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

Mid Iowa Development Conference

Are you involved with Economic Development? If so, you’ll want to attend the Mid Iowa Development Conference that is scheduled for November 12th襘;at the Best Western Starlite Village motel in Fort Dodge. This year’s conference is entitled “Potential in Motion” and has an exciting agenda.襘;襘;

The conference will start at 10:00 with the Mid Iowa Growth Partnership (MIGP) Showcase. This group has been extremely active in marketing our region, and you will be impressed with the work they have completed and what is planned for the future. At 11:00 there will be a legislative panel where four area legislators (State Senator Rich Olive, State Senator Daryl Beall, State Representative Annette Sweeney, and State Representative David Tjepkes) will discuss a variety of topics. Probable topics include Education, rural infrastructure, state tax system restructuring and roll back policy for taxes.襘;襘;

The noon luncheon keynote speaker is Steve Siemens, Mr. People Builder. This is a presentation you won’t want to miss. Following the luncheon, there will be two breakout sessions. The first, at 1:15, offers a choice of “Alternative Energy”, a discussion of wind farms, or “Iowa Green Streets Criteria: It’s About More Than Streets”. The second breakout session starts at 2:15 and will offer a choice of “The Economic Impact of Iowa’s Vine/Wine Industry” or “Lights, Camera, Action”, which will cover the tax credits and incentives the State has offered to the film industry, a topic much in the news recently.襘;

Registration fee is $40 before 6 November, and $50 afterwards. Registration forms and additional information are available at襘;www.midiowadevelopmentconference.com襘;, or by calling (515) 955-6447.襘;

Funds Still Available for Disaster-Affected Iowans Working to Recover

Jumpstart Program assists with housing needs襘;襘;

Many Iowans are still recovering more than one year after the 2008 floods and tornadoes.襘;襘;

The good news for disaster-affected Iowans is that there are still funds available to assist in their recovery effort, but they should not delay in submitting an application.襘;

MIDAS Council of Governments and the Rebuild Iowa Office (RIO) would like to remind disaster-affected Iowa homeowners that financial help is available through the Jumpstart Housing Assistance Program.襘;襘;

This program will help disaster-impacted homeowners make either a down payment on a new house, repair their current home, or maintain their mortgages while waiting for a potential buyout. For down payment assistance and housing rehabilitation assistance, the maximum award is a $60,000 receding loan that will be forgiven if the homeowner stays in the house for five years.

There also is the "Jumpstart Express" Emergency Repair option under the Jumpstart Iowa Housing Assistance Program. The application process for "Jumpstart Express" is the same as Jumpstart Iowa Housing Assistance. However, the express option helps homeowners repair their current home without having to meet all of the requirements of the regular program. The maximum award is a $24,999 receding loan which will be forgiven if the homeowner stays in the house for five years.

To find out more about Jumpstart and to obtain an application, visit the MIDAS Council of Governments office or call襘;Chrystal襘;at (515) 576-7183 ext. 216.襘;

Deadline for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

The deadline for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) is coming up. 襘;There are several projects that can be funded with CDBG funds including water, sewer and housing. 襘;The deadline for these grants are:

  • Community Facilities - December 16, 2009
  • Housing - November 13, 2009
  • Water / sewer - November 17, 2009
The national objective of CDBG is for public works projects primarily benefiting low-and-moderate income (LMI) persons

Annual funding amount for each program is below:

  • Water/sewer - $11 million
  • Community Facilities - $5 million
  • Housing - $15 million
If you are interested in having MIDAS assist you with a CDBG application, please contact Shirley Helgevold at 515.576.7183 x212. 襘;The fee for MIDAS members is only $500, and there is no charge if the grant is not funded or if MIDAS is selected to perform grant administration.

