THE MIDAS TOUCH‎ > ‎2006‎ > ‎


Newsletter Changes Coming Soon

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 __________________________________________

Mail to: Mary Jo DeLanoit, MIDAS Council of Governments, 602 1st Avenue South, Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501

Iowa Living Roadways Program to Beautiful Entrance Highways

A project by the Mid Iowa Growth Partnership used visiting review teams to analyze the appearance of communities in selected counties other than their own. The most dominant item found by the review teams was the need for beautification of main traffic arteries into virtually every community visited.

To address this issue, communities are urged to review the following program that is available for possible assistance. Trees Forever, the Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa State University, and the Iowa Living Roadways Trust Fund have joined together to sponsor the Iowa Living Roadways Program. They are seeking funding requests from local governments with plans for civic beautification projects based on tree and shrub plantings on key roadways, trails, right-of-ways and corridors of the community. Selected communities will receive grant funds up to $15,000 and donated materials for their projects. Iowa Living Roadways (ILR) offers a Community Visioning component that assists communities in planning projects as well as a Projects component that provides grants to fund the work. Applications for funding through the Visioning component of ILR are due to Trees Forever on October 16 and through the Projects component by December 1, 2006. Note that the project match can include volunteer labor. Additional information about these programs is available at the Trees Forever website (click on links for Visioning or ILR Projects)

League of Cities Publication Available

The Iowa League of Cities has available for purchase the Index of Iowa Laws Relating to Cities. This resource is an excellent tool to locate state laws in the Code of Iowa that pertain to cities and covers topics that Cities encounter on a daily basis. Please contact the League office at 515-244-7282 to price a copy and to place an order.

Vision Iowa Funds to Lohrville

The Vision Iowa Board approved a $45,000 grant for the J.J. Hands Library and Community Building expansion in Lohrville. The City and Library Board are partnering for the expansion and remodeling of the current library and community center to better serve city and county residents. Grant money will be used to install a hip roof on the building that was originally constructed in 1934.

Bio Fuels/Sustainable Agriculture and Economic Growth

At a recent invitation only conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank - Chicago Drs John Miranowski and Robert C. Brown of Iowa Sate University presented discussions on sustainable agriculture. The following thoughts on bio fuels, sustainable agriculture, and economic growth are summarized for your information with apologies to the authors for summarization errors:

  • The bioeconomy is nothing less than a revolution in the way society will obtain vital sources of carbon and energy, and in the process dramatically reduce our dependence on imported petroleum. Agriculture will make this transformation possible by providing biorenewable resources for the production of biobased products. The end goal is not ethanol! - Biomass (stocks, switch grass, etc.) could provide 21% of US energy demand or 66% of US transportation fuel. Ethanol and Biodiesel are the initiatives that can lead us to a bioeconomy. Biobased products can provide fuels, chemicals, fibers, and power.
  • Agriculture in the last half of the 20th Century was not sustainable and had a negative impact on rural economic growth. Sustainable agriculture in Iowa has just begun, but preliminary statistics show substantial improvements in rural vitality, local incomes, employment, and community well-being.
  • Historic sustainability of agriculture and rural growth was challenged by commodity programs designed to “save” the family farm and “maintain” farm incomes, which did not do either well.
  • Are rural amenities important to rural growth and how do they interface with agriculture activities? - Iowa needs amenities to be able to attract companies that must attract workers to the facilities they build. The interface between amenities, livestock, and agriculture is crucial to Iowa growth. Recreational amenities positively impact rural growth.
  • Historically, counties with a high dependence on agricultural income have not performed well in the “new economy.” Those with livestock value added realized county income growth.
  • In 2005 corn-based Ethanol used 12% of the 2005 corn crop and over 1/3 of US gasoline was blended with Ethanol. An increase to 12 Billion gallons of Ethanol could use 1/3 of the US corn crop. This would supply 7-8% of US gasoline fuels.
  • What is the future of the Ethanol market? 1) the outlook is very optimistic. 2) Structural changes and industry “shake-outs” are to be expected; and 3) Biomass feedstock (stover, switch grass, etc.) will become an integral part of the industry in the 2010s and beyond.
  • Growth in Ethanol production will spur other biobased products. Bio products will become the “industrial feedstock” of the future.
  • Through industrial innovations Ethanol has achieved a 1.3 fossil-to-renewable energy gain. The gain for gasoline is only 0.8. Ethanol is now efficient, dispelling the age old myth that it could not be.

