THE MIDAS TOUCH‎ > ‎2009‎ > ‎


Monthly Newsletter of the MIDAS Council of Governments
602 1st Avenue South, Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501
Phone (515) 576-7183 |  FAX (515) 576-7184

Are you ready, or are you READY? (National Preparedness Month)

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), a nationwide effort sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Campaign in partnership with Citizen Corps. We are pleased to announce MIDAS Council of Governments is taking part in this nationwide effort to encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to prepare for emergencies.

This year, NPM focuses on changing perceptions about emergency preparedness and will help Americans understand what it truly means to be Ready. Preparedness goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks and extra food in the pantry. Being Ready includes: getting an Emergency Supply Kit; making a Family Emergency Plan; Business Continuity Plans; Disaster Recovery Plans; as well as being informed about emergencies and their appropriate responses; and getting involved in community efforts such as Citizen Corps.

We’re taking steps as an organization to become educated, trained and better prepared, and we urge you to take time this month to do the same at home. There are simple steps you can take to better prepare yourself, your Family, your Business, and your Community. We encourage you to take a look at the attached Family Emergency Plan template and Emergency Supply Kit checklist. In addition, we encourage you to visit for more information and to explore ways that you can get involved in your community.

The MIDAS office is offering assistance in preparing and writing Business Continuity (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Plans (DRP) for MIDAS members.  This service is available in accordance with the Economic Development Association Grant, which MIDAS received last November in wake if the summer flooding of ’08. The Disaster Recovery/ Business Continuity Plan consists of performing a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA) and Business Impact Analysis (BIA), which will point out the critical business functions of your company as well as where your business is most susceptible to taking on a disaster. We look forward to working with cities, counties, and businesses throughout the MIDAS region.

For more information please contact Justin Harvey at or (515) 576-7183 ext. 215.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Inspections

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Compliance (LIHTC) inspections have been completed.  The MIDAS Compliance Crew has just fulfilled reporting their physical unit reviews as well as file reviews to the Iowa Finance Authority. MIDAS conducted 234 unit inspections, throughout 33 different properties in the MIDAS region before the first of September.  The inspections consisted of a Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) check of the property, units, and community areas.  Also a file review was performed with the inspections, in order to check tenant income and rent limits.  The Iowa Finance Authority was pleased to have 100% of their Tax Credit properties inspected this year with the help of our Iowa Councils of Governments.  We look forward to future projects with the Iowa Finance Authority and our local Tax Credit properties.

For more information contact Justin Harvey at or (515) 576-7183 ext. 215.

MIDAS Technical Assistance

Calhoun County:
  • Farnhamville - Administered CDBG Housing Rehab program. Assist City with LMI survey for CDBG grant.
  • Lake City - Provided trails funding information to City Administrator.
  • Lohrville - Provide adminsitration for CDBG Housing Rehab Program.
  • Pomeroy - Provide adminsitration for CDBG Wastewater Program. Met and discussed who would be best to have on the hazard mitigation committee.
  • Rockwell City - Provided City Clerk with information for LMI survey for CDBG grant and on Requests for Qualifications for engineers.
Hamilton County:
  • Ellsworth - Provide administration for CDBG/SRF water grant.
  • Stanhope - Met with City Clerk to discuss IJOBS grant and Prairiemeadows grant.
  • Stratford - Provided administration for CDBG Water Program.
  • Webster City - Hazard mitigation plan; and assisteed homeowner with Jumpstart Housing program.  Provided administration for Buy Out Program.
Humboldt County:
  • County - Provided assistance on county-wide addressing issues.
  • Bode - Provide adminsitration for CDBG Housing Rehab Program. Jumpstart Housing Assistance.
  • Gilmore City - Attended City Council meeting
  • Humboldt – Provide administration for CDBG Housing Grant. Working on environmental assessment for EDA Special Projects grant.  Hazard mitigation plan.  Started working on GIS city-wide project.
  • Livermore - Provide administration for CDBG Housing grant. Assist with CDBG Supplemental grant.
  • Renwick – Provided administration for CDBG Water Program.
Pocahontas County:
  • County - Researched funding opportunities for Energy Efficiency program.
  • Fonda - I-Jobs Application
  • Havelock - Met to go over city code. Met with City to discuss codification of ordinances.
  • Laurens - Administered CDBG water grant.  Provide administration for CDBG Water Program.
  • Rolfe – Provided administration for CDBG Housing Rehab Program.  Provided GIS technical assistance.
Webster County:
  • County – Worked on two economic development grants. Hosted Government Service Sharing and Coordination Meeting. Conducted Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee meeting. Assist with IJOBS application for LEC.
  • Badger - Hazard mitigation plan.
  • Barnum - Met with City Clerk to review ordinances for codification.
  • Callender - Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Clare - Discussed with City Clerk avaialbe funding for City's well.
  • Dayton - Administered CDBG Housing and Water grants.
  • Fort Dodge - Assisted a local business in preparing a Business Continuity/ Disaster Recovery Plan. Conducted a Low Income Housing Tax Credit Compliance Inspection. Jumpstart Housing assistance.
  • Gowrie - Jumpstart Housing Assistance
Wright County:
  • Belmond - Hazard mitigation plan.  Provided adminsitration for CDBG Housing Rehab Program.
  • Dows - Assisted homeowner with Jumpstart Housing Program.
  • Eagle Grove - Hazard mitigation plan. Provided City Administration information on Procurement Policy.
Regional Benefit:
  • Conducted a Low Income Housing Tax (LIHTC) compliance inspection.
  • Awarded Jumpstart Housing assistance in Boone.
  • Assisted homeowners with Jumpstart Housing program in Boone.
  • Attended Revolving Loan Fund training
  • Assisted in writing MIGP RBEG grant.
  • Attended Small Cities workshop in Dows.
  • Attended IARC meeting.
  • Attended Highway 20 Meeting
  • Attended Iowa Geographic Information Council (IGIC) quarterly meeting.
  • Attended technical advisory committee meeting for statewide addressing and geocoding project.
  • Attended Census Roundtable and Census Complete Counts Committee meetings.
  • Attended a Homeland Security Emergency Management Training course.
  • Attended Historic Preservation Tax Credit Seminar.
  • Submitted final draft of Regional Transportation Improvement Program to IDOT.
  • Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team