I-JOBS Green Urban Stormwater Program

The I-JOBS initiative includes $80 million for water quality and environmental projects. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has more than $1.4 million in grants available through the I-JOBS Green Urban Stormwater program. This program helps design and build post-construction green urban stormwater practices. According to the Director of the IDNR, Richard Leopold, “Such practices stormwater soak directly into the ground instead of running off with pollutants to storm sewers and into our waters “.襘;

Urban Green Stormwater practices include: bioswales, rain gardens and permeable pavement. These practices help slow and filter rain water as it runs off urban surfaces.襘;

Applicants include cities, schools, businesses and others.襘;

Application will be available starting October 15, 2009. To apply, visit襘;襘;and click on “I-JOBS Improved Green Urban Stormwater Best Management Practices.” For more information, visit I-JOBS online at襘;

I-JOBS Infrastructure Grant Awards

By now most of you have heard of the I-JOBS initiative. The I-JOBS Board was to distribute $118.5 in revenue bonds for the following projects: disaster rebuilding, reconstruction of local public buildings, flood control, and flood prevention. The following projects were awarded I-JOBS Infrastructure grants:襘;

Applicant` Project Project Cost Grant Award襘;

City of Stanhope Stanhope Library/Community Building $1,074,288 $500,000

Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center $254,125 $190,594

Webster County Webster County LEC Renovations $3,820,000 1,910,000襘;

MIDAS assisted the City of Stanhope and Webster County with their grant applications.

Hazard Mitigation - Notices of Intent and Project Application Deadline Extension

On September 21, HSEMD announced that it is extending the deadline for receiving Notices of Interest (NOI) and Project Applications by an additional 6 months.襘; The new deadlines for both are as follows:

NOI Deadline:襘; March 15, 2010襘;襘;襘;襘;

Application Deadline:襘; May 1, 2010

The State also has opened up HMGP funds availability beyond property acquisition/demolition and planning projects.襘; Projects may be of any type that will reduce or eliminate losses from future natural disasters, including but not limited to:

  • Construction of tornado safe rooms (Multi-functional community or school safe room projects are highly encouraged)
  • Acquisition, structural relocation or elevation of buildings located in a special flood hazard area
  • Structural and non-structural retrofitting of existing public buildings, facilities, or utilities to protect against wind, ice, or flood hazards
  • Minor structural hazard control or protection projects such as storm water management (e.g., culverts, floodgates, retention basins)
  • Localized flood control projects, such as floodwall systems, that are designed specifically to protect critical facilities and do not constitute a section of a larger flood control system

If you have any questions about any of the information above please contact Corey Miciunas at 515-576-7183 x 213 or email him at襘;

Plan Status Update

All of the hazard mitigation plans are coming along nicely.襘; Below is the status of each of the plans that MIDAS is currently working on:

      Eagle Grove – received notification on October 1 that the plan was approved, pending adoption by FEMA Region 7.

      Belmond – received notification on October 2 that the plan is being sent on to FEMA Region 7 for approval.

      Webster City – currently in process of finishing writing the hazard mitigation plan

      Humboldt – currently in process of finishing writing the hazard mitigation plan

      Otho – currently in process of finishing writing the hazard mitigation plan

      Ellsworth – currently in process of finishing writing the hazard mitigation plan

      Callender – currently in process of finishing writing the hazard mitigation plan

      Badger – currently in process of finishing writing the hazard mitigation plan

      Kamrar – in process of hazard mitigation meetings

      Pocahontas Co. (unincorporated) – in process of hazard mitigation meetings

      Manson – in process of hazard mitigation meetings

      Clare – first meeting needs to be scheduled, but set to start in November

      Williams – in process of hazard mitigation meetings

      Pomeroy – in process of hazard mitigation meetings

      Fort Dodge – first meeting needs to be scheduled

      Wright County – waiting to hear back on planning application襘;

If you have any questions about the status of any of the hazard mitigation plans, or have general questions about hazard mitigation plans, please contact Corey Miciunas at

515-576-7183 x 213 or email him at襘;


American Recovery & Reinvestment Act benefits MIDAS Transit Systems and DART

The American Recovery &; Reinvestment Act, better known as the Stimulus Package is being utilized in the six counties of MIDAS along with the DART system in Fort Dodge.

MIDAS Transit System has received a 100% funding for seven 176" wheel base襘;light襘;duty buses and one 32' medium duty bus. 襘;These replacement vehicles come at a time when replacing vehicles for the MIDAS Transit System has become hard. 襘;The State of襘;Iowa襘;is receiving a small amount of Federal funds to replace the 1,800 vehicles in the state operated by the 35 public transit systems.

Some of the buses will be retained within the MIDAS system to provide a backup fleet of 10% of the total buses in the MIDAS transit system. 襘;This has been an issue for several years in both the DART and MIDAS Transit Programs.

You will be able to check out the new buses in your communities and counties. 襘;Look for the Reinvestment Act logo on the six buses numbered 09-3 to 09-8.

