City Disaster Recovery and Response Proposal
The Iowa League of Cities’ endorsed “City Disaster Recovery and Response” proposal to the Iowa Legislature has the potential to impact every Iowa City. The proposal provides a menu of five potential revenue options for all Iowa cities, along with a list of options to spend the funds. The alternative revenue options include franchise fees, hotel/motel tax increases, local sales tax, local income tax surcharge, and an entertainment tax. As proposed, each City would have the option to implement all, part, or none of these measures. Funds raised from these sources could, under the current proposal, only be used for public safety, disaster recovery and prevention, infrastructure, property tax reduction, and targeted jobs program.
Interested parties are encouraged to visit the Iowa League of Cities web site (www.iowaleague.org ) for more information.
Governor Seeking Information for Funding
By now all MIDAS cities and counties should have received a letter from the Governor asking you to provide a list of infrastructure projects that you would like to have funded if money becomes available as part of an economic stimulus package. These projects should be ones that are already in the planning/development stages and can be started within six months. The emphasis is on construction projects and projects that will create jobs.
The governor is asking that you complete a brief project overview for all the projects for which you are interested in receiving funding. Information for the overview includes contact information, brief description of the project, total project cost and how much is needed to complete the project. Also needed is the earliest start date for construction, can the funds be completed within 2 years and if the project is disaster related. Note: There is a very quick turn-around on this request. The project overview must be completed and mailed by January 16, 2009. Mail project overviews to: Tom Hard, Infrastructure and Transportation Director, Iowa Department of Economic Development, 100 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309.
For an electronic copy of the project overview please contact Shirley Helgevold, MIDAS, and (515) 576-7183 ext. 212.
Region V TEA-21 Public Meeting
What: Region V TEA-21 Public Meeting
When: January 21, 2009 at 3:30 P.M.
Where: MIDAS Office; 602 1st Avenue South; Fort Dodge, IA
Region V SAFETEA-LU Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) will hold a regional meeting on January 21, 2009 at 3:30 PM to discuss the STP and Enhancement application process and to receive views and concerns from the public about transportation issues in the Region V area which includes the counties of Calhoun, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Webster and Wright. The meeting will be held at MIDAS Council of Governments in the Conference Room, 602 1st Avenue South, Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Applications for project funding will be available for the first time at the meeting and at your SAFETEA-LU TAC Representatives office and the MIDAS office or on the MIDAS website www.midascog.net/applications.
If you have any special needs pertaining to this meeting, please contact Shirley Helgevold, MIDAS Council of Governments, and (515) 576-7183 ext. 212.
Rose M. Lee Starts as DART/MIDAS Transit Manager
It is hard for most of us to talk about ourselves then it is to address the strength of others.
I am happy to be back in the Iowa, and in the role of Transit Manager for DART/MIDAS. The staff here in the MIDAS office has made the transition back in to public transit and to Iowa easy for me.
I am an old hand in the Iowa Rural Transit Program with thirty-two years of experience in Northwest Iowa as the Executive Director of RIDES. The last eight months I served as the Mobility Manager in a consulting position for the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization in Fort Collins, Colorado.
After being in transit management for almost all my adult life, I have seen it all. Starting out in 1975 with one old school, a station wagon, and a modern lift (at the time) vehicle, with no communication system to modern ADA vehicles, ITS (dispatching) systems, GIS (global positioning), and great professional training programs. That is right, I have thirty two year of experience in transportation. You just have to remember I was only twelve when I started as a Transit Manager.
In the past thirty two years, I not only managed a regional transit system, but I also helped in the direction of the Iowa Public Transit Association (IPTA), Community Transit Association of America (CTAA), and the Rural Transit Assistance National Program (RTAP). I have served in all Officer Positions for the IA Public Transit Association, I served as the Iowa State Delegate for CTAA for more than ten years, and I served on the National Advisory Board of RTAP for six years.
On the personal side, I have four children, three boys and one girl. Two of my sons are step-children. I have three adorable granddaughters and one on the way. I am recently widowed, and just recently moved back to Iowa form Fort Collins, CO., I’m just trying to play catch up with my new job, new residence, and new life.
The 2010 Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) will allow designated participants, following Census Bureau guidelines, to review and suggest modifications to the boundaries for block groups, census tracts, census county divisions and census designated places for reporting data from the 2010 Census.
MIDAS is currently a designated participant that is reviewing the boundaries of these statistical areas. The Census Bureau has designated that MIDAS complete the review for one of our six counties by the middle of February and the remaining five counties in the month following.
