12/13/2018 - 2018 Successful Year for Urban Loop and Urbandale Economic Development; Iowa DOT adopts name, new business projects surpass expectations
Urbandale, IA – Calendar Year 2018 saw the full implementation and success of the Urban Loop, a development area anchored by the 90-degree-bend in interstate 35/80 formerly known as Rider Corner. In the first 12 months after the City launched the Urban Loop development initiative, 14 commercial developments have chosen to locate or expand in Urbandale’s Urban Loop.
“The area is highly accessible to regional and national markets — offering retail, office, flex, warehouse and light industrial space,” said A.J. Johnson, City Manager. “There are more than 700 acres of development-ready land. Couple that with direct interstate access via new interchanges and the Urban Loop development opportunities really stand out.”
The Iowa Department of Transportation recently adopted the new name for the area, updating its Major Construction Projects page reflecting the infrastructure and interchange enhancements happening in the Urban Loop. A new northbound I-35/80 to Iowa 141 flyover ramp will replace the loop ramp in the southeast quadrant of the current interchange in 2020. Improvements will also include a new half-diamond interchange on the south side of Meredith Drive. Drivers are encouraged to go to 511ia.org for the most up-to-date information during construction. The entire project is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2020.
“The City of Urbandale is leveraging these new interstate enhancements with our Urban Loop development initiative—and the DOT’s continuity in using the new name has contributed to the momentum in this area,” said Curtis Brown, Assistant City Manager/Director of Economic Development. “The early success was led by the main campus of John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group and R & R Realty’s Paradigm Building, and additional projects include new retail and service amenities for a growing employment center in the Urban Loop, as well.”
New Commercial Developments in the Urban Loop:
- Paradigm Building: 90,000 square foot speculative Class A office building.
- John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group*: 134,000 square foot main campus office.
- 2699 104th Street: 53,000 square foot flex building.
- Northpark Business Center*: 7,500 square foot medical / office building.
- Casey’s General Store: 4,700 square foot convenience store and car wash.
- Crescent Electric: 26,000 square foot warehouse / office building.
- Source Allies*: Acquisition and finish of 20,000 square foot office building.
- ProbioFerm*: 9,000 square foot manufacturing / warehouse building.
- Incotec: Finish of 20,000 square foot existing space for R&D facility.
- Hilton Tapestry Revel Hotel: Renovation of existing hotel to a 4-star facility, including 110 guest rooms
- Assembled Products Inc.*: 80,000 square foot warehouse/office facility.
- 9400 Plum Drive: 12,600 square foot Class A office building.
- Erickson Office Park: 9,700 square foot speculative office building.
- 4401 NW Urbandale Drive: 46,000 square foot flex building.
* Denotes expansion of existing Urbandale company.
11/14/2018 - Eide Bailly releases year-end audit report on City
Urbandale, IA – Eide Bailly, LLP today released an audit report on the City of Urbandale, Iowa, for the year ended June 30, 2018.
The City’s government-wide financial statements are prepared on the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The accrual basis recognizes revenues as earned and expenses as incurred.
Revenues for the City (excluding its component unit) for the year ended June 30, 2018, totaled $57,518,581, a 11.1 percent decrease from the prior year. Revenues included $27,301,017 in property taxes, $7,215,191 from tax increment financing revenues, $5,784,009 from operating grants and contributions, $4,092,824 from capital grants and contributions, $654,244 from interest, $8,458,335 from charges for services, and $4,012,961 from other general revenues.
Expenses for the City (excluding its component unit) for the year totaled $50,207,607, a 2.8 percent decrease from the prior year. Expenses included $18,559,959 for public works, $14,400,945 for public safety, $8,477,600 for culture and recreation, and $4,091,368 for general government.
Revenues for the component unit (Urbandale Water Utility) for the year totaled $12,169,563, an 18.5 percent increase from the prior year. Revenues included $10,332,491 from charges for services, $592,944 from operating grants and contributions, $939,647 from capital grants and contributions, and $304,481 from other general revenues.
Expenses for the component unit for the year totaled $8,236,042, a 0.9 percent decrease from the prior year.
A copy of the audit report is available for review in the Finance Department at City Hall, in the Office of Auditor of State and on the Auditor of State’s web site at http://auditor.iowa.gov/reports/reports.htm.
