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A UERPC Christmas Greeting.......

Posted: Wed, December 4, 2013
As the year ends, we think about all we are grateful for. Our partnership with you is one thing we treasure. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. We wish you a Merry Christmas and much success in the new year.  Please enjoy our video below......

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Iowa Law Changes Coming Jan. 1 for Iowa's Teen Drivers

Posted: Wed, December 4, 2013
Motor vehicle crashes kill more teenagers than anything else. With parents' help, two changes to Iowa's graduated driver's license system taking effect Jan. 1, 2014, are tools that can be used to keep kids safe behind the wheel and work to save their lives.

Longer instruction time behind the wheel: Statistics show that increased supervised experience behind the wheel helps young drivers develop safer driving habits. The first change in the Iowa law increases the time a young driver is required to carry an instruction permit to 12 months, up from the current six months, before they can apply for an intermediate license. The new law gives drivers twice the amount of time behind the wheel to learn from an experienced driver. It also allows for that driving practice to take place across all driving conditions and seasons. This law goes into effect for all young drivers applying for an intermediate license after Jan. 1, 2014.

Reduced distractions: We all want our kids to have friends, but piling those friends in the car with your 16-year-old driver is a recipe for disaster. Data proves that the first six months of driving without an adult is the most dangerous for teen drivers. To reduce the risk an unsupervised young driver with an intermediate license will be limited to one unrelated minor passenger during the first six months that child has a license. (A child driving with adult supervision is not subject to this limit.) Parents can waive this restriction, but only at the time the intermediate license is issued. This will apply to all intermediate licenses issued after Jan. 1, 2014.
 
The new law also limits a young driver with a minor school license to one unrelated minor passenger when driving without adult supervision. Unlike the intermediate license restriction, this restriction applies as long as the young driver holds a minor school license. This part of the law also becomes effective Jan. 1, 2014, and applies to all persons holding a minor school license, even if the license was issued before Jan. 1, 2014.
 
An unrelated minor child is defined as someone that is not your brother or sister, step-brother or sister, or a child living in your household. The definition of adult supervisor as it relates to this mandate means your parent, guardian, or custodian; an immediate family member at least 21 years of age, a driver education instructor, or a person at least 25 years old with written permission from your parent, guardian, or custodian. They must sit in the front passenger seat while you are driving.
 
These changes to Iowa's driver's license system are designed to keep us all safer and contribute to the overall goal of zero fatalities on Iowa's highways.
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USDA Announces Additional Support to Help Schools Buy Local

Posted: Wed, November 20, 2013
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack yesterday announced grants for 71 projects spanning 42 states and the District of Columbia that support the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) efforts to connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program. A partnership between the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative (NIFF) and Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) were lucky to be one of the recipients.

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UERPC November Newsletter

Posted: Mon, November 18, 2013
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • UERPC Board Attend Training
  • Employee Spotlight-Ashley Christianson
  • IowaWORKS Did You Know....
  • RPA1 Stakeholders Addressed DOT Commissioners on October 8th
  • "Fall" into Healthy Habits
  • Business Workforce Alliance Luncheon
  • Winter and the Novice Driver-Team Up with your Teen For Safe Driving
  • Quarantine of Firewood
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Health Care Reform Events

Posted: Wed, November 13, 2013
Below is information on a meeting which will be held in Elkader this Saturday at 10 am regarding healthcare reform.  If you can't make this meeting but would like to attend another, below is a link to a calendar with more meetings and dates throughout Iowa, as well as webinar information.  Please forward to those you think in your communities will benefit.
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Increased Deer Movement Means Extra Caution Needed on Iowa Roadways

Posted: Mon, November 4, 2013
This time of year it is not uncommon to see deer running beside Iowa's highways. Field and Stream.com (http://www.fieldandstream.com/rut-report) shows deer in many parts of Iowa are currently in the "seeking and chasing" phase of the annual rut. That means more animals on the move and more danger to motorists, especially at dusk and dawn when it is more difficult to see animals along the roadsides.

