New Iowa State Association Brochure

Posted on: January 20th, 2012 by Matthew Chase

The Iowa Association of Reg (http://www NULL.iarcog NULL.com/)ional Councils (IARC) (http://www NULL.iarcog NULL.com/) has developed a new publication with the assistance of NADO.  The executive summary report focuses on the role of the state’s Councils of Governments in achieving results through partnerships. (View the new IARC publication.)

As noted by Governor Branstad, “Iowa’s Councils of Governments (COGs) are important partners and problem solvers in driving positive change across the state.  They are trusted, accountable and proven stewards of public resources.  Most importantly, Iowa’s COGs are focused on creating high quality jobs and improving the lives of our state’s people while also saving taxpayer money and improving government efficiency.”

In recent years, the members of IARC have:

  • Helped private sector partners create and retain over 5,800 jobs in the past five years through more than 250 business start-up and expansion loans totaling $52 million in COG investment, leveraging an additional $181 million in private investment
  • Collaborated with state and local officials to identify and program over $915 million in federal funding for over 1,200 transportation improvement projects since 2005
  • Offered transportation mobility options by providing more than 1.6 million rides each year through public transit systems, including for employees, elderly, and disabled
  • Increased access to safe and affordable housing including homeownership financingfor 445 families and rehabilitation upgrades for over 2,300 homes
  • Secured $93.8 million for 2008 disaster flood recovery and administered $66.6 million in federal and state recovery funding, impacting the livelihoods of 704 businesses and the well-being of 1,855 households directly impacted by the floods
  • Assisted communities in securing and managing nearly $215 million for water and sewer infrastructure projects in the past five years. An additional $28 million has been raised by our COGs for various cultural and recreational projects.

Through IARC and individually, our COGs are constantly looking for opportunities to improve our state, regions and local communities.  Examples include:

  • To spur economic growth through regional purchasing, a COG created a Buyer Supplier program to connect companies with area products and services,keeping more money locally rather than fl owing outside the state or country
  • To assist with economic loss due to the closing of partner plants during the 2008 flood, AlphaGen Materials Technology, Inc. received a $60,000 COG loan for equipment, inventory, and operating expenses, helping retain quality jobs within the region
  • To help employees have affordable and reliable transportation connections to work, a COG launched a two-route van service, JobJet, which has provided nearly 11,000 rides since 2010—a majority of the riders are employees of Tyson Foods
  • To enable redevelopment of a brownfield site, a COG administered a $750,000 award to clear the site of contaminants. This resulted in new jobs and a $6 million expansion investment by Cystal Distribution Services
  • To reduce waste from landfi lls, three COGs partner on the Iowa Waste Exchange. By matching materials to businesses for reuse, the program has diverted 192,000 tons of waste and saved partners more than $6 million in disposal costs in the past two years
  • In partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation, IARC’s Statewide Mobility Manager coordinates with local mobility managers to improve transportation access and connections for the general public, with an emphasis on the elderly, low-income persons, and persons with disabilities
  • IARC members are partnering with the Iowa Department
    of Public Health and selected pilot communities and schools
    to increase the health of the state’s youth, adults, and
    communities through the Iowans Fit For Life initiative.

Public Sector Financial and Performance Accountability

One of the hallmarks of IARC and its network of COGs is the shared commitment to public accountability, transparency,and customer service. Recognizing the group’s proven history in this arena, the Iowa Finance Authority selected IARC to provide monitoring services for the agency’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing program. The goal of the initiative is to ensure taxpayer resources are spent efficiently, cost-effectively, and with the intended goals and purposes of each individual grantee.

View the new IARC publication.

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