10/30/2018 - Urbandale’s Third Quarter Building Report Details Strong Commercial and Residential Investment
Urbandale, IA – The City of Urbandale’s Community Development Department issued a total of 758 building permits in the first nine months of 2018, with a total valuation of $99 million. This is the highest total third-quarter valuation since 2004.
Of the building permits issued from January through September 2018 by the City, residential investment included 140 single-family detached housing units, 7 single-family attached (townhouse) units, along with 13 new commercial buildings. The remaining permits include commercial and residential projects such as additions, remodels, fences and decks.
“Our residential sector continues to grow at a steady pace very near the City’s historical average, while the commercial sector is growing significantly due in part to the anticipated opening of the 100th Street Interchange,” said Community Development Director Steve Franklin. “Urbandale is appealing to businesses and residents for many reasons. We often hear that our city services, which are provided at one of the lowest tax rates in Iowa, are highly-valued by the community.”
Large projects such as the John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group’s main campus and the Paradigm Office Building have contributed to strong investment in the community. The City of Urbandale continues exploring the possibility of annexing additional territory.
10/15/2018 - Urbandale Opens New Interchange on Interstate 35/80
Urbandale, IA – The 100th Street I-35/80 Interchange in Urbandale was officially opened with a ceremony earlier today. Construction was completed on the western half of the interchange; traffic can now utilize the westbound on-ramp and eastbound off-ramp.
“The opening of the 100th Street interchange marks the opening of new and greater access for our community and region,” said Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg. “This interchange provides access for the Metro’s workforce to efficiently get to jobs across the region, businesses to get products and services to market, and investment opportunities in the area.”
The 100th Street Interchange project is the first of three major I-35/80 access projects in Urbandale’s Urban Loop. Work is already underway on a new interchange at Meredith Drive and a flyover ramp for Iowa Highway 141. These projects are scheduled to open in 2020.
“With the western half of the 100th Street Interchange open to traffic, the contractor will now work towards opening the eastern half,” said City Manager A.J. Johnson. “Weather permitting, we’ll be able to open the eastern half of the interchange in three to four weeks.”
View aerial drone footage of the first vehicles using the new ramps visit https://youtu.be/d_ukEqc0LW4. To stay up-to-date with the Interstate 35/80 interchange projects visit www.Urbandale.org/Interchanges.
10/4/2018 - Leaf Drop-Off for Urbandale Residents
Urbandale, IA – Urbandale residents may drop off leaves, free of charge, at Urbandale Public Works Facility, 9401 Hickman Road, on Saturdays from 8 AM – noon, November 3 through November 17, 2018.
Residents may bring leaves in any paper yard waste bag from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Containers and plastic bags will also be allowed as long as the yard waste is emptied from the container or bag at the site.
Residents will be required to present identification upon request. If you would like further information on this free program, please call the Urbandale Department of Engineering and Public Works at 515-278-3950.
9/26/2018 - Urbandale Building New Fire Station; Collaboration with City of Clive
Urbandale, Iowa – On Thursday, September 20, City Officials from both Clive and Urbandale broke ground on a new fire station. The new Fire Station #43 is being constructed at 15100 Meredith Drive in Urbandale and will provide fire and emergency medical services to both cities. A 28E Agreement drafted by both cities lays out plans to share the cost of personnel. The agreement provides both cities fire protection, fire suppression and rescue, emergency medical and other related services.
“This common-sense local government collaboration is unique in the Des Moines metro and Urbandale and Clive are now taking their relationship to the next level with the building of this new fire station that will serve both cities,” said Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg. “Both Urbandale and Clive have growing populations in the northwest part of our cities—it just makes sense to collaborate in service of our citizens rather than duplicating services in the growing Dallas County portion of both Clive and Urbandale.”
The Cities of Clive and Urbandale will each approve the recommended budget for the annual operating costs for Fire Station #43 and every quarter the City of Clive will reimburse the City of Urbandale for a portion of the personnel costs for Fire Station #43. The City of Clive will pay approximately 40% of the personnel costs associated with the new station, while the City of Urbandale will pay the remaining 60%. The City of Urbandale will pay for the construction of the new station, apparatus and equipment, and all other associated operational costs.