MIDAS Executive Committee Meeting of August 19th, 2009

Chairperson DeWolf called the meeting to order at 6:40 P.M.

A quorum consisted of: Sweedler, Bergman, Sandholm, Treibel, Triggs, DeWolf, Donahoo, Watne, Bowman, Fuller, Hansen, Jacobs, Besch, Singer, and Kramer.

Motion by Hansen, second by Bergman, to approve minutes of June 17th Executive Committee meeting. Ayes, all.

Motion by Sweedler, second by Bowman, to approve minutes of July 17th Executive Committee meeting with addition of explanation meeting held on 17th. Ayes, all.

Motion by Kramer, second by Besch to approve writing off the following invoices: 087113, 087124, 087145, 087155, 097115, 107111, 117110, 018115, 058116, 068115, 088113, 098110, 108113, 098110, 108113, 049114, 059118, 069116, 079157, 028107, 128122, 029115. Total invoice amount is $3,343.25 Ayes, all.

Motion by Triggs, second by Watne, to enter contract negotiations with Blohm Inspection/Environmental Services Inc to perform Housing Inspector services for MIDAS subject to review of Housing RFP responses by Planning Committee Chair and concurrence with MIDAS staff recommendation.  Ayes, all.

Motion by Bergman, second by Sweedler, to authorize the Chair to sign Contract to Assist in Writing a Mitigation Plan with Pocahontas County. Ayes, all.

Motion by Hansen, second by Watne to authorize Helgevold to attend October Mid-West Planning Conference in Chicago. Ayes, all.

Motion by Kramer, second by Bowman, to authorize Weldon to sign IDOT contract 04-0113-05-10. Ayes, all.

Motion by Meeder, second by Besch, to authorize Weldon to sign purchase contracts for a medium duty bus for DART and a 186 inch wheel base bus for MIDAS. Ayes, all.

Motion by Watne, second by Meeder, to approve a nine month contract for fuel with Star Energy at $2.6305 per gallon for diesel and $2.6815 per gallon for gasoline. Ayes, all.

Motion by Hansen, second by Bowman to accept and place on file the June and July financial reports. Ayes, all.

Motion to adjourn by Watne, second by Hansen. Ayes, all.

Respectfully submitted for Secretary Dennis Bowman by staff member Clifford Weldon.

Cliff's Notes

I appreciated the opportunity to attend the recently concluded NADO (National Association of Development Organizations) conference in Chicago. There session was packed with informative information, but perhaps the most useful was the new director training session that lasted all week-end. Getting the chance to hear from new (and some not so new) directors about the services provided and challenges faced by their organizations certainly provided lots of food for thought. Over the next several months I intend to explore some of these ideas with staff and the MIDAS board.

One topic that continually surfaced at NADO was the concept of “Place”. While not a new concept, my perception is that “Place” is becoming recognized as a key to development. We don’t have mountains or beaches, but we do have an excellent place to live and work. We need to change the perception that our place is fly-over country, and let the rest of the world know how beautiful our region is, how excellent our quality of life is, and how wonderful our people are. We need to identify our place, and not let others do it for us.

It is hard to believe that summer is practically over. My favorite season is about to begin – Football season! Soon we’ll learn whether or not the Cyclones or the Hawkeyes, (or, yes Brad, even the Panthers) rule the State. Even more importantly, we’ll find out in Ames or Auburn got the better deal in the coach exchange! Hope to see you at a stadium soon!



Are you ready, or are you READY? (National Preparedness Month)

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Inspections

MIDAS Executive Committee Meeting of August 19th, 2009

Cliff's Notes