - 2,451/2,560Hardy - 93/57Pomeroy - 658/710
Blairsburg - 227/235Havelock - 177/177Randall - 150/148
Bode - 315/327Humboldt County - 9,973/10,381Renwick - 276/306
Bradgate - 98/101Humboldt - 4,366/4,452Rinard - 66/72
Calhoun County - 10,443/11,115Jewell - 1,211/1,239Rockwell City - 2,096/2,264
Callender - 431/424Jolley - 36/54Rolfe - 612/675
Clare - 177/190Kamrar - 216/229Rowan - 207/218
Clarion - 2,873/2,968Knierim - 60/70Rutland - 131/145
Dakota City - 852/911Lake City - 1,693/1,787Somers - 154/165
Dayton - 837/884Laurens - 1,326/1,476Stanhope - 470/488
Dows - 604/675Lehigh - 484/497Stratford - 737/746
Duncombe - 464/474Livermore - 384/431Thor - 167/174
Eagle Grove - 3,515/3,712Lohrville - 373/431Varina - 84/90
Ellsworth - 539/531Manson - 1,760/1,893Vincent - 153/158
Farnhamville - 399/430Moorland - 184/197Webster City - 8,077/8,176
Fonda - 588/648Otho - 543/571Webster County - 39,003/40,235
Fort Dodge - 25,493/25,135Ottosen - 48/61Williams - 411/427
Galt - 29/30Palmer - 191/214Woolstock - 200/204
Gilmore City - 515/556Pioneer - 20/21Wright County - 13,647/14,334
Goldfield - 642/680Plover - 89/95Yetter - 33/36
Gowrie - 1,045/1,038

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Barnum, Callender, Ellsworth, Fort Dodge, Gowrie, Hardy, Havelock, and Randall are shown as the only Region V cities/counties that did not loose population between 2000 and 2005. Where population estimating was once a less than exact science, recent coordination of base populations, births, deaths, migration, and other factor considered by the Census Bureau have provided good results. Within the recent past Region V has announced substantial good news on the economic scene, but it is evident that much still needs to be done as loss of population continues to plague the region. 

Over a Cola - Ramblings

Great Places Program:. This year's Great Places semifinal candidates are Adams County, Appanoose County, Decorah, Dubuque, Fairfield, Grinnell, Guttenberg, Jackson County, Mason City, Valley Junction (West Des Moines), Wapello County and Warren County. No application from Region V was selected. All applications not funded last year were “kept in the grant application pipe-line” with the opportunity to self remove the application, or to add new materials. Some applications did add new materials, while others did not. Whether or not the program continues into the future will be a decision of the Iowa General Assembly and the appropriation of funding. If the program continues, and you desire assistance in discussing philosophy, please contact your MIDAS staff.
Recognition of MIDAS Members: Congratulations to Ryan Heiar of Eagle Grove , and the City of Fort Dodge for recent awards received during the League of Cities annual convention. Ryan was honored as a young professional who consistently gives above and beyond the normal standards for providing service to his city. Fort Dodge was acknowledged for the extensive coordination that was required to facilitate “Citizens Central,” the new Senior Citizens/Public Meting Center in downtown Fort Dodge.
Accountability: Some of you might have noticed that the minutes of the last Executive Committee meeting appeared in the Fort Dodge Messenger the last week of September. This is the initial step taken by MIDAS to come into compliance with the larger Accountability Legislation (SF 2410) passed by last session's General Assembly. We will take other steps as the state development of “Administrative Rules” progress. Two items in question are: First, whether MIDAS must publish a listing of our monthly payables; and Second, whether MIDAS must publish an annual listing of our payroll. I am assuming that we will need to do both, but am waiting until the Administrative Rules Committee have completed its task by giving definitive rules and opinions. MIDAS dodged a very large “paperwork bullet” in that our primary funder (IDOT) from which we receive over $500,000 in any given year, is exempt from the special program accountability rules. IDOT already requires a high-level of accountability and documentation for use of its grant funds.

MIDAS Technical Assistance

Calhoun County:
Farnhamville - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG Housing Rehabilitation Program. 
Knierim - Answered question from Clerk about process of lien removal.
Lake City - Answered question by citizen about housing rehabilitation.
Lohrville - Prepared narrative for a commercial tax abatement plan and ordinance. Responded to enquiry from a citizen's attorney requesting information on previous housing programs.
Pomeroy - Answered question of councilperson regarding municipal procedures. Attended a council meeting to discuss a CDBG Water/Sewer application.
Rockwell City - Answered a question by a citizen about the availability of housing rehabilitation funds. Closed-out a CDBG grant program for water improvements.
Hamilton County:
Blairsburg - Answered question posed by Bonding Attorney and Ruan Securities about a TIF project.
Ellsworth - Assistance to administer a CDBG water infrastructure program.
Jewell - Discussed aspects of TIF financing with a councilperson.
Webster City - Met with City Council to review a zoning issue. Presented the “State of the Region” to Council. Participated in two industrial acquisition strategy sessions. Attended kick-off meeting for Bio-Digester program.