Biofuels Resource Manual

Research Reports International is offering the 1st edition of its The Market For Biofuels in Transportation report, a 100-page study of the history, current status, and future potential of the two major biofuels - ethanol and biodiesel. Please use the following link for additional information or ordering information:
The report provides a concise look at the factors pushing biofuels into the market, the challenges faced by biofuels, and the current state of biofuel production. Topics covered in the report include:

  • A look at the events and factors that are fueling interest in biofuels.
  • An evaluation of the current market and future potential for biofuels.
  • An analysis of the key business drivers that are supportive of success for biofuels in the transportation market.
  • An analysis of the barriers that are hindering the success of biofuels in the transportation market.
  • An evaluation of the different feed stocks that can be used to produce biofuels.
  • A discussion of the economic drivers of biofuel success.
  • A review of government initiatives to promote biofuel use.
  • Company-by-company profiles of key biofuel producers.

Advance Notice of Grant Opportunities

CDBG Water/Sewer (water and sewer grants
November 15, 2006

CDBG Housing Fund (housing rehabilitation and other housing programs
November 29, 2006

CDBG Community Facilities (human service programs)
December 12, 2006

CDBG Community Facility Fund (Daycare, special Needs, Elder Care, etc.)
December 12, 2006

State Recreational Trails
January 1, 2007

Solid Waste Alternatives Program (Recycling options)
January 2, 2007

Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT)
January 2, 2007

Over a Cola - Ramblings

Button busting:. Please pardon us, but the Hoesel Family is busting buttons and reveling in Daughter Aliese's vocal success. Aliese was chosen to sing in the Iowa All State Chorus for the fourth time in four attempts which places her in rare company as approximately 1% of the 750 member chorus are four time participants. She is the first from Saint Edmond High School since 1972, the earliest that records can be found. The Iowa All State Festival is the top music honor a high school student can receive and the Iowa program is nationally recognized as one of the best. However, it will be a bitter sweet moment as Aliese is “the end of the line” unless grandkids begin to take-up music. Over the years three Hoesel girls (Amy only liked sports) have tried out for the All State and OPUS programs 19 times and we have participated in the honor choir 17 times - a testament to the many dollars spent on music lessons and the quality of instruction at Saint Edmond High School. For now, the year of lasts mentioned several months ago in this column is quickly speeding to a conclusion. The final graduation emotion has not fully hit yet, but I am beginning to see that when it occurs it will hit very hard and tears will be shed.

We need your help - we have a program to show and need council meetings to show it: Cliff and Steve have been visiting area governments and civic clubs to discuss: 1) what are the services of MIDAS; 2) what are the regional/national/worldwide trends that affect our quality of life; 3) what is the future of regionalism; 4) what is the future of the bio-economy; and most importunately 5) introduction of Cliff as the soon to be Executive Director. This 30 to 45 minute presentation has been shows approximately 7 times in the last month and we would like to show it to more city councils. Please contact Cliff and/or Steve to schedule a presentation during a future Council meeting. We would like to meet with as many Cities as possible prior to June 30, 2007. A caution is that if the program has a fault, it is because the materials presented generate considerable discussion, that without monitoring, can easily consume more time. You need to take this item into account when calling to schedule us.

Technical Assistance

Calhoun County:
County - Met with Supervisors to review MIDAS services. Discussed housing initiative funding with Economic Development Director.
Farnhamville - Conducted background preparations for a CDBG housing application.
Lake City - Discussed funding for an Aquatics Center with City Administrator.
Lohrville - Prepared narrative for an urban revitalization plan for commercial tax abatement. Began background preparations for a CDBG housing application.
Manson - Prepared a subordination agreement for previous housing project. Answered question of Economic Development Corporation regarding subdivision funding.
Pomeroy - Began to prepare materials for a CDBG water/sewer application.

Hamilton County:
County - Met with Supervisors to review MIDAS services. Provided Supervisor with email addresses.
Blairsburg - Answered TIF question posed by bonding attorney.
Ellsworth - Assistance to administer a CDBG water infrastructure program. Preparations for a CDBG housing application.
Jewell - Began to collect information for preparation of an urban renewal plan.
Webster City - Facilitated Comprehensive Plan discussion session to update a section for recreation and open space items. Presented land use seminar to combined meeting of City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission. Attended two ABI session with prospective businesses.