Construction bids for the new Fire Station (and associated fueling facility to be constructed at 170th Street and Waterford Road) have come in under budget. Also, due to the approval of the Dallas County Local Option Sales and Service Tax, the projects will be financed without the need for a property tax increase. Debt for the Fire Station and Fueling Facility will be serviced by new sales and service tax revenue generated in the Dallas County portion of Urbandale.
9/11/2018 - Urbandale Receives National Recognition for Urban Loop
Urbandale, Iowa – The City-County Communications & Marketing Association announced the 2018 winners of its national awards competition last week during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee on Thursday, September 6. The awards ceremony is held in conjunction with 3CMA’s annual conference and recognizes outstanding local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing and citizen-government relationships.
Over 700 entries in 40 categories were received and the City of Urbandale was honored with a Silver Circle Award for its Urban Loop branding and economic development effort. In September 2017, City officials launched the Urban Loop name, logo and “Turning Access Into Opportunity” tagline to identify the development areas served by the segment of Interstate 35/80 corridor which runs through the community. The new identity is anchored by the iconic 90-degree turn in the freeway near Iowa Highway 141.
The Urban Loop brand highlights the major interstate interchange and widening improvements that are currently underway, as well as the more than 700 acres of interstate-served development land available in Urbandale.
Judges from across the United States reviewed every entry and provided comments on the winning entries:
“From beginning to end, this was a well thought out initiative. The catchy name is sure to go far in helping Urbandale rebrand this area. Transportation campaigns can be daunting. Urbandale is definitely up to the task!”
71 first-place Savvy Awards were presented, along with 73 second-place Silver Circle Awards and 71 third-place Awards of Excellence were also presented.
“The Urban Loop brand launch was intended to match major transportation investments with a positive identity and a place where people invest with confidence,” said Curtis Brown, Assistant City Manager/Director of Economic Development. “We appreciate the 3CMA award as encouragement to continue building awareness of the Urban Loop’s access and opportunities.”
Thirteen development projects have been announced in the Urban Loop since the brand launched in late 2017. Companies such as John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group and R&R Realty’s Paradigm Building have helped establish the area. To learn more about the Urban Loop, visit www.UrbanLoop.org.
8/22/2018 - Urbandale Mayor's State of the City Address—Sharing Vision for Community's Future
Urbandale, Iowa - Mayor Bob Andeweg will deliver the annual State of the City address at 6:00 PM on Thursday, September 6. The event is open to the public and will take place at Urbandale City Hall Council Chambers located at 3600 86th Street.
“I am excited to share our vision for the future and report on all of the work that Urbandale has accomplished,” said Mayor Andeweg. “Urbandale continues to be a vibrant, safe and growing community and I look forward to sharing our progress.”
The Mayor will review the work that the community has accomplished in recent years, positioning Urbandale for continued growth and a high quality of life. Mayor Andeweg will also provide information on future public improvement projects, including the new fire station, new interstate access, and investments in the Urban Loop development area.
Following the presentation, event attendees will be invited to enjoy a reception and enjoy artwork at City Hall. Light refreshments will be served.
8/3/2018 - Urbandale Public Library Announces Latest Art UP Close Resident Artist
Urbandale, Iowa - The Urbandale Public Library is pleased to announce the selection of James A. Osborn as its newest Art UP Close resident artist. Osborn, a painter who specializes in abstract, expressionist work, will serve in this role from August through November.
The Art UP Close program celebrates the work of local artists and encourages the community to experience the arts by sponsoring presentations and hands-on workshops. The goal is to develop and sustain the public’s awareness and interest in the arts, cultivating a true appreciation for all forms of human expression.
During his residency, Osborn will lead several public programs on behalf of the Library, including a Grandparents Day art project for children on September 9; an art program for families on September 12; and a teen program on September 20. His work will be on display in the Urbandale Public Library Art Gallery October 1 – November 1. A gallery reception with Osborn will take place October 7 at 1:30 p.m., followed by an art project for adults.
Visit the library’s website at www.urbandalelibrary.org for more details about these and other programs.
7/20/2018 - Flood Assistance for Urbandale Residents
Urbandale, Iowa - The Polk County 2018 Flood Assistance Program is now available to assist low to moderate income residents of single-family owner occupied homes to replace or repair water heaters, furnaces and electrical panels from damage caused by floodwater.