There is little a driver can do about deer movement, but to reach the goal of zero fatalities on Iowa highways drivers need to be more aware of deer habits to reduce the risk of coming in contact with deer. As of Oct. 15, Iowa Department of Transportation data shows, 3,279 drivers reported collisions with deer so far in 2013. These crashes resulted in four motorist deaths and an estimated 172 injuries. Since 2003, 70 people have died in Iowa as a result of motor vehicle crashes involving animals. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, each year nearly 200 fatalities nationwide are caused by deer-vehicle collisions.

If a deer runs into the path of your vehicle, not veering to avoid the animal greatly increases the chances of maintaining control of your vehicle. Most deer crash injuries and deaths result when drivers attempt to avoid the animal. This action often results in drivers losing control and colliding with other vehicles or running off the road.

When a deer is in the path of your vehicle, the driver of a vehicle (other than a motorcycle) should:
  • Brake firmly.
  • Steer to maintain control.
  • Stop safely within the lane or along the shoulder of the highway.
  • Use a safety belt to reduce the chance of personal injury.
The following motor vehicle driver tips will reduce the risk of deer crashes.
  • Slow down when you see a deer warning sign - pay greater attention.
  • Be especially careful driving at dawn and dusk.
  • Remember deer rutting season occurs in November and December, and deer are more mobile and less cautious.
  • Deer are more mobile during harvest and the hunting season.
  • Be most alert for the presence of deer at locations where three factors converge:
  • Food (corn fields or recently harvested corn fields).
  • Shelter (woods).
  • Water (streams, culverts and river crossings).
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For Immediate Release: Iowa Finance Authority Awards HOME Funds to UERPC for: Postville and West Union!

Posted: Fri, October 25, 2013

Upper Explorerland RPC is excited to announce that they are the recipients of HOME funds through Iowa Finance Authority. These funds will be used to assist 10 First Time Homebuyers with down payment and rehabilitation assistance in the Cities of Postville and West Union. The award of the HOME funds was matched with a local commitment from each of the cities.

Upper Explorerland RPC realizes first time homebuyers must make sacrifices to save enough for a down payment on a home, but for some it seems impossible to be able to find the funding to close on the desired home. With the award of the HOME funds homebuyers may receive up to $24,999 in assistance for rehabilitation and down payment assistance. The home must meet Iowa's Minimum Housing Standards upon completion. This program is an affordable way for homebuyers to realize their dream of homeownership. Assistance is in the form of a 10 year receding forgivable loan.

Applicant must be able to obtain financing in the form of a 15 year fully amortized, fixed-rate mortgage. No adjustable rate or balloon payments will be allowed. Homebuyer education classes are required please call 563-864-7551, ext. 111 to sign up.

Applications will be accepted beginning October 30, 2013.

If you are interested and meet the qualifications outlined above we would like to hear from you. Applications can be picked up at the City Halls in each of the above communities or by calling Upper Explorerland RPC, at 563-864-7551 ext. 111 or 101. TTY users call 1-800-735-2942. Relay call 7-1-1.

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Iowa DOT kicks off new statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Long-Range Plan

Posted: Fri, October 25, 2013

AMES, Iowa -Oct. 24, 2013 - The Iowa Department of Transportation is seeking public input into the development of a new statewide plan for bicycle and pedestrian transportation at six public input meetings and online. The Iowa DOT is committed to expanding opportunities and further improving conditions for bicycling and walking across the state. The new Bicycle and Pedestrian Long-Range Plan is a major step forward for this effort.


This plan will build upon the Iowa DOT's long-range strategy for multimodal transportation over the next three decades, Iowa in Motion -Planning Ahead 2040.The Bicycle and Pedestrian Long-Range Plan has three key objectives:


  • Align with national best practices, including the federal transportation funding bill called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) and national guidelines for trail development.


  • Develop a list of priorities to expand the trails system between and within cities.


  • Help state and local agencies to put the plan in place by providing tools for funding and design.


Upon its completion, this plan will serve as the primary guide for statewide decision-making regarding bicycle and pedestrian programs and facilities,including sidewalks, trails, bike lanes, paved shoulders, and other trail elements. It will also help achieve a better level of statewide coordination and continuity for all levels of bicycle and pedestrian mobility through regional, county, and city plans and programs.