Humboldt County:
County - Assisted Bonding Attorney to amend an existing TIF district and ordinance. Provided two housing development loans to Humboldt County Housing Development Corporation. Began preparing a CDBG Community Facilities application for Humboldt Workshop. Met with Supervisors to discuss MIDAS services and history.
Dakota City - Met with City to discuss CDBG application for housing and water/sewer.
Gilmore City - Closed out CDBG water/sewer grant. Discussed CDBG housing application with city clerk.
Humboldt - Assisted in administering an EDSA grant for a local industry. Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Assisted City with LMI survey for CDBG Water grant.
Livermore - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation.
Renwick - Met with City Council to discuss a CDBG Water/Sewer application.

Pocahontas County:
County - Reviewed RISE options with Economic Development Director.
Fonda - Assist city with CDBG Housing application.
Laurens - Provided administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program. Provided administrative assistance to administer an EDSA grant program. Assist City with CDBG water application.
Palmer - Assistance to administer a CDBG program. 
Pocahontas - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG sanitary sewer infrastructure program. Tweaked narrative for a developing Comprehensive Plan.
Rolfe - Discussed applying for CDBG housing grant with City Administrator.

Webster County:
County - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG public facilities grant for ICI. Facilitated monthly coordination meeting of City/County officials. Participated in Webster Development's Trails Committee.
Dayton -Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG storm sewer infrastructure program. Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation.
Duncombe - Answered question of City Clerk about approval of a tax abatement application. 
Fort Dodge - Answered assorted question of Economic Development Administration about an application for infrastructure assistance. Assisted Fort Dodge to choose two engineering firms for infrastructure projects. Participated in Chamber's Transportation Committee. Participated in Chamber's Leadership Training program. Began preparing a CDBG Community Facilities application for Community and Family Resources.
Gowrie - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program. 
Moorland - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program. 
Vincent - Prepared a commercial tax abatement plan and ordinance. Began preparing a CDBG Water Sewer Grant.

Wright County:
Belmond - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Began to prepare narrative for a RISE grant. 
Clarion - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. 
Dows - Prepared changes to Dows Municipal Code. Began CDBG application for water/sewer grant funds.
Eagle Grove - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Assist City with LMI survey for CDBG water/sewer application.
Rowan - Provided a business development loan to Café Primo.

Regional Benefit:
  • Participated in meeting of the IRDC and NRDP.
  • Attended meeting of Prairie Rivers RC&D.
  • Participated in meeting of MIGP.
  • Developed narrative for a RCDI grant for MIGP.
  • Attended U.S. 20 Association meeting.
  • Attended an Iowa Finance Authority Conference on Housing.
  • Attended CDBG grant application workshops.
  • Hosted a two MISA meetings.
  • Attended Model Code training.
  • Attended League of Cities annual meeting.

MIDAS Executive Committee Agenda for Wednesday, October 18th, 2006


Full Membership Meeting of the MIDAS Executive Committee

Meeting Place and Time: Marvin Gardens (809 Central AvenueFort DodgeIowa) at 6:30 P.M.


1.        Approve Agenda

2.        Minutes of September 20th, 2006 Meeting

3.        Subcommittee reports

4.        Presentation of Audit by Tim McCartan

5.        Roundtable of issues from members

6.        Next meeting on November 15th, 2006

7.        Adjournment


Subcommittees to the MIDAS Executive Committee

Budget and Administration Subcommittee

Membership: Stan Watne, Floyd Magnusson, Wes Sweedler, Harlan Hansen, Wilbur Ekstrand, Gerald Thomas, and Dennis Bowman

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, Patti Treibel, Dan Payne, 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, Lee Ann Waltzing, Vince Triggs, Merle Chamberlain, John Kramer, Catherine Bergman, Rick Young, David Boswell, Jane Burleson, Gary Sandholm, and Jack Foster.

Meeting Place and Time: Marvin Gardens (809 Central AvenueFort DodgeIowa) 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 209.

