THE MIDAS TOUCH‎ > ‎2006‎ > ‎


New Farm Bill Being Discussed

With the elections now over Congress will begin debating the contents of the new Farm Bill. It is anticipated that Iowa's Senator Harkin will play a key role in the new legislation. To help you follow what is being discussed an excellent tracking resource has constructed by NADO called the "2007 Farm Bill Resource Center." The site contains a number of useful documents and background pieces related to rural development issues and tips for interacting with Congress. For more information, visit

OMB Watch

OMB Watch launched a website that tracks where federal money goes and who gets it. The online database is free and searchable by grants and contracts. To access the site, visit http://www.fedspending.or

CATS Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

The Calhoun Area Transit System (CATS Bus), celebrated its 20th Anniversary on November 21st. Gary Nicholson, Chairman of the Calhoun County Board of Supervisors, presented LaDonna “Buck” Steinberg, CATS County Coordinator, with a proclamation commemorating the milestone at the 21 November Board of Supervisors meeting. The proclamation announced November 21st as “CATS Day” in Calhoun County, and recognized the system for providing 20 years of safe, affordable, and dependable public transportation.

CATS buses are stationed throughout the county. The main office and one bus is located on Manson. Other buses are garaged in Rockwell City, Lake City, and Lohrville. Last fiscal year, CATS provided 111,023 rides, which is definitely a nine year, and probably an all-time system high. When asked to account for the steady growth in ridership, and especially last year's record ridership, LaDonna said “We try and accommodate as many as we can, and we have an excellent relationship with Opportunity Living who provides us with many riders.” Congratulations to LaDonna and her drivers on a job well done and for reaching this milestone.

MIDAS to Hold Public Hearing on Long-Range Transportation Plan and Sets Schedule for SAFETEA-LU Applications

The application process for regional SAFETEA-LU Surface Transportation Program funds and Enhancement funds begins. The process starts with a regional public meeting to be held on December 13, 2006, 1:00 PM at MIDAS Council of Governments Conference Room, 602 1st Avenue South, Fort Dodge, Iowa. At this meeting the SAFETEA-LU program and the application process for STP and Enhancement funds will be discussed. The meeting will also give those present a chance to discuss the region's transportation system. Discussion on this topic is especially important as the region's Long-Range Transportation Plan is being revised. Any project for which STP or Enhancement funds are planning to be used must fall within the scope of the region's Long-Range Transportation Plan.

Applications for the Region V SAFETEA-LU Surface Transportation Program (STP) and Transportation Enhancement funding will be available for the first time at the public meeting. After the meeting applications will be available at your SAFETEA-LU TAC Representatives office and the MIDAS office, 602 1st Avenue South, Fort Dodge, Iowa. Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on February 12, 2007. Submit applications to: MIDAS Council of Governments, 602 1st Avenue South, Fort Dodge, IA 50501

Advance Notice of Grant Opportunities

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

FEMA Pre ?Disaster Mitigation Grant Program
January 21, 2007

K-12 Certified School Enrollments for MIDAS Area Schools

District199720052006Increase or(Decrease) 
2005 to 2006
% Change 1997-2006
   Southern Cal7205485491-23.75%
   Rockwell City-Lytton632526508(18)-19.62%
   Manson/Northwest Webster867707703(4)-18.92%
   Webster City1,7501,6421,580(62)-9.71%
   South Hamilton806781773(8)-4.09%
   Northeast Hamilton345285265(20)-23.19%
   Twin Rivers280191186(5)-33.57%
   Gilmore City-Bradgate273159145(14)-46.89%
   Pocahontas Area887646619(27)-30.21%
   Southeast Webster Grand583624620(4)6.35%
   Prairie Valley922746732(14)-20.61%
   Fort Dodge4,5684,0794,038(41)-11.60%
   Eagle Grove1,011906883(23)-12.66%
MIDAS Area18,94116,36516,047(318)-15.28%
State of Iowa504,937483,105482,752(353)-4.39%
Source: Iowa Department of Education

Over a Cola - Ramblings

Sports: Congratulations to area high school football teams that did very well in the recent football playoffs. Humboldt and Northeast Hamilton brought home very large championship trophies and Southern Cal brought home a very large Semifinal trophy. Congratulations also go to Fort Dodge Saint Edmond, a first round participant, and New Fonda who won their first round game and lost in the second round. I believe I have not left out any Region V school participating in the playoffs, but please let me know if I did.

