- Increase COG Assistance to $1,000,000. In 2016, the 17 councils of governments (COGs) collectively
received an appropriation of $200,000. This funds only $11,674 per region.
- COGs have an impact on Iowa. For every $1 invested by the state, COGs assist local governments by managing $1,420.
- Why an increase? COGs provide valuable and unduplicated services to cities and counties, especially small communities
without professional staff. Each COG provides programs and services based on the unique needs of its region and
its communities. Now is the time to strengthen the partnership between the state of Iowa and COGS. By increasing
the COG assistance from its current level of $200,000 to $1,000,000, COGs will be able to add to their service
capacity. This is a low-cost means to assist cities and counties in the entire state.
- Create and fund regional economic development grant program to support rural economic vitality. The state enterprise zone program expired a couple of years ago, eliminating the only state economic growth program that
had rural economic growth as a primary focus. Rural communities and regions need assistance in boosting economic growth
– which is why creating and funding a regional economic development grant program is imperative.
- Increase funding for the state housing trust fund. The State Housing Trust Fund is funded through
the real estate transfer tax ($3 million) and through a $3 million standing appropriation out of the state’s infrastructure
fund. The number of local housing trust funds has increased, so each housing trust fund now receives less funding. Additional
funding is necessary to adequately support the local housing trust funds.
- Watershed management authorities. Watershed Management Authorities help communities improve water
quality and reduce flooding risks. All communities within a watershed are invited to join, creating a regional entity committed
to working together to address important water issues. As these entities get up and running they need facilitation and
planning assistance, tasks that councils of governments provide across Iowa. Councils of governments stand ready to assist
communities seeking to create a Watershed Management Authority and support efforts to provide financial resources to help
get WMAs operational.
- Partnership. ICOG works closely with ISAC, the League of Cities, PDI, the Chamber Alliance and
numerous state agencies, and it supports their legislative agendas.