Executive Committee Discussion of September 20th, 2006

1.        Chairperson Sweedler called the meeting to order at 6:35 P.M. A quorum was present.

Executive Committee Present Staff/Visitors:

Wes Sweedler - Hamilton County Steve Hoesel

Patti Treibel - Hamilton County Alternate Sharon Porter

Jack Foster - Hamilton County Cities Alt. Shirley Helgevold

Rick Young - Hamilton County Cities Cliff Weldon

Gary Sandholm - Hamilton County ED Alt. Jeff Thelen

Vince Triggs - Pocahontas County ED

Jack DeWolf - Pocahontas County

Wilbur Ekstrand - Pocahontas County Cities

Vicky Boyington - Wright County ED

Darrell Rusher -Humboldt County Cities

David Boswell - Humboldt County ED

Larry Hood - Calhoun County

Jane Burleson-Regional Representative

Absent or Excused Members/Alternates

Catherine Bergman - Hamilton County ED

Stan Watne - Wright County

Dennis Bowman - Wright County Alt.

Ryan Heiar - Wright County Alt.

Harlan Hansen - Humboldt County

Gerald Thomas - Calhoun County ED

LeeAnn Waltzing - Wright County Cities

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

Merle Chamberlain - Calhoun County Cities

Floyd Magnusson - Webster County

John Kramer - Webster County ED

2.        Motion by Hood, second by DeWolf to approve the agenda as presented. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

3.        Motion by Boswell, second by Ekstrand to approve the minutes of the August 16th, 2006 meeting. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

4.        Administration and Budget Committee Report:

¨     Motion by Rusher, second by Hood place on file the July financial report including Sections 01/02/03/04 checks 24294 to 24417 and EF Payroll deposits 12278 to 12408. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

¨     Motion by Fluhrer, second by Ekstrand place on file the August financial report including Sections 01/02/03/04 checks 24418 to 24562, Section 05 check 1123, Section 06 check 1117, Section 07 check 1396, and Section 125 Check 83106, and EF Payroll deposits 12409 to 12540. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

¨     Motion by Hood, second by Boswell to engage with First American Bank a line of credit in the amount of $50,000. This action represents an annual renewal. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

¨     Motion by Sandholm, second by Young to approve a Release of Mortgage for Nokomis Machine as part of a restructuring financing plan for the company. The current mortgage is in 4th position with little value. MIDAS retains its first position lien against office equipment. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

5.        Planning Committee Report:

¨     Motion by Triggs, second by DeWolf to approve the following Resolution:.

Whereas, The MIDAS Council of Governments was organized in part to provide planning capabilities for cities and counties within Region V; and,

Whereas, the MIDAS Council of Governments has identified, in conjunction with member counties and cities, various planning and economic needs concerning economic development as outlined in the EDA-RLF Plan; and,

Whereas, the MIDAS Council of Governments has identified a certain standard for their portfolio.

Now, Therefore, be it Resolved That, the MIDAS Council of Government Executive Committee hereby certified that the EDA-RLF Plan is consistent with and support the area's current economic adjustment strategy.

Be it Further Resolved That, the EDA-RLF is being operated in accordance with the policies and procedures contained in the EDA-RLF Plan and the EDA-RLF portfolio meets the standards contained therein.

Ayes: Sweedler, Young, Sandholm, Triggs, DeWolf, Ekstrand, Boyington, Rusher, Boswell, Hood, Burleson. Nays: None. Motion Carried.

¨     Shirley introduced Jeff Thelen as the newest MIDAS planner. Jeff comes to MIDAS from La CrosseWisconsin.

¨     Motion by DeWolf, second by Rusher to authorize submittal of the following 50% New Freedom Transit Applications to expand existing service:

$2,370 to DART to expand evening hours;

$3,954 to DART to support the Jefferson Shuttle;

$2,413 to the RTA to expand service in Webster City by ½ hour each day;

$204 to the RTA to expand Friday service in Webster City by ½ hour.

Ayes All - Motion Carried.

6.        Transit Committee Report:

¨        Motion by Hood, second by Burleson to amend an existing Elderbridge Agency on Aging contract to a revised amount of $38,000. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

¨        Motion by Fluhrer, second by Ekstrand to authorize signing of a Purchase of Transit Services Contract and Equipment Lease with Wright County. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

7.        Motion by Rusher, second by Fluhrer, to authorize signing a contract with USDA to implement a GIS training program. Costs will be incurred until several issues are discussed with USDA. Further, MIDAS desires to initially operate the program with current staff until the future status of CDBG grants have been determined. The local match of $110,000 will be targeted from existing funds, Housing RLF funds, user fees, and assessments to members. Ayes All - Motion Carried.

8.        Weldon review options available to host the monthly meting with the closure of the Sandstone Inn. Discussion was to move to Marvin Gardens in October, Bufford's in November, and the Quality Inn in January. After these trials, a permanent home will be chosen. It was also the consensus that the December meeting should be cancelled.

9.        Hoesel reviewed additional aspects of the Accountability Legislation and steps MIDAS will take to meet its provisions.

10.     Motion by Hood, second by Ekstrand to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 P.M. Ayes all - Motion Carried.

Respectfully submitted for Secretary Dennis Bowman by staff member Stephen F. Hoesel.