Urbandale homeowners who fall below 80% of the median income level for Polk County and who have had flood damage will qualify for up to $6,000 to replace their water heater, furnace and electrical panels. The cost for furnace will be capped at $2,750, hot water heater at $1,750 and electrical panel at $1,500 – in aggregate not to exceed $6,000.
Homeowners who meet the income guidelines that have already replaced these items can be reimbursed by submitting copies of paid invoices.
Owner occupied mobile homes will be eligible for up to $750 for water heaters, furnaces and electrical panels. Rental, multi-family and commercial properties are not eligible for this program.
The program is jointly administered by the Polk County Public Works Department and the City of Urbandale. Additional information is available at www.polkcountyiowa.gov/supervisors/public-information/flood-2018/. To start the application process, ask questions about the program or if you need help completing your application, please call 515-278-3930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Urbandale will waive all permit fees, regardless of household income level, related to repair work for flood damage. To request a waiver of fees homeowners may download the application at www.Urbandale.org/flood and email the completed application to email@example.com by 5 PM on Friday, September 28, 2018.
Residents with questions can call 515-278-3930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
7/12/2018 - Urbandale’s 2018 Mid-Year Building Report Details Strong Commercial and Residential Investment
Urbandale, Iowa - The City of Urbandale’s Community Development Department issued a total of 483 building permits in the first six months of 2018, with a total valuation of $67 million. This is the highest total mid-year valuation since 2004.
Of the building permits issued from January through June 2018 by the City, residential investment included 85 single-family detached housing units and eight new commercial buildings. The remaining permits include commercial and residential projects such as additions, remodels and decks.
“These very positive numbers underscore the city’s continued growth of residential and commercial areas in Urbandale,” said Community Development Director Steve Franklin. “2018 is proving to be a very good year for Urbandale. Our westward growth and strong commercial investments continue to spur high valuation and permit numbers.”
Continued platting of residential areas and new construction in the Urban Loop has helped encourage 2018 growth. Large projects such as the John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group’s main campus, the Northpark Business Center development, and the Paradigm Building have contributed to strong investment in the community.
The City Council recently took action to encourage affordable, private-market housing across the community and appointed representatives to the Central Iowa Regional Housing Authority (CIRHA) Board of Commissioners. The City of Urbandale continues exploring the possibility of annexing additional territory.
7/1/2018 - City of Urbandale Responds to Weekend Flash Flooding: Urbandale Neighborhoods, Streets and Trails Being Assessed for Damage and Debris; Cleanup Efforts to Begin
Urbandale, Iowa – On Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1 heavy rain fell throughout the Des Moines Metro causing dangerous flash flooding in Urbandale. All roadways in Urbandale have been assessed for damage and are open to traffic. Trails in the Urbandale Parks System are currently being assessed and will be closed where appropriate. Residents are asked to use caution in the parks and avoid flood waters.
Residents may dial 2-1-1 from a landline or cell phone to find up-to-date local information at any time. Always dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Urbandale Residents can utilize the no-charge Storm Damaged Household Debris Material Collection service beginning Monday, July 2. To request this no-charge service please email email@example.com or call at 515-278-3950 and leave a message with your address and contact information. Place household debris between the street curb and sidewalk for Urbandale Public Works to collect. Residents must notify Urbandale Public Works to arrange the pickup.
All City operations, including waste and garbage collection, will continue as scheduled. Due to the holiday the City will run a modified refuse collection schedule. Residents with Monday or Tuesday garbage collection are unaffected by the July 4th holiday. Residents with Wednesday, July 4th or Thursday, July 5th collection are affected by the holiday and will want to put bins out a day later. Regular Wednesday collection has been moved to Thursday, and regular Thursday collection has been moved to Friday.
Several residences and businesses have been damaged by flood and storm water. The community is encouraged to carefully monitor water levels and stay away from flood waters. Residents with concerns or damage reports can leave a voice message at 515-278-3950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6/25/2018 - City Council Takes Steps to Address Housing Options as Urbandale's Westward Growth Continues
Urbandale, Iowa – The Urbandale City Council recently approved two important actions to encourage affordable private market housing across the community. At its June 19, 2018 meeting, the City Council approved a resolution declaring the need for a housing authority in the Dallas County portion of Urbandale and appointed a representative and alternate to the Central Iowa Regional Housing Authority (CIRHA) Board of Commissioners.