School Enrollments: Each year I have attempted to provide to you in December with a summation chart of the Region's school enrollments (see chart elsewhere in this issue of the Newsletter). From statistics recently placed on the web site of the Iowa Department of Education, school enrollments in both Region V and the State of Iowa are still declining, but the loss is not as great as experienced for prior years. For the current year the State has lost 353 students while Region V dropped 318 students, or nearly the total loss for the State of Iowa. Positives are found in growth numbers for Southern Cal, Stratford, Newell-Fonda, and Laurens-Marathon. Many others had small declines, which is good news contained within the bad as the declines are not as severe as experienced during the 1997 to 2005 period. Perhaps, the economy of Region V has slowly begun to change for the better. Over the longer sample period (1997 to 2006) only Southeast Webster Grand and Stratford have positive numbers.

Joint IDOT and IDED Conference: You are invited to attend the Economic Development and Transportation: Moving Iowa Forward conference on Thursday, January 18th, 2007 at the Embassy Suites in Des Moines. This event is co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Economic Development and the Iowa Department of Transportation. Details about this conference are available through the following website. You may also register through the website referenced below:

Technical Assistance

Calhoun County:
County - Answered question posed by Economic Development Director.
Farnhamville - Assistance in preparing a CDBG housing application.
Lohrville - Met with City Council to discuss Commercial Tax Abatement and prepared narrative for a TA Plan and Ordinance. Discussed zoning issues with City Clerk and offered advise on potential abatement strategy. Assistance in preparing a CDBG housing application.
Manson - Answered question posed by Economic Development Director regarding use of TIF funds for housing developments.
Pomeroy - Prepare mortgage releases for past CDBG Housing program.
Rockwell City - Prepare final requisition for CDBG.

Hamilton County:
Blairsburg - Answered question from a citizen regarding the USDA Energy Grant Program.
Ellsworth - Assistance to administer a CDBG water infrastructure program. Assistance in preparing a CDBG housing application.
Jewell - Prepared a TIF plan for urban revitalization
Webster City - Met with Planning and Zoning Commission to continue working toward updating a Comprehensive Plan. Answered a question from a citizen regarding zoning within Hamilton County.

Humboldt County:
County - Assisted in developing a TIF boundary. Attended monthly RIVER meeting.
Bode - Assistance in preparing a CDBG housing application.
Dakota City - Assistance in preparing a CDBG housing application.
Gilmore City - Assistance in preparing a CDBG housing application.
Hardy - Answered question from City regarding potential infrastructure funds.
Humboldt - Assisted in administering an EDSA grant for a local industry. Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Met with Noon Rotary to present a discussion on Regional Issues and MIDAS services.
Livermore - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation.
Renwick - Assistance in preparing a CDBG Water/Sewer application.

Pocahontas County:
Fonda - Assist in preparing a CDBG Housing application.
Laurens - Provided administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program. Provided administrative assistance to administer an EDSA grant program. Assessed 10 nuisances as to deficiencies. Discussed zoning issue with City Clerk. Prepared application for a CDBG water tower project
Palmer - Assistance to administer a CDBG program.
Pocahontas - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG sanitary sewer infrastructure program.

Webster County:
County - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG public facilities grant for ICI. Served as secretary to monthly City/County Coordination meeting. Assistance in preparing a CDBG community facilities application.
Dayton - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG storm sewer infrastructure program. Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation.
Fort Dodge - Served as secretary to monthly City/County Coordination meeting. Attended check presentation from DOC/EDA to City of Fort Dodge in an amount of $2 million to construct sanitary sewers to Tate & Lyle site.
Gowrie - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program.
Moorland - Administrative assistance to administer a CDBG infrastructure program.
Vincent - Met with Council to implement a Commercial Tax Abatement boundary amendment and to implement a Residential Tax Abatement Plan and Ordinance.

Wright County:
County - Met with Supervisors to discuss MIDAS services.
Belmond - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Forwarded to City Administrator the procedure for a voluntary annexation Petition. Tax abatement preperation
Clarion - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation.
Dows - Assistance in preparing CDBG housing and water/sewer applications.
Eagle Grove - Assistance to administer a CDBG for Housing Rehabilitation. Assistance in preparing an IRP application through USDA.

Regional Benefit:

* Hosted quarterly meeting of City Clerks/Administrators Association and presented a discussion on Regional Issues and MIDAS.
* Reviewed SRTS grants for IDOT.
* Attended IARC meeting on Revolving loan Funds.
* Participated in Fort Dodge/Region V strategy session for annual DC visit.
* Participated in NRDP strategy call.
* Assisted Mid Iowa Development Group with accounting assistance.
* Set up and participated in Region V SAFETEA-LU TAC meeting.