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Staying Safe this Halloween

Posted: Fri, October 25, 2013
Halloween is one of the most dangerous days for pedestrians. Check out these Trick or Treating safety tips from the Cleveland Clinic, and have a spooktacular (and safe!) night!
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UERPC October Newsletter

Posted: Mon, October 21, 2013
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • White House Rural Council Hosts Forum on Regional Innovation
  • Employee Spotlight-Sarah Snitker
  • Audit Complete
  • Municipal Leadership Academy 2013-2014
  • Walk Your Heart Out
  • Safe Routes to School 2012-2013 Annual Report Now Available
  • IowaWorks-Did You Know?
  • Needs Assessment
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Youth Advisory Council Agenda 10/22/13

Posted: Tue, October 15, 2013
Please see below notice for more information.
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Region I RWIB/CEO Board Meeting Agenda 10/22/13

Posted: Tue, October 15, 2013
Please see below notice for more information.
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Municipal Leadership Academy 2013-2014

Posted: Mon, October 7, 2013
Both newly elected and experienced mayors, council members, city clerks and city administrators will benefit from attending the Municipal Leadership Academy.  The Municipal Leadership Academy provides municipal officials with a curriculum to assist them in effectively meeting the requirements of their office. The program offers a comprehensive overview of Iowa municipal government and is presented by the Iowa League of Cities, Institute of Public Affairs and Iowa State University Extension.

Topics covered during the series include:
  •     city finance and budgeting
  •     meeting procedures
  •     municipal law
  •     economic development
  •     ethics and fraud prevention
  •     nuisance abatement
  •     employment and personnel issues
  •     land use and zoning

Attending the Municipal Leadership Academy is one of the first steps a new city official should take toward success in public office. From open meetings to city finances, these sessions are designed to quickly bring new officials up to speed on municipal issues. Current elected or appointed city officials will also find incredible value in the up-to-date information on municipal operations and networking opportunities the sessions offer.

For more information or to sign up online, click here: https://www.iowaleague.org/MLA2013/Pages/MLA2013.aspx
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Be a "Walk Star" October 9th by Joining International Walk to School Day

Posted: Wed, October 2, 2013
Be a "walk star" by participating in International Walk to School Day Wednesday, Oct. 9. This fun, healthy, no-cost event encourages everyone - students, parents, teachers, community members, and organizations - to get out on sidewalks and trails. Participating with school children emphasizes the importance of increasing physical activity, teaching pedestrian safety, showing concern for the environment, reducing traffic congestion; and building connections between families, schools, and communities.
 
This year's International Walk to School Dayis expected to draw participation from more than 4,000 schools from all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.Walkers will unite with children and adults in 40 countries around the world.
 
This event is an opportunity for families with children who typically ride a school bus, but live in areas with bike-friendly paths to school, to try walking and bicycling to school. If students still need to ride a bus, many schools participate by arranging for school buses to drop off students at a nearby park or other safe location to finish the trip on foot. The drop-off option can also be used for students who are usually driven to school in private automobiles.
 
To get involved, register for the event at www.walkbiketoschool.org. The site includes a variety of useful information for parents and participating schools. Data collected from registrations will be used to make future programs stronger.
 
International Walk to School Day also encourages parents and community members to help schools conduct a walkability assessment of their neighborhoods. The Iowa Department of Public Health, through its Iowans Fit for Life Program, has developed a walkability checklist to help walkers assess what makes the walking environment inviting and safe, as well as identify existing barriers. After the assessment, school staff can help students become advocates for a more walkable community. The walkability assessment is available at www.idph.state.ia.us/iowansfitforlife/common/pdf/access_your_community.pdf
 
To encourage participation in Walk to School Day, the Iowa Department of Transportation has free materials available, including "I'm a walk star" stickers, erasers, and zipper pulls; and "Walk to School" pencils and sneaker stickers. To order any of these items, contact the Iowa Bicycle Coalition at alana@iowabicyclecoalition.org.
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White House Rural Council Hosts Forum on Regional Innovation

Posted: Tue, September 24, 2013
Rachelle Howe, Executive Director of Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission and Teresa Wiemerslage, ISU Extension and Outreach Region 4 Program Coordinator, recently attended Washington, D.C. to attend The White House Rural Council on Thursday, September 18th.  They met with officials from economic development districts, county governments and non-profit organizations to discuss ways to replicate successful regional economic development strategies.