The Council’s recent actions have two main impacts:
Residents choosing to live in the western portion of Urbandale can access HUD Section 8 programs which include the Housing Choice Voucher program and the Home Ownership program, administered in Dallas County by CIRHA.
Urbandale is now a member of CIRHA which serves Dallas County and five other counties and has an Urbandale representative on the CIRHA Board. The City Council approved Urbandale resident Todd Kilzer as its Board representative and City of Urbandale Building Official Roger Schemmel as the alternate.
“We have more than 45,000 residents in Urbandale and more than half a million in the Greater Des Moines area,” said Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg. “The demand for housing options will only continue to increase as we grow. We’ll continue to look for ways to provide affordable housing for Urbandale residents.”
The City of Urbandale has experienced significant population and housing unit growth in the Dallas County area of the city. This housing growth has included both single-family and multi-family housing options. While the City has been a partner with the Des Moines Municipal Housing Agency (DMMHA) since 1990 to serve the Polk County side of Urbandale with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) single and multi-family programs, the Dallas County portion of Urbandale has not had that same access.
“The agreement with DMMHA allows participants to use their voucher to rent a residence in the Polk County portion of Urbandale,” added Mayor Andeweg. “The CIRHA agreement will provide the same ability to participants that would like to rent in the Dallas County portion of Urbandale.”
6/15/2018 - Urbandale Hosting Alzheimer's Event
Urbandale, Iowa – In Partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Iowa the City of Urbandale Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting Longest Day to End Alzheimer’s event on Thursday, June 21, 2018 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM at the Urbandale Senior Recreation Center, 7305 Aurora Ave.
“We are excited to be hosting this event at the Urbandale Senior Recreation Center,” said Carissa Williams, Senior Recreation Center Supervisor. “More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s and this event will help families and friends learn more about the disease.”
Community members are invited to enjoy a variety of activities that will focus on lifestyle habits, fun games, and exhibits to learn how reduce risk of cognitive decline and maintain or potentially improve overall health.
“Participants will receive a punch card that can be stamped at each exhibit station,” said Carissa Williams. “Participants are encouraged to learn and explore while completing the punch cards—completed punch cards will go into a prize drawing.”
For more information visit or call the Senior Recreation Center at 515-278-3907.
6/13/2018 - Urbandale Indoor Public Pool Hours
Urbandale, Iowa – The Urbandale Indoor Public Pool located at 7201 Aurora Avenue is open and currently operating on an expanded summer hours schedule. Classes, lessons, events, and programs can be found online at www.UrbandalePool.org.
“Last week we were closed for three days while we repaired a water main break.” said Jan Herke, Director of Parks and Recreation. “The repairs have been made, the pool is open, and we’re now running our standard expanded summer hours.”
Summer hours at the Indoor Pool run through August 12, 2018.
Public Recreational Swimming is available every day from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM and Monday - Friday from 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM.
Cardio / Lap Swim is available every day from noon - 1:00 PM, Monday - Friday from 5:45 AM - 7:30 AM, and Monday - Friday: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM.
Senior Lap Swim is available Monday - Friday from 11 AM - Noon.
“The Indoor Pool runs numerous programs and events all year long—even in winter!” said Jan Herke, Director of Parks and Recreation. “We expand our hours in the summer to help our community members take advantage of the additional programs we offer and extra time at the pool with their families and friends.”
For questions about upcoming classes, lessons and events patrons can contact the pool office at 515-278-3959. Please refer to www.UrbandalePool.org for the most current information.
5/22/2018 - Urbandale Wins Build With Bags Grant
Urbandale, Iowa – Urbandale Parks and Recreation will soon have a new picnic table and bench at Lions Park made out of recycled materials, courtesy of the Build with Bags program.
The plastic bag recycling program, being led by the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, announced recently that Urbandale Parks and Recreation is one of 11 recipients of a Build with Bags grant award in 2018 and will receive $2,000 to purchase one picnic table and a bench made from recycled plastic bags by Plastic Recycling of Iowa. For example, one table represents approximately 20,000 bags that won’t end up in the landfill.
“We are excited to announce the winners of the Build with Bags grant program,” says Michelle Hurd, president of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association. “The Build with Bags program continues to encourage individuals to recycle their plastic bags so those bags can be turned into products that beautify our communities. This year’s grant winners are reaping the rewards of their recycling efforts, and we hope other communities will follow suit and expand their recycling efforts.”