If you get a chance, thank your Senators and Congressmen for the boost in the economy that provides great public transit in the MIDAS area.

Multi-Disciplinary Safety Team

MIDAS is venturing into a new approach at keeping people襘;in our region safe. MIDAS in collaboration with Area Law襘;Enforcement, City Engineers, County Engineers, County襘;Emergency Management, Federal Highway Administration,襘;Governors Traffic Safety Bureau, and Iowa DOT has joined襘;together for one cause; to save lives. This group, now called the襘;Multi-Disciplinary Safety Team will meet every two months in襘;order to discuss safety issues which will include roadway and襘;sign conditions, weather related traffic, multi-jurisdictional襘;mitigation efforts, communication, and disaster response. During襘;the last meeting, the Center for Transportation Research and襘;Transportation (CTRE) from Iowa State University, prepared a襘;Crash Analysis presentation which gave an overview of the襘;unique technologies that we now have at our fingertips. The襘;computer software showcased the ease of researching selected襘;sections of roadway, displaying fatal crashes, injuries reported,襘;damages reported, cause of crash, and more. 襘;

This team is a multi-disciplinary team, meaning any organizations襘;that are concerned about transportation safety issues in their襘;area are encouraged to participate. For more information contact襘;Justin Harvey襘;at or (515) 576-7183 ext.襘;215.

Rental Inspections

Rental Property Inspections will be available throughout the MIDAS region.襘; This new program will help cities with the daunting task of keeping rental properties up to code.襘; This rental inspection process is underlined by the Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS).襘; The UPCS is an audit of the units and property, accompanied by a report back to the city for enforcement purposes.襘;

For more information contact襘;Shirley Helgevold, (515) 576-7183 ext. 212 or襘;Justin Harvey at襘;jharvey@midascog.net襘;(515) 576-7183 ext. 215.

Keeping up with the MIDAS website

As we are nearing the two year mark since our latest MIDAS website redesign, we thought it might provide useful to take a few minutes of your time and give an assessment of where we're at.

The first thing that you might notice is the look and feel of the MIDAS newsletter. 襘;For the last several years MIDAS has been utilizing the free Blogger site as the host for our newsletter. 襘;While that site has been fairly user friendly there have been some drawbacks as we have moved forward and starting with this issue we will be posting the newsletter as a page on our website as opposed to referring traffic to another site. 襘;This move will allow us to have a single look and feel to our website presences and will hopefully provide better search results for those of you who are searching for MIDAS content.

From this point forward you will have access to the newsletter content by pointing your browser of choice to either襘;newsletter.midascog.net襘;or襘; 襘;Either address points you to the same spot.

One thing that you might notice in the move is that it is going to take a little bit of time to get all of the old newsletters moved over to the new site. 襘;Don't worry, nothing is lost, it just takes time and we'll get it there for your reminiscing pleasure. 襘;Also, as we move to the new site it is our hope that printing quality and consistency should be improved. 襘;In the past we've taken the newsletter and converted to pdf and placed that on the website for readers to download and print. 襘;This has added an additional step that takes time.

A couple of other behind the scenes changes that we've implemented recently are an improved (hopefully) tracking system for recording staff technical assistance that is included in the monthly newsletter and efforts made by several other staff members at MIDAS to include up to date content and efforts made to maintain existing pages and information. 襘;

The last thing that we would like to mention is that at the same time that MIDAS transitioned our website to we also started a gradual transition to using email addresses that used our domain name. 襘;Everyone in the MIDAS office has an email address in the format of first initial and last name 襘;Cliff Weldon would be 襘;There are several staff members who also have access to the email addresses in addition to the email addresses. 襘;If you find yourself in a situation where an email address isn't being delivered and you as the sender are receiving error messages, try sending a message to the email address and see if that arrives. 襘;That address provides us with the capability to send and receive larger file attachments, improved archiving and retention and it also ties in very nicely with the MIDAS brand name.

If you have any questions or comments that you would like to make, please feel free to send those to襘; 襘;Thanks for reading.

Census Partnership Funding

Please don't forget that the Census Bureau has funding available to assist your community in outreach efforts for Census 2010. 襘;For further details, please contact the MIDAS office by phone at 515.576.7183 or襘;email.