The pair attended the meeting representing the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative.  Invited organizations were nominated by each state's USDA Rural Development Director and were selected because of their innovative approaches and partnerships to support economic development in rural areas.
 
"Innovative regional development can work especially well in rural areas because it helps communities share resources across boundaries such as county and state lines," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "By focusing on one or a few common sectors, regional development can produce greater economic returns."

The forum at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building is the second on regional economic development. The first was held in June 2012. Vilsack, who chairs the White House Rural Council, delivered the keynote address at this forum.

The White House Rural Council coordinates the Obama Administration's efforts in rural America by improving the effectiveness of federal programs. It works with public and private-sector partners on new ways to solve problems.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) commitment to regional economic development spans several department wide initiatives. The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative coordinates the Department's work on local and regional food systems to grow regional economies, preserve regional agricultural heritage and create additional opportunities for regional farmers and ranchers. USDA's Strike Force Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity aligns USDA resources to promote economic stability, job opportunities and regional growth in targeted high poverty areas. It leverages efforts with the private sector and community partners.

For more information on these initiatives and to read success stories, visit www.usda.gov.
During the forum, Vilsack announced the selection of 186 projects for USDA Rural Development loans and grants to support economic development in rural communities. The funding is being provided through the Community Facilities program, the Intermediary Relending Program, the Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program and the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program.

Funding for each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement. In total, Vilsack announced more than $27 million in support for regional and economic development projects in 32 states and the District of Columbia. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. This announcement is one part of the Department's overall efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way - strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
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Fall Harvest Season Brings Increased Farm Equipment Movement

Posted: Mon, September 23, 2013
Iowa's wet spring and very dry summer have made for an interesting growing season. With harvest around the corner, motorists will soon be sharing the road with farm vehicles. The Iowa Department of Transportation is urging motorists and farm vehicle operators to exercise caution during the movement of slow-moving equipment on Iowa's roadways.
 
Already in 2013, there have been 79 crashes with farm equipment causing five deaths. Data for 2012 shows a total of 176 crashes involved farm equipment. Those crashes resulted in 12 fatalities, 11 major injuries, 37 minor injuries, and 36 other possible injuries.
 
"For too long we have all accepted that highway fatalities are inevitable," said Jeremey Vortherms, Iowa DOT state safety engineer. "But if you think about a realistic traffic fatality goal for your family, wouldn't that goal be zero? If we all work together to buckle up, eliminate distractions and drive alert, we can drastically reduce the number of fatalities on the road and work to achieve a goal of zero fatalities."
 
Tips for motorists
•    Give your full attention to the driving task and watch for slow-moving vehicles. Do not text and drive.
•    Put additional space between your vehicle and those ahead. At this time of the year, the sun can be blinding to drivers during sunrise and sunset. The added space helps you safely maneuver if there is a sudden stop, turn, or a slow-moving vehicle ahead.
•    Be patient and do not assume the equipment operator can move aside to let you pass. The shoulder may not be able to support a heavy farm vehicle.
•    Slow down as soon as you see the triangular-shaped, red and fluorescent orange slow-moving vehicle emblem.

Tips for farm vehicle operators
•    Make your intentions known when you are turning by using signal lights or the appropriate hand signal in advance of the turn.
•    Drive slow-moving vehicles in the right-hand lane as close to the edge of the roadway as safely possible. Traveling partially on the shoulder may cause motorists to risk passing in a dangerous situation.
•    Avoid encouraging or signaling motorists to pass. Pull over where it is safe, and let the traffic go by.
•    Do not get trapped on the tracks; proceed through a highway-rail grade crossing only if you are sure you can completely clear the crossing without stopping. Remember, the train extends 3 feet beyond the tracks on both sides.
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UERPC September Newsletter