A total of 31 applications were submitted from which 11 winners were selected by a committee of four representatives in support of the Build with Bags program. Each committee member individually scored the applications, and the scores were combined for an overall point total. The top 11 applicants with the most points received grants totaling $21,337.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant through the Iowa Grocery Industry Association,” said Jan Herke, Director of Parks and Recreation. "Recycling is very important as waste can have a negative impact on our natural environment. A new picnic bench and picnic table made out of recycled materials will be a great way for residents to learn about the useful things that can be made from recycled bags.”
Now in its ninth year, the Build with Bags Grant program has awarded $305,461.52 in grants to more than 180 Iowa communities. Applications were evaluated based on set criteria that included a statement of need for the grant and the community’s own plastic bag recycling efforts. Grant applicants were also asked to verify the recycled plastic content in the products they were looking to purchase and obtain an endorsement letter from a local grocer who is supportive of the community’s project and recycling plans. Geographic location also played a factor as the committee wanted to disperse the grant awards throughout the state of Iowa.
Store Director Scott James, who works at the Urbandale Hy-Vee, played an important role in making this grant possible. James wrote a letter of support on behalf of Urbandale Parks and Recreation that led to it being selected to receive a grant.
“While the endorsement letter was not the most weighted category in the selection process, it is one of the most vital to the Build with Bags program,” Hurd explains. “In the program committee’s eyes, it reflects how the applying community is working with its local grocers to establish long-term projects and goals that help raise the awareness of plastic bag recycling.”
Encouraging purchases of furniture and equipment made from recycled plastic for parks and schools through its grant program is one of four goals established by Build with Bags partners. The other three include increasing the amount of plastic bags recycled, reducing consumption of plastic bags and increasing the safe use of reusable bags.
The Urbandale Hy-Vee is one of many participating retailers, including Fareway Stores and Hy-Vee locations statewide plus many independent grocers.
Build with Bags, a cooperative effort of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, Keep Iowa Beautiful, Metro Waste Authority in Des Moines, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls, was originally launched in August 2009.
5/21/2018 - Mosquito Control Program Beginning in Urbandale
Urbandale, Iowa - The City of Urbandale will begin its Mosquito Spraying Program beginning May 23, 2018. City Staff will be treating area neighborhoods with approved adulticide product between the hours of 9:30 pm to 3:00 am when conditions are favorable for spraying. Spraying will be done with City of Urbandale trucks. All City trucks are white and will have an amber warning light blinking to alert residents they are in the area.
The primary goal of the program is to reduce the mosquito population in order to decrease the risk of mosquito-borne disease and nuisance mosquito species to the citizens and visitors of our city.
While spraying reduces the mosquito population, it is still recommended that residents use mosquito repellent when outside early in the morning and late in the evening. Residences can do their part in the battle against mosquitos by eliminating sources of standing water such as disposing of old tires, any type of containers that collect and hold water, maintaining gutters, etc. Pet dish and bird bath water should be changed every 2 days.
If you have any questions concerning this program, please contact the Urbandale Parks and Recreation Department.
5/08/2018 - Urbandale Public Library receives “The Great American Read” programming grants from ALA and PBS
Urbandale, Iowa — The Urbandale Public Library will receive a grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and PBS to host programs around “The Great American Read,” an eight-part television series and multi-platform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and the books we love.
“Community outreach and establishing partnerships that bring diverse audiences together are key priorities for our library,” said Library Director Julie Wells. “This initiative’s emphasis on bringing people together through their favorite books is in perfect alignment with these priorities. The programs and activities we have planned in support of this initiative will help us achieve our strategic goals in a very meaningful and visible way.”
More than 220 public libraries applied for the $2,000 grants, which will support public programs around the series. The Urbandale Public Library was one of just 50 libraries nationwide to be selected.
The Library’s local programming for “The Great American Read” will kick off at 7 p.m. on May 22 at an official watch party for the television series premiere. At the premiere, the names of the top 100 books will be announced and voting will begin. Other planned events include All Urbandale Reads, a program in which all community members will be encouraged to read the same book selected from the list of top 100 books and participate in a book discussion; weekly “Is the book better than the movie” events throughout the month of September, showcasing several of the top 100 books that have been made into movies; special displays; photo opportunities for patrons to pose with their favorite books, and more. For more information about these and other events, visit www.urbandalelibrary.org.