MIDAS Executive Committee Agenda for Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

NOTE: No Meeting in December

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 November 15th, 2006 Meeting

3. Subcommittee reports

4. GIS program update

5. Roundtable of issues from members

6. Next meeting on February 21st, 2007

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For those desiring to attend these meetings, but require special accommodations please contact 515-576-7183 Extension 209.

MIDAS Executive Committee Meeting of November 15th, 2006

Chairperson Sweedler called the meeting to order at 6:35 P.M.

Members present: Sweedler, Young, Sandholm Triggs, DeWolf, Ekstrand, Hood, Chamberlain, Watne, Bowman, Heiar, Rusher, Boekelman, and Burleson. Alternates present: Foster.

Motion by Hood, second by Watne to approve the agenda as presented. Ayes All.

Motion by DeWolf, second by Watne to approve the minutes of the October 18th, 2006 meeting. Ayes All.

Motion by Bowman, second by Triggs place on file the October Financial Report. Ayes All.

Motion by Watne, second by Bowman to approve the FY06 Audit. Ayes All.

Motion by Watne, second by Chamberlain to approve the amended 2007-2010 TIP. Ayes All.

Motion by Watne, second by Hood to approve Amendment #3 (no change in dollars) to ITS-050. Ayes All.

Motion by Bowman, second by Heiar to accept an extension to the Route Match maintenance agreement rather than accepting a cash payment. Ayes All.

Weldon announced that the search for a vehicle to Replace FD39 continues with an IDOT directive to advertise to area vendors for a used medium to heavy duty bus.

CATS will have a 20th Anniversary on November 21st at 11:00 A.M.

Motion by Chamberlain, second by Burleson to accept the following bids from the IDOT auction for CC5 ($850), CC12 ($1,000), 98-5 ($1,700) and H12 ($1,800). Ayes All.

Motion by Boekelman, second by Rusher to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 P.M. Ayes all.

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

FEMA Announces Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Program for 2007

Funds for hazard mitigation planning and mitigation projects prior to a disaster event are available through a congressional appropriation of $100 million for competitive grants, technical assistance, and program support for the FY 2007 period. Each State will receive at least $500,000 for sub-application(s) that meet all the eligibility requirements of the program as stated in this guidance. All remaining eligible sub-applications will compete nationally for the remaining PDM funds.

The program guidance provides critical information about eligibility, the National Evaluation Process, e-grant instructions, and other key aspects of the program. FEMA has established the application deadline for states to submit their application as February 5, 2007. In order to meet FEMA's deadline, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HLSEM) must receive local sub-applications via E-grants ( ) by January 21, 2007.

Notes for completing the E-grants application:

1. Registration is required prior to completing an E-Grant application. A paper E-grants Roles and Responsibilities matrix is required to be completed and submitted to HLSEM prior to registering. Each person submitting and approving an e-grant application must register by completing a user name, password, and user profile. The individual creating e-grant application must give authorization/permission to the individual signing the application. If an applicant has completed this process in previous years, and the information is still valid, a new registration is not required.

2. The primary point of contact and individual who signs/submits the application in e-grants must be from the jurisdiction making the application.

3. For Mitigation project applications, Use FEMA new Benefit Cost Analysis software (Mitigation BCA Toolkit version 3.0, July 2006). You can order this CD via email at . Applicants must also attach ALL supporting data documentation because the FEMA national review committee will complete a separate BCA using these documents to validate submitted BCA's. These documents may include assessor cards, technical drawings, Flood Insurance Studies, elevation certificates, detailed notes on how a data field was determined, etc. The BCA file (Excel file) must be emailed to ( in addition to being attached to the E-grants application.

4. When detailing project costs, avoid the use of large lump sum costs.

5. When completing the Scope of Work (SOW), ensure that you allow a reasonable amount of time to complete the project or plan. FEMA required SOW revisions for plans that did not have at least an 18-month time frame for plans. Also for plans, be sure to identify a 3-month period for FEMA to review and approve the plan. Recommend a 3-year time period; performance periods for PDM Grants are 3 years.

6. Mitigation projects must be consistent with the State Plan (Iowa Hazard Mitigation Plan, approved 9-22-2004) and the local jurisdiction's FEMA approved Hazard Mitigation Plan. Applicants must have a FEMA approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan in order to be considered for a project award.

7. The applicant must be a member and not sanctioned or suspended from the National Flood Insurance Program if mapped.

8. Complete ALL sections of the e-grants application and required data fields…DUNS number, Federal Tax ID, etc.