Humboldt County:
County - Met with Supervisors to review MIDAS services. Met with RIVER Committee and discussed future strategy. Met with Supervisors to request sponsorship for a CDBG Community Facility application for Humboldt Workshop.
Dakota City - Began preparations for a CDBG housing application.
Gilmore City - Began preparations for a CDBG housing application.
Humboldt - Assisted in administering an EDSA grant for a local industry. Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Began background research for a CDBG water/sewer application.
Livermore - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation.
Renwick - Preparing a CDBG water/sewer application.

Pocahontas County:
County - Met with Supervisors to review MIDAS services. Discussed usability of GIS program data with County Assessor.
Fonda - Discussed CDBG philosophy with City Clerk. Began preparations for a CDBG housing application.
Laurens - Provided administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program. Provided administrative assistance to administer an EDSA grant program. Began preparations for a CDBG water/sewer application.
Palmer - Assistance to administer a CDBG program.
Pocahontas - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG sanitary sewer infrastructure program. Prepared an amendment to an existing urban renewal plan.

Webster County:
County - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG public facilities grant for ICI. Met with Supervisors to review MIDAS services. Provided census information to economic development program. Attended Webster Development's Transportation Committee. Prepared an application for a CDBG community facilities grant.
Dayton - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG storm sewer infrastructure program. Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation.
Fort Dodge - Preparations for a CDBG Community Facilities application for Community and Family Resources.
Gowrie - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program.
Harcourt - Met with Mayor and others to discuss zoning administration.
Moorland - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program.
Vincent - Prepared urban revitalization plan for residential tax abatement.

Wright County:
County - Discussed two zoning issues with Zoning Administrator.
Belmond - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Prepared narrative for a residential urban revitalization plan. Prepared narrative for a commercial urban revitalization plan.
Clarion - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Preparations for a CDBG housing application.
Dows - Updated the City Code.
Eagle Grove - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Prepared narrative for a CDBG water/sewer application.
Rowan - Provided business development loan to Café' Primo.

Regional Benefit:

* Assisted Leadership Fort Dodge coordinate and host its economic development seminar.
* Participated in regional meeting of National Rural Development Council.
* Prepared MIGP's monthly financial information.
* Developed RCDI application for MIGP.
* Attended policy meeting of Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
* Assisted meetings of the MISA board of directors.

MIDAS Executive Committee Agenda for Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Full Membership Meeting of the MIDAS Executive Committee

Meeting Place and Time: Buford's Steak House BBQ (Junction of U.S. 169 and Iowa 7, Fort Dodge, Iowa) at 6:30 P.M.


1. Approve Agenda

2. Minutes of October 18th, 2006 Meeting

3. Subcommittee reports

4. Approval of FY06 Audit

5. GIS program update

6. Roundtable of issues from members

7. Next meeting on January 17th, 2007 (Note: December meeting is cancelled)

8. 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: Buford's Steak House BBQ (Junction of U.S. 169 and Iowa 7, 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 209.

MIDAS Executive Committee Meeting of October 18th, 2006

Chairperson Sweedler called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M.

Members present: Sweedler, Young, Sandholm Triggs, DeWolf, Ekstrand, Hood, Watne, Bowman, Heiar, Hansen, Thomas. Alternates present: Treibel, Foster.

Motion by DeWolf, second by Hansen to approve the agenda as presented. Ayes All.

Motion by Triggs, second by Watne to approve the minutes of the September 20th, 2006 meeting. Ayes All.

Motion by Hansen, second by DeWolf place on file the September Financial Report. Ayes All.

Motion by Hansen, second by Triggs to authorize the signing of documents agreeing to termination of the MISA Organization. Ayes: Sweedler, Young, Sandholm Triggs, DeWolf, Ekstrand, Watne, Bowman, Heiar, Hansen, Thomas. Nays: Hood.

Staff member Porter reviewed an option to utilize $30,000 of insurance proceeds to replace vehicle FD39 that was destroyed in an accident.

Tim McCartan of T.P. Anderson Company presented the FY06 Audit.

Motion by Watne, second by Young to adjourn the meeting at 7:45 P.M. Ayes all.

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