THE MIDAS TOUCH‎ > ‎2009‎ > ‎



Restructuring of the MIDAS Transit Program

Gender Balance on Local Boards, Commissions, Committees, and Councils

In late May, Governor Culver signed House File 243 into law.  This piece of legislation provides for gender balance on local boards, commissions, committees, and councils (non-elected bodies).

In striving for gender balance, this legislation does not allow for the appointment or reappointment if such a move would cause the number of members on that body to be greater than one-half of the membership of the body.  However, If the appointing body has made a good faith effort to a appoint a qualified person over a period of three months and has been unable to make a compliant appointment, they may appoint an individual of a non-balancing gender.

Also, the law also does not prohibit an individual whose term expires prior to January 1, 2012, from being reappointed even though the reappointment continues an inequity in gender balance.  So, while there is still time before the law is fully put into force, its never too early for local communities to start thinking how this new law is going to impact them.  First of all, remember, this is for appointed boards and commissions, not elected positions.  Second, as long as the community makes a good faith effort to stay in balance, there aren't any issues.  And lastly, there are still 2.5 years until this becomes fully into place so any appointments that need to be made can still be made (regardless of gender balance) and its never too early to start thinking about how your community is going to comply.

I'm sure as we get closer to the 1/1/2012 date we'll have a much better understanding of the details of this new law so we'll work to keep you abreast of the situation as we learn more.

Disaster Recovery Updates

As the devastation of 2008’s tornados and flooding anniversary approaches, the destruction that our region encountered can still be seen.  It may not be strictly physical hardship that Iowans are struggling with, but the mental adversity of not being able to pay rent, fix the washer and dryer, or at the worst finding a way to keep you small business from going under.  From investors to homeowners, there are still people struggling to find financial stability.  Luckily there is still assistance available, as well as new programs’ coming down the ladder.  Below is a list of some of the project s still available to the residents of the MIDAS Region. 

Small Business Disaster Recovery Grant Program
The Jumpstart Small Business program is no longer available.  MIDAS was able to award $126,982 in the form of 11 different forgivable loans to small business’ that were affected by the 2008 flooding.
Jumpstart Housing Assistance Program
We are in the process of finalizing state Jumpstart funding and have currently awarded $222,962 to 22 homeowners that were in need of assistance from the 2008 floods.  The Federal Jumpstart program is underway with assistance available as well for homeowners who were affected by the 2008 floods.  The programs available are Jumpstart Home Repair and Rehabilitation, Jumpstart Express, Interim Mortgage, and Down Payment Assistance.  If you received funding from FEMA last year and still have unmet housing needs contact Chrystal Rasmuson at (515) 576-7183 ext. 216 or  

Disaster Recovery Business Rental Assistance Program 
This program provides financial assistance to organizations located in, or planning to locate in, rental space that was physically damaged by the disasters of 2008. The program is meant to help offset building rental lease payments for a maximum of six months and cannot exceed a total award amount of $50,000. The award will be in the form of a forgivable loan to a business that has entered into a minimum one year market rate lease agreement. If the business stays open for the six month time period, the loan will be forgiven.  For more information contact the MIDAS office at 515-576-7183.

Small and Large-Project Rental Rehabilitation Assistance Program
The Small Project Rental Rehabilitation program allows landlords with less than eight units in one building to receive up to $24,999 per unit for repairs. 
The Large Project Rental Rehabilitation program allows landlords with eight or more units to receive up to $24,999 per unit for repairs. Supplemental funds will also be available for lead hazard reduction, project delivery costs and temporary relocation. Total cost including supplemental assistance cannot exceed $37,500 per unit. Assistance will be in the form of a five-year forgivable loan (non-receding) which will be forgiven in full at the end of the five-year compliance period. For more information contact the Chrystal Rasmuson at (515) 576-7183 ext. 216 or  

Disaster Recovery/ Business Continuity Plans 
Currently the MIDAS team is in the process of writing Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans.  The Disaster Recovery/ Business Continuity plan helps a business deal with the uncertainty of disasters.  The plan will assist in recovery from a disaster with an un-delayed efficiency.  The process of creating a plan consists of gathering vital information and forming a company profile.  Once a profile is formed, a plan can be drawn up to show the employees within a business and emergency personnel what to do in the case of an emergency.  Also, the plan will point out critical business functions and hazards to the company.  After a few table-top discussions, team work exercises and employee training, a plan can be adopted within weeks.  For more information about qualifications contact Justin Harvey at or (515) 576-7183 ext. 215.

Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

The cities of Eagle Grove and Belmond are close to having their hazard mitigation plans completed and sent to FEMA for approval.  So, in the coming weeks Corey Miciunas will be contacting the following cities to start their hazard mitigation meetings again at a date and time of their convenience.

  • Otho
  • Humboldt
  • Ellsworth
  • Callender
  • Kamrar