Iowa Clean Cities Coalition

Four years ago this month, the Department of Energy established a series of coalitions, organized to work across the state on reducing petroleum consumption in the transportation sector. The Iowa Clean Cities Coalition (ICCC) is active in promoting the use of alternative and renewable fuels such as ethanol, CNG, biodiesel, electricity, hydrogen, and propane. ICCC also promotes other fuel saving concepts such as hybrid electric vehicles and idle reduction techniques. Membership in ICCC provides a forum to community leaders who are interested in the goals of reducing petroleum consumption and reducing vehicle emissions. In addition to education, outreach, and an improved public image, membership also provides access to grant funds for a variety of projects such as purchasing vehicles and installation of refueling and charging stations. If your community is interested in learning more, contact Brian Crowe or Jessica Turba at the Des Moines office of Energy Independence, (515) 725-0437.

MIDAS Technical Assistance

Calhoun County:
  • Farnhamville - Administered CDBG Housing Rehab program.襘;Assist City with LMI survey for CDBG grant. 襘;Assisted City with SRF application.
  • Lohrville - Provide adminsitration for CDBG Housing Rehab Program.
  • Manson - Hazard mitigation meeting.
  • Pomeroy -襘;Provide adminsitration for CDBG Wastewater Program. 襘;Conducted a hazard mitigation meeting and made RLF loan to area business.
  • Rockwell City襘;-襘;Provided administrative assistance with survey.
Hamilton County:
  • Ellsworth襘;-襘;Provide administration for CDBG/SRF water grant. 襘;Continued work on hazard mitigation plan.
  • Stratford -襘;Provided襘;administration襘;for襘;CDBG襘;Water襘;Program. Assisted City with CDBG Housing application.
  • Webster City -襘;Hazard mitigation plan. 襘;Provided administration for Buy Out Program.
  • Williams - Conducted a hazard mitigation meeting.
Humboldt County:
  • Bode -襘;Provide adminsitration for CDBG Housing Rehab Program.
  • Humboldt –襘;Provide administration for CDBG Housing Grant. Hazard mitigation plan. 襘;Assisted City with environmental for EDA Special Projects grant and RISE application.
  • Livermore -襘;Administration with CDBG Housing grant.
  • Renwick – Provided襘;administration襘;for襘;CDBG襘;Water襘;Program.
Pocahontas County:
  • Laurens - Administered CDBG water grant. 襘;Provided襘;administration襘;for CDBG Water Program. 襘;Assisted City襘;with襘;SRF application.
  • Pocahontas襘;-襘;襘;Made an RLF loan to area business.
  • Rolfe – Provided administration for CDBG Housing Rehab Program. 襘;Provided GIS technical assistance.
Webster County:
  • County – Hosted Government Service Sharing and Coordination Meeting.
  • Badger - Hazard mitigation meeting.
  • Callender襘;-襘;Hazard mitigation meeting.
  • Dayton - Administered CDBG Housing and Water grants.
  • Fort Dodge - Continued to develop disaster recovery and business continuity plans for area businesses. 襘;Provided Jumpstart Federal housing rehabilitation assistance.
  • Gowrie - Provided Jumpstart Federal housing rehabilitation assistance. 襘;Assisted with Jumpstart Large Rental program.
  • Moorland - Assisted City with wastewater ordinance.
  • Vincent - Assisted City with LMI survey.
Wright County:
  • County襘;- Discussed RISE application with Economic Development Director and assisted with code of ordinances.
  • Belmond襘;- 襘;Hazard mitigation plan. 襘; Provide adminsitration for CDBG Housing Rehab Program. 襘;Started work on RLF loan to area business.
  • Eagle Grove - Hazard mitigation plan.襘; Provided administrative assistance with survey.
Regional Benefit:
  • Jumpstart Federal rehabilitation assistance in Boone.
  • Attended the statewide Disaster Recovery Coordinators meeting to discuss ongoing recovery issues in the state.
  • Attended the Iowa Area Regional Council of Governments Staff Retreat.Attended a Homeland Security Emergency襘;Management襘;training course that covered emergency planning and hazard analysis.
  • Attended NADO Conference in Chicago.
  • Attended Rural GIS Summit.
  • Attended IARC meeting in Des Moines.
  • Attended Congressman Latham's Community Conference in Washington, D.C.
  • Attended MIGP meeting in Fort Dodge.
  • Attended Iowa League of Cities conference.

