As members of the Iowa League of Cities, we recently had the privilege of attending their annual conference in Dubuque. This gathering brings hundreds of city officials and administrators from all over the state of Iowa together to network, attend educational sessions and gather resources in order to assist their communities with the issues they are facing–and we happen to think it’s also a really FUN event!
CGA hosts a booth each year to showcase our engineering services, but more importantly, this conference gives us an opportunity to gain valuable insights into what is currently important to Iowa municipalities. This year, we had approximately 50 Iowa municipalities fill out our questionnaire that generated the below feedback. When asked what their biggest public issue is that needs to be addressed in the next 12-24 months, these were the top two answers:
Issue #1: Street Repair
Maintaining roads is challenging in Iowa, due to our rough winters, hot summers and the rising costs of rehabilitation and reconstruction. We encourage municipalities to create an inventory of their transportation system and prioritize areas needing improvement. Creating this priority list or capital improvement plan allows municipalities to seek out funding sources from various programs that are available to assist. The Iowa DOT compiles a guide of the transportation funding programs that are available in Iowa; this guide is available here. Planning well in advance is the best way to obtain funding. If you need assistance with your application or don’t know where to begin your street project, contact our team and we’d be happy to assist you – we have completed numerous streets and transportation projects that you can view here.
Issue #2: Sewer and Water Infrastructure
Much of Iowa’s original water and sewer infrastructure has been in place for longer than its intended life and is in need of rehabilitation, or in some cases replacement. That coupled with the fact that water distribution systems and sanitary sewer collection/conveyance systems are largely unseen by the general public can make it very easy for a community to find themselves in a position where a large portion of their infrastructure needs work. The ever-growing cost of replacing infrastructure and performing rehabilitation can be a daunting financial undertaking for even those communities in good financial standing. The state of Iowa provides loans to communities for their water and sanitary sewer projects through a low-interest loan program, the State Revolving Fund. More information about this program can be found here. CGA is very familiar with this program and others, including some grant programs, to aid communities in addressing their sanitary sewer and water infrastructure needs. Contact our team today to learn more about the resources available to you.
While we know the “to-do” list of improvements for Iowa municipalities is much longer, we hope that you are encouraged to at least begin the process of tackling those street repairs and/or replacing sewer and water infrastructure in your community. As always, CGA is here to be your responsive engineering partner – from concept through completion!