Posted: Mon, September 16, 2013
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • $1.65 Million TIGER Grant awarded to Winneshiek County
  • Employee Spotlight-Casey Mai
  • Disaster Funding Available
  • Upcoming Board Training
  • UERPC Represented at Safe Routes to School National Conference
  • Northeast Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund Update
  • Dream Big Grow Here
  • Rural Issues Roundtable
  • Upcoming Historical Workshop
  • IowaWORKS-Did you Know?
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Region I RWIB/CEO Executive Board Meeting Agenda 9/16/13

Posted: Tue, September 10, 2013
Please see below notice for more information.
... [ Read More ]


SHPO Workshops Available in October

Posted: Tue, September 10, 2013
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will be presenting two day-long workshops in October.  One on How to Apply for the State Tax Credit program on October 17 and How to Complete a National Register of Historic Places Nomination on October 18, 2013.  The workshops will be held in the Heritage Classrooms, first floor, in the Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa.  Click below for workshop information and registration forms.  These will be the last workshops until spring of 2014.
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$1.65 million TIGER Grant awarded in Winneshiek County

Posted: Thu, September 5, 2013
TIGER funds will be used to reconstruct 2.5 miles of deteriorated, suburban two-lane road in the town of Decorah, Iowa, and the unincorporated area of Freeport, Iowa. This regional project replaces an aged, limited-use road with a multi-modal system of roads, bridges, and trails. It will provide alternative transportation options for small town and rural community members, students, and commuters. This project demonstrates strong collaboration among a broad range of participants from the public and private sectors.

Project Highlights:
  • Creates a structurally sound roadway that will reduce traffic congestion and extend the life of local transit buses.
  • Provides access for pedestrians and bicyclists along routes where no lanes for walking or biking currently exist.
  • Creates construction-related jobs and provides access to long-term employment opportunities.
This project will repair a main road in a rural area while creating a modern, multi-modal roadway that supports healthy living, downtown vibrancy, economic development and connectivity. The project provides a ladder of opportunity by directly serving low-income community members, including low income populations that live in multi-unit apartments, mobile home parks, single-family homes, and senior housing. By providing more transportation choices, this project more fully connects people to work, school, and commercial areas.

Additional News:

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces $474 Million for 52 TIGER 2013 Projects in 37 States
Projects Support President Obama's Calls to Create Ladders of Opportunity, 'Fix it First' and Contribute to Economic Growth

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that 52 transportation projects in 37 states will receive a total of approximately $474 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 2013 discretionary grant program. Among these, 25 projects funded at $123.4 million will be designated for projects in rural areas of the country.

"These transformational TIGER projects are the best argument for investment in our transportation infrastructure," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.   "Together, they support President Obama's call to ensure a stronger transportation system for future generations by repairing existing infrastructure, connecting people to new jobs and opportunities, and contributing to our nation's economic growth."

The highly competitive TIGER program offers one of the only federal funding possibilities for large, multi-modal projects that often are not suitable for other federal funding sources.  These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. The 2013 TIGER round alone supports $1.8 billion in overall project investments.

TIGER has enjoyed overwhelming demand since its creation, a trend continued by TIGER 2013.  Applications for this most recent round of grants totaled more than $9 billion, far exceeding the $474 million set aside for the program.  In all, the Department received 585 applications from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

The projects funded through this round of TIGER illustrate the President's goals of creating "Ladders of Opportunity," the need for a "Fix it First" approach to infrastructure, and contributing to America's economic growth.  The following are examples of how TIGER supports these goals:

Ladders of Opportunity:  A good example of a project connecting people to jobs and economic opportunities is the Atlanta Beltline Corridor, a 33-mile system of trails, transit and parks circling downtown Atlanta and connecting more than 45 communities throughout the city and region.  A total of $18 million in TIGER funds will be used to build two miles of the trail.  This project will provide connections for residents in primarily low-income and minority communities to bus routes, rail stations, schools, parks, and other recreational activities.

Fix it First:  The $10 million investment to reconstruct the Tacoma, Wash., rail trestle is a good example of a project that will repair existing infrastructure. Replacing the 100-year old single-track wooden trestle and bridge with a modern twin-track structure will double capacity and improve reliability and travel time for Sounder and Amtrak Cascades passenger rail service.  This "fix it first" project also adds freight capacity on the Tacoma Rail line, contributing to economic growth and supporting Pierce County, the City of Tacoma and the Port of Tacoma.