In addition to the grant money, the Urbandale Public Library will receive a DVD collection of the series with public performance rights; a hardcover copy of the companion book, “The Great American Read: The Book of Books” by PBS (Black Dog & Leventhal, August 21, 2018); and other resources.
The grant recipients will also have the opportunity to host “sneak peek” screenings of the series premiere and five theme episodes before they broadcast to the public.
Premiering May 22, “The Great American Read” will engage audiences with a list of 100 diverse books, encouraging audiences to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the titles.
The two-hour launch episode will kick off a summer of reading and voting. In fall 2018, seven new episodes will air, featuring appearances by celebrities, athletes, experts, authors and everyday Americans advocating for their favorite book, culminating with a finale that reveals America’s best-loved novel as chosen by the American public.
5/01/2018 - Urbandale Art Park Ribbon Cutting
Urbandale, Iowa – The City of Urbandale, in conjunction with the Public Art Committee, is hosting an Art Park Exhibition reception and ribbon cutting at Urbandale City Hall, 3600 86th Street. The Art Park features visual art installations and sculptures made by four Iowa artists.
The public is invited to view the exhibition, hear remarks from Mayor Bob Andeweg, enjoy free hot dogs and chips, and meet the artists at a free reception on May 8, at 5:30 PM. The program will include short presentations by each artist and a ribbon cutting.
“We are delighted to bring four new sculptures to Urbandale” said Paul Burkett, member of the Public Art Committee. “We are always looking for ways to enhance Urbandale’s aesthetic environment and celebrate the uniqueness of Urbandale through public art.”
The Urbandale Public Art Committee was created in 2008 to enhance the appearance of the City of Urbandale through the integration of art in the public environment. Public art in Urbandale represents the themes of Community, Culture, Education, Family, History, and Vision.
“Art in Urbandale is uniquely inspiring,” said Jan Herke, Director of Parks & Recreation. “The Art Park encourages creativity and enhances the appearance of the City of Urbandale.”
To view pictures of the newly installed art or to learn more about the artists, please visit: http://www.urbandale.org/394/Public-Art-Committee.
4/19/2018 - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Planned for the Miracle Field of Urbandale
Urbandale, Iowa - In partnership with the Miracle League, the City of Urbandale is proud to announce the grand opening of the Urbandale Miracle Field at Northview Park. The public is invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, May 4 at 5 p.m. at 4871 78th Street, Urbandale followed by an exhibition game at 6 p.m.
The Miracle Field features a custom-designed, cushioned, rubberized surface that can accommodate wheelchairs and other assistive devices, allowing persons with mental and physical disabilities the opportunity to play baseball. New additions to the Miracle Field include an accessible parking lot, spectator bleachers, dugouts, team benches, lights and a scoreboard. The field is part of a phased project to add barrier-free park amenities in Urbandale for individuals with mental and physical disabilities. In the future, a unique, all-inclusive playground will be added near the field to assure that children with special needs are able to play in a safe space.
“This baseball field, with its rubberized surface, will enhance the recreational experience for all participants,” said Jan Herke, Director of Urbandale Parks & Recreation. “We are excited to showcase this beautiful new field which is located in the Little League Complex at Northview Park, and to be able to provide accessible recreation opportunities for individuals living with disabilities in the Western Suburbs.”
The Miracle Field will serve as the home base for all Urbandale Miracle League games for the 2018 season, with the first game kicking off on April 29.
“We have been a part of Miracle League for several years now, and we can personally speak to the fun and benefits it brings—the joy it brings to their faces is a wonderful thing,” said Larry Evans, parent of Miracle League players. “If you are involved in Miracle League, your life will be enhanced by it, no matter what role you play. You can’t help but smile when you are a part of it.”
The Miracle League Field project was made possible with the support of the Urbandale City Council and the Polk County Board of Supervisors. The Miracle League Fundraising committee received many generous donations from individuals, groups and businesses—raising the $1.4 million to cover the cost of the project.
Data indicates that there are nearly 20,000 children and 22,000 adults in the Greater Des Moines area who are challenged with special needs. This highlights the growing need for continued development of recreational opportunities for children and adults who cannot currently participate in regular sports programs and leagues that are popularly offered in communities throughout the Des Moines Metro.