MIDAS Executive Committee Meeting of September 16th, 2009

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

A quorum consisted of: Sweedler, Sandholm, Treibel, Triggs, DeWolf, Watne, Vermeer, Larson, Jacobs, and Singer.

Motion by Triggs, second by Larson, to approve minutes of August 19th Executive Committee meeting. Ayes, all.

Changes to the By-Law were discussed.襘; Amended By-law will be sent to all Board members.

Motion by Watne, second by Singer, to approve the Pocahontas Equipment EDA RLF application for $75,000 for 10 years at 4%.襘; Ayes, all.

Motion by Triggs second by Sandholm, to approve the Truman Wholesale EDA RLF application for $18,750 for 7 years at 4%.襘; Ayes, all.

Motion by Jacobs, second by Larson, to authorize Weldon to sign purchase contracts with Thomas Bus for 2 158” light duty buses for MIDAS. Ayes, all.

Motion by Jacobs, second by Vermeer, to authorize Weldon to sign the Elderbridge contract Amendment for $455. Ayes, all.

Motion by Watne, second by Larson, to authorize the Chair to sign the Resolution and for the Executive Director to sign the DART New Freedom application for $4,383.34 for Saturday and Holiday extended service.襘; Ayes, all.

Motion by Larson, second by Singer, to authorize the Chair to sign the Resolution and for the Executive Director to sign the MIDAS New Freedom application for $11,432.48 for county service to Fort Dodge.襘; Ayes, all.

Motion by Sandholm, second by Watne, to authorize the Chair to sign the Resolution and for the Executive Director to sign the MIDAS JARC application for $11,131.20 to transport Electrolux employees from Fort Dodge to Webster City and back.襘; Ayes, all.

Motion by Vermeer, second by Sandholm, to authorize the Chair to sign the Resolution and for the Executive Director to sign the MIDAS Infrastructure application for $682,640 to construct a transit facility in Hamilton County.襘; Ayes, all.

Motion by Vermeer, second by Singer, to authorize the Chair to sign the Resolution and for the Executive Director to sign the MIDAS Intercity Bus application for $7,500 for marketing.襘; Ayes, all.

Motion by Triggs, second by Vermeer to approve the Amended Region V PTDP. Ayes, all.

Motion by Watne, second by Singer, to accept and place on file the August financial reports. Ayes, Sweedler, Sandholm, Treibel, Triggs, DeWolf, Watne, Larson, Jacobs and Singer.襘; Nays, Vermeer.

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

Respectfully submitted for Secretary Dennis Bowman by staff member Shirley Helgevold. 襘;

Cliff's Notes

The auditors have finished their examination of the MIDAS financial records for FY 09 and are completing their report. We plan on having that report presented to the Board on October 21st. Our auditors do a good job of explaining what the numbers mean and displaying financial trends, turning what is often a “stuffy” process into an interesting discussion. Please plan on attending this session.

We will also discuss a change to the MIDAS by-laws. There are two important issues to consider. One is the method and timing of notices for special meetings. The second is the definition of a quorum. A copy of the by-law changes are posted on the MIDAS web site.

On a personal note – my September was super! First, I added a new member to my family. Granddaughter Jaden Rae was born on the 24th, a healthy, 8 pounds 10 ounce cutie! She’s my 8th襘;granddaughter and 11th襘;grandchild. She and her two sisters and brother live in Fort Dodge, so I plan to spoil her rotten.

And, a little icing on the cake, my Auburn Tigers are undefeated for the month, and it is starting to look like both Iowa State and Auburn came out ahead with the coach swap! I hope to drive to Arkansas in October to watch a game live.襘;襘;

襘; Cliff襘;襘;

Download this issue of the MIDAS Touch Newsletter


Mid Iowa Development Conference

Funds Still Available for Disaster-Affected Iowans Working to Recover

Deadline for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

I-JOBS Green Urban Stormwater Program

I-JOBS Infrastructure Grant Awards

Hazard Mitigation - Notices of Intent and Project Application Deadlines

American Recovery &; Reinvestment Act benefits MIDAS Transit System

Multi-Disciplinary Safety Team

Rental Inspections

Keeping up with the MIDAS website

Census Partnership Funding

Iowa Clean Cities Coalition

MIDAS Technical Assistance

MIDAS Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Cliff's Notes