Economic Growth:  An example of a project that will help jumpstart local and national economic growth is the $10 million investment in the Houston, Texas, Bayport Wharf extension project.  The investment will allow the terminal to double its cargo capacity by 2033, supporting international trade with more than 1,000 ports in 203 countries.  The project will increase the port's ability to take advantage of the ships expected after the Panama Canal expansion and supporting President Obama's goal of doubling exports.   The project also will increase the productivity of the terminal by reducing truck waiting and idling times.

On March 26, 2013, the President signed the FY 2013 Appropriations Act, which after sequestration provided approximately $474 million for Department of Transportation national infrastructure investments.  Like the first four rounds, TIGER 2013 grants are for capital investments in infrastructure and are awarded on a competitive basis based on the published selection criteria.  This is the fifth round of TIGER funding.

Under all five rounds combined, the TIGER program has provided more than $3.6 billion to 270 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  Demand for the program outweighed available funds, and during all five rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 5,200 applications requesting more than $114.2 billion for transportation projects across the country.

Click here for additional information on individual TIGER grants:  www.dot.gov/tiger/.
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Detour Route on Iowa 3

Posted: Mon, September 2, 2013
The detour route for a concrete pavement overlay project on Iowa 3 between Readlyn and Oelwein will change beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3, weather permitting, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation's New Hampton construction office.

Eastbound Iowa 3 traffic wanting to remain on Iowa 3 through Oelwein is detoured north on Bremer County Road V-56, east on Bremer/Fayette County Road C-33, and then south on Iowa 150 to Iowa 3.
Westbound Iowa 3 traffic wanting to remain on Iowa 3 is detoured north on Iowa 3 in Oelwein, west on Bremer/Fayette County Road C-33, then south on Bremer County Road V-56 to Iowa 3.
Oversize loads will be prohibited on the detour route. This project is expected to be completed by Nov. 1.
 
The Iowa DOT reminds motorists to drive with caution, obey posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, drivers should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles and wear seat belts.
 
For traveler information anytime, visit www.511ia.org; call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide); stay connected with 511 on Facebook or Twitter (find links at www.iowadot.com/511/socialmedia.html); or download the free app to your mobile device.
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Rural Issues Roundtable

Posted: Mon, August 26, 2013
Local residents, business owners and community leaders will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about opportunities and challenges in rural Iowa when Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, visits Postville on Thursday, September 12th, at 1:00 p.m. at the Upper Explorerland Conference Room at 134 W Greene Street.  If you would like to speak with Bill Menner before the event please contact Darin Leach at (515) 284-4747.

USDA Rural Development's funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa.  Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $2.5 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families. Today, more than 1.7 million Iowans live in rural communities and areas, and nearly half of the state's communities have fewer than 500 residents.
 
This past year USDA Rural Development's investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,600 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
 
For more information about finance programs available through USDA Rural Development, please call the office located in Waverly at (319) 352-1715 Ext. 4. This office serves communities, businesses and residents in Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek Counties. Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency's web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
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UERPC August Newsletter

Posted: Mon, August 19, 2013
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • Fayette Housing Trust Fund Update
  • Employee Spotlight-Heather Delaney
  • Back to School
  • IowaWorks-Did you Know?
  • Project Update
  • Do You Have a REAL ID?
  • A New "Spin" on Smoothies
  • Welcome Mary!
... [ Read More ]


Region RWIB/CEO Board Meeting Agenda 8-20-13

Posted: Fri, August 16, 2013

Please see below notice for more information.

... [ Read More ]


Tall Corn Stalks Obstruct Views on Roadways

Posted: Thu, August 8, 2013
As Iowa's corn crop grows taller, motorists are urged to use extra caution at roadway intersections and railroad crossings where the driver's view may be obstructed.
 
Iowa Department of Transportation statistics show there were 33 crashes during 2012 at rural intersections due to obstructed views by trees or crops. These crashes killed one person and caused at least 40 injuries, 14 of those were considered major.
 