For more information about the Miracle Field of Urbandale, or to volunteer or play, contact Urbandale Parks & Recreation at 515-278-3963, email email@example.com, or visit www.urbandale.org/MiracleLeague or www.facebook.com/UrbandaleParksAndRec.
4/12/2018 - City of Urbandale: Tree City USA Recipient
Urbandale, Iowa – The City of Urbandale was recently honored with the 2017 Tree City USA Award at the 28th Annual Community Forestry Awards Luncheon in Des Moines. The award was presented by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on April 4, 2018. Urbandale has received this award for 16 consecutive years.
“The Tree City USA award is a symbol for communities who have made a commitment to the management of public trees,” says State Forester Jeff Goerndt. “The City of Urbandale has provided an outstanding example for other Iowa communities by enhancing our forest resources and demonstrating the great value of trees in providing multiple benefits for future generations.”
Urbandale was one of 79 Iowa communities to qualify for Tree City USA status. To receive the award, a city must, at a minimum, have either a city forester or an active city tree board; have a tree ordinance; spend at least $2 per capita annually for its community forestry program; and have a tree planting and maintenance plan.
Urbandale will hold Earth Day activities, including planting trees, clearing invasive plants, raking leaves, and picking up branches on Saturday, April 21, from 9:00 – 11:00 AM. Sign up and learn more at www.Urbandale.org/EarthDay.
4/5/2018 - Urbandale’s First Quarter Building Valuation Highest Since 2012
The City of Urbandale’s Community Development Department issued a total of 153 building permits in the first quarter of 2018, with a total valuation of $23.7 million. This is the highest total first-quarter valuation since 2012.
Of the first quarter building permits issued from January through March 2018 by the City, residential investment included 41 single-family detached housing units and two new commercial buildings. The remaining permits include commercial and residential projects such as additions, remodels and decks.
“These very positive numbers underscore the city’s continued growth of residential areas in northwest Urbandale,” said Community Development Director Steve Franklin. “With ample room to continue growing west, and the excitement being generated by the opening of the 100th Street interchange later this year, we expect 2018 to be another good year for valuation.”
Continued platting of residential areas and projects like R & R Realty’s Paradigm office building at Meredith Drive and 121st Street have helped to fuel first quarter growth in Urbandale.
“The opening of the 100th Street interchange will also be an incentive for additional office and retail development in the Urban Loop,” said Assistant City Manager/Economic Development Director Curtis Brown. “Urbandale’s residential growth reflects high-value investment at reliably consistent rates.”
The City Council continues to consider projects that respond to market demands for multi-family and townhouse units and more moderately-priced housing. The City of Urbandale continues exploring the possibility of annexing additional territory.
3/27/2018 - Urbandale Receives Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
Urbandale, Iowa–The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the City of Urbandale by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for its Fiscal Year Ended 2017. This is the 35th consecutive year the City of Urbandale has received this award. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
An Award of Financial Reporting Achievement has been awarded to Urbandale’s Finance Department for preparing the award-winning CAFR.
“The Urbandale City government strives at all time to be financially responsible while providing exceptional quality municipal services,” said Nicci Lamb, Director of Finance. “This award reflects our efforts to communicate the City’s financial results in an easily readable and efficiently organized manner.”
The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.
The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 19,000 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, IL, and Washington, D.C.
3/14/2018 - Moody's Affirms Urbandale Credit Rating
Urbandale, IA -- Moody’s Investors Service on Monday affirmed the City of Urbandale’s Aa1 bond rating on approximately $87 million of outstanding general obligation debt. The report specifically addressed Urbandale’s very healthy financial operations and reserves, affluent and growing tax base, and ample revenue raising flexibility.
“This rating enables the City of Urbandale to maintain its lower-cost borrowing capability," said Nicci Lamb, Director of Finance. "Because of our acknowledged financial strength, we are able to provide exceptional quality municipal services which are responsive to community needs making Urbandale a great place to live.”
“The City of Urbandale appreciates these strong ratings,” said Mayor Bob Andeweg. “It underscores the long-term commitment of the City Council and staff for strong fiscal discipline, operational excellence and a close adherence to our strategic priorities and mission.”
Moody’s Investors Service is a global provider of credit ratings, research, and risk analysis. A rating from Moody’s enables the City of Urbandale to create timely, go-to-market debt strategies with the ability to capture wider investor focus and deeper liquidity options.