If your City or County government would like to discuss potential modifications to the Census boundaries in your jurisdiction, please contact Brad at the MIDAS office. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
End of the Year Website Recap @ MIDAS
It's that time of the year when individuals and organizations look both backwards and forwards. They look forwards to examine and set their upcoming goals. They look back into the past to see how well they accomplished their goals that they had set for themselves. Several of the actions items identified in the MIDAS strategic plan focused squarely on increasing communications and further developing our web based resources. In December 2007, MIDAS purchased the midascog.net domain name to go along with our long established midascog.org domain name. This allowed us to have a bit better control of our "brand" as well as implement some web-site technologies that we couldn't have done with just our old site and policies of our website host. What do the numbers say? MIDAS basically looks at two different sites and the visitor statistics for those two sites. The two sites are our main web presence (midascog.net) as well as the MIDAS newsletter site (newsletter.midascog.net).
MIDAS Technical Assistance
Please note that the regular meeting location for the MIDAS Board meeting has been relocated to the Starlite in Fort Dodge (Highways 168 & 7.
MIDAS Executive Committee Meeting of December 3, 2008
Chairperson Sweedler called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M.
A quorum consisted of: Sweedler, Young, Bergman, Sandholm, Foster, Triggs, DeWolf, Ekstrand, Watne, Bowman, Hansen, Jacobs, Besch, and Denklau.
Motion by Bergman, second by Besch to approve the agenda. Ayes, all.
Motion by Watne, second by Hansen to approve the minutes of October 15, 2008. Ayes, all.
Motion by Bowman, second by Watne, to appoint the Finance and Management Subcommittee to nominate a candidate for the Vice Chair position. Ayes, all.
Motion by Bowman, second by DeWolf, to accept the October financial report and place it on file, and approve the October payables. Ayes, all.
Motion by Bowman, second by Watne, to approve contract with City of Belmond to prepare a Hazard Mitigation plan. Ayes, all.
Motion by Denklau, second by Bergman, to approve contract with City of Rolfe to perform General Administration for housing rehab project. Ayes, all.
Motion by Young, second by Sandholm, to approve EDA financial assistance award in the amount of $156,000 to provide a disaster recovery specialist to MIDAS. Ayes. all.
Motion by Young, second by Hansen, to revise the MIDAS fee schedule by adding two categories for Hazard Mitigation plans. Ayes, all.
Motion by Sandholm, second by Besch, to approve contract with City of Webster City to prepare a Hazard Mitigation plan. Ayes, all.
Motion by DeWolf, Second by Watne, to recommend City of Fort Dodge approve Amendment #1 to IDOT Contract 18-0028-269-06. Ayes, all.
Motion by Watne, second by Bowman, to write off invoice 098372 in the amount of $22.00. Ayes, all.
Motion by Watne, second by Hansen, to authorize Cliff Weldon to sign EDA RLF resolution. Ayes, all.
A discussion of IME billing issues was conducted.
Board thanked Transit Manager Sharon Porter and Board Vice Chair Wilbur Ekstrand for their years of service to MIDAS.
Motion to adjourn by Watne, second by DeWolf. Ayes, all.
Respectfully submitted for Secretary Dennis Bowman by staff member Clifford Weldon.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and had lots of fun on New Year’s eve. It’s time to dig back in and get started on meeting the challenges 2009 will bring. Lets hope they don’t include the extreme weather challenges we saw in 2008. One challenge MIDAS will face is the transition of leadership in the transit department. Sharon Porter officially retired on December 31st after a fourteen year career with DART and MIDAS. She has been instrumental in achieving whatever success our transit section has met over the last decade, and she will be missed. Fortunately, we were able to hire an experienced transit manager to replace her, Rose Lee. Rose is a pioneer of public transit in Iowa, and I am certain that she will build on the foundation left by Sharon and lead the transit system to even greater heights over the next months and years.
Other challenges will include the recapitalization of our business RLF as soon as EDA approves the grant, implementing the Business Disaster Recovery Program, implementation of the Low Income Tax Housing Credit inspection program with the Iowa Finance Authority, and completion (hopefully) of the Jump Start Business and Jump Start Housing State programs, and the implementation of the Federal Jump Start Programs. At this point I would be remiss if I did not mention the hard work of Crystal Rasmussen. She is working with MIDAS for six months as part of an Iowa Workforce program, administering the Jump Start Housing program. She has done an excellent job and will be very difficult to replace when her allotted six months are up Add to these challenges the wrap up of the GIS grant and the training programs it included, and the continued work on a large number of city and county disaster mitigation plans, and you can see that 2009 will be another busy year.
Last but not least, I’d like to express my appreciation for the continued support of the MIDAS board over the last year, and offer a special “Thanks” to Wilbur Ekstrand who leaves the board after many years of dedicated service and leadership.
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