Jeremey Vortherms, the Iowa DOT's state safety engineer, said, "If you've lived in Iowa through a growing season, you know that crops can obstruct views of highway and railroad intersections in rural areas. Still, it seems people underestimate the danger these intersections can hold. Entering an uncontrolled intersection or railroad crossing requires an added measure of caution. Be alert and take the extra time to look for other vehicles."
 
Vortherms said motorists should treat uncontrolled intersections as if they had stop or yield signs posted, and not enter the intersection or cross the railroad tracks until they are absolutely certain no vehicles are coming from the side roads or trains are present, and then proceed with caution.
 
The danger is not only from oncoming traffic on gravel roads. Trains can be very difficult to spot when tall corn stalks limit the view at a rural crossing. Tammy Nicholson, director of the Iowa DOT's Office of Rail Transportation, says, "Although trains are considerably taller than most crops, it still becomes difficult to see them approaching at an uncontrolled intersection where the view is obstructed by vegetation or other visibility hazards." Nicholson reminds motorists to "Look, Listen and Live" when crossing railroad tracks.
... [ Read More ]

News Headlines

UERPC August 2019 Newsletter

Posted: Thu, August 15, 2019

The UERPC 2019 August Newsletter is here!

Highlights include:

  • 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! Campaign Expands
  • Request for Exhibitors at STEM Festival in Elkader
  • Upcoming Calmar Business Workforce Alliance
  • Get Registered for the 2019 Healthiest State Walk
  • Employee Spotlight:  Mariana Vega
  • It’s Walking and Biking School Bus Time
  • Allamakee County Promotional Video Released
  • August 5-2-1-0 Feature:  Tips to Build a Healthy Lunch
  • Reminder:  UERPC offices will be closed on Monday, September 2nd

Want to receive our newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here:  http://uerpc.org/newsletters.html

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Job Opening- Community Housing Associate

Posted: Tue, July 30, 2019

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission has a job opening for a full-time Community Housing Associate. The Community Housing Associate will work under the general direction of the Housing Department Head and will be responsible for providing community development administrative and technical assistance to Upper Explorerland and its individual member cities and counties. This position works primary with federally funded programs designed to assist low income homeowners and first-time home buyers with housing rehabilitation projects within the five-county region served by Upper Explorerland. The Community Housing Associate assists with all aspects of administering grant programs within the Housing Department, including, but not limited to, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Program, Northeast Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund (NEIRHTF) and Federal Home Loan Bank.

Please submit resume and references to: Katie Nolte, Housing Department Head, 134 W. Greene St., Postville, IA 52162 or email to knolte@uerpc.org. Upper Explorerland is an EEO/EEP employer. 

... [ Read More ]

Job Opening- Career Assistant

Posted: Tue, July 30, 2019

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission has a job opening for a full-time Career Assistant. The Career Assistant will administer services through the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity (WIOA) Act, which include: Provide customer service and basic employment/unemployment assistance to IowaWORKS customers; Refer customers to community and workforce programs/services; Provide administrative and program assistance to workforce staff. Qualifications include: Associate’s Degree in human services field; or Associate’s Degree in Administrative/Office Management with combined experience in social services; Proficient with web-based programs and Google Chrome/G Suite.

Please submit resume and references to: Lisa Curtin, WIOA Title I Director, 312 Winnebago Street, Decorah, IA 52101 or email to lisa.curtin@iwd.iowa.gov. Upper Explorerland is an EEO/EEP employer. 

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The UERPC July 2019 Newsletter is here!

Posted: Mon, July 15, 2019

Check out the newsletter to learn more about:

-City of West Union Awarded CDBG Water/Sewer Grant

-UERPC Receives EDA Planning Investment Award for Region

-Food and Fitness and Iowa Food Hub Update

-2020 Census Job Openings

-"Grow With US" Project Sprouts Young Gardeners

-Employee Spotlight:  Heidi Hackman

-New ICOG Executive Board Members Announced

-Introducing 5-2-1-0 in the Workplace

-Iowa 9 Black Hawk Bridge Update

Want to receive our newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here:  http://uerpc.org/newsletters.html

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