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Iowa Agencies Promote National School Bus Safety Week

Posted: Mon, October 22, 2012
The Iowa departments of Transportation, Education and Public Safety are joining the National Association for Pupil Transportation in promoting National School Bus Safety Week Oct. 22-26, 2012. Motorists can expect heightened traffic enforcement directed toward persons who illegally pass stop school buses during this period.

The theme for this year's educational campaign is "I See the Driver. The Driver Sees Me!" It is derived from the national school bus safety poster contest held in 2011.
The purpose of the annual safety week is to educate students, parents/caregivers, bus drivers, educators and motorists about the importance of school bus safety and measures they can take to decrease injuries and fatalities.

Each year, more than 800 students nationally are killed going to and from school. In Iowa, there were 207 school bus-related crashes in 2011, including three fatalities and seven major injuries. Through July 31 of this year, there have been 86 school bus-related crashes.

To learn more about school bus safety, what motorists must do when a school bus is stopped, how students can safely board or unload from a school bus, and the penalties for illegally passing a stopped school bus, go to www.iowadot.gov/schoolbus. 

In March 2012, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law Senate File 2218, the Keep Aware Driving - Youth Need School Safety Act, commonly known as Kadyn's Law. The law is named after Kadyn Halverson, age 7, who was struck by a pickup truck while trying to cross the road to board her school bus.

Kadyn's Law increased the criminal penalties for illegally passing a stopped school bus and directed the Iowa DOT to adopt rules that increase the administrative driving privilege sanctions. Under these rules, a person's driving privilege will be suspended 30 days for a first conviction, 90 days for a second, and 180 days for a third or subsequent conviction.

... [ Read More ]


UERPC October Newsletter

Posted: Mon, October 15, 2012
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • Community Foundations Are Awarded
  • Are you Ready to Be Interviewed?
  • Metronet
  • Thank you Dave!
  • Don't Miss the next City Clerk Meeting!
  • UERPC Partnership with Hawkeye Community College
  • Guttenberg Comprehensive Plan
  • Tours Throughout the Area
  • Congratulations to Fayette
... [ Read More ]


Be a 'walk star" Oct. 3 by joining International Walk to School Day

Posted: Mon, September 17, 2012
Be a "walk star" by participating in International Walk to School Day Wednesday, Oct. 3. 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 Day is expected to draw participation from 5,000 schools from all 50 states. 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.walktoschool.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 john@iowabicyclecoalition.org.
... [ Read More ]


UERPC September Newsletter

Posted: Mon, September 17, 2012
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • Tell Us About Your Projects
  • Dream Big Grow Here $15K Competition
  • 2013 Tax Tables Move in a Positive Direction
  • NE IA Team Selected to Participate in Job Access Mobility Institute
  • Safe Routes Update
... [ Read More ]


Political Campaign Signs: Where can they be legally posted?

Posted: Tue, September 4, 2012
Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation remind campaigners of the statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to the placement of political campaign signs in the state. A section of the Iowa DOT's website is devoted to answering the most frequently asked questions about legal posting of such signs - www.iowadot.gov/iowaroadsigns/pol_sign_info.html

"We realize that most sign violations are the result of efforts of ardent campaign supporters who are unfamiliar with the laws. Therefore, the Iowa DOT has prepared information to be used as a guide for political candidates, party chairs, campaign workers and election officials, to help them become acquainted with the laws before this year's signs are posted," said Iowa DOT spokeswoman Dena Gray-Fisher.

The Iowa DOT is urging individuals to visit the website or speak to their political headquarters to insure campaign signs are properly placed and to avoid having signs removed from the public right of way.

... [ Read More ]


UERPC August Newsletter

Posted: Mon, August 20, 2012
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • State Revolving Fund Interest Rate Proposal will Lower Rates
  • Small Business Outreach Program
  • Brownfields Successes!
  • City of Elgin Awarded RBEG Grant
  • Safe Routes Tally Report
  • UERPC Receives Technology Funds
  • IEDA Visits Northeast Iowa
... [ Read More ]


Turkey River Trail Grand Opening Ceremony

Posted: Wed, August 15, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Turkey River Recreational Corridor is excited to
celebrate the Grand Opening of Phase I of
The Turkey River Land Trail!

9:00 a.m.—Fun walk, run or bike from Clermont & Elgin
10:00 a.m.—Grand Opening Ceremony
11:00 a.m.—Turkey River Turkey Dash
Refreshments following

Location: The new pedestrian bridge located next to the
Valley Bridge Canoe Access #62 on Canoe Road (County Hwy W51)

Parking available at the Valley School parking lot.
Purchase a turkey for just $5.00 for your chance to win great
prizes during the Turkey Dash race on the Turkey River.
Tickets are available at the Fayette County Economic
Development office and Elkader City Hall.

... [ Read More ]


Northeast Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund Annual Meeting Announced

Posted: Tue, August 7, 2012
The Northeast Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 3:30 P.M. at the Upper Explorerland Conference Room, 134 W. Greene Street, Postville, IA.  You are invited to attend this public meeting to learn about the Trust Fund and its application procedures, and about the type of home repair projects funded thus far.  Your feedback on our Housing Assistance Plan is important to the process, and copies will be available for your review.  Please join us!  Treats will be provided. 

... [ Read More ]


Fayette County Local Housing Trust Fund Annual Meeting

Posted: Tue, August 7, 2012
The Fayette County Local Housing Trust fund will hold its fifth annual meeting on Wednesday, August 15th at 3:00 p.m. at the Fayette Library ICN room.  Citizens and officials from Fayette County communities and the rural area are invited to attend this public meeting and learn about the Housing Trust Fund, its application procedures and the types of home repair projects funded thus far.  Community feedback on our Housing Assistance Plan is important to the process, and copies will be available for review.  Treats will be provided.

... [ Read More ]


IFA Awards HOME Funds to UERPC for the city of Oelwein

Posted: Wed, August 1, 2012
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 City of Oelwein.  The award of the HOME funds was matched with a local commitment from the City of Oelwein.

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 can 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. 106 to sign up.

Applications will be accepted beginning August 15th, 2012.

Below are the income guidelines by household size: 

  •  Household Size 1: Gross Income-$33,250
  •  Household Size 2: Gross Income-$38,000
  •  Household Size 3: Gross Income-$42,750
  •  Household Size 4: Gross Income-$47,450
  •  Household Size 5: Gross Income-$51,250
  •  Household Size 6: Gross Income-$55,050
  •  Household Size 7: Gross Income-$58,850
  •  Household Size 8: Gross Income-$62,650


If you are interested and meet the qualifications outlined above we would like to hear from you.  Applications can be picked up at the Oelwein City Hall or by calling Lori Brockway at Upper Explorerland RPC, at 563-864-7551 ext.106.  Applications can also be accessed by clicking below.


Equal Housing Opportunity


... [ Read More ]


IFA Awards HOME Funds to UERPC for 3 Cities in the Region

Posted: Wed, August 1, 2012
Iowa Finance Authority Awards HOME Funds to UERPC for Strawberry Point, Garnavillo and McGregor!

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 McGregor, Garnavillo and Strawberry Point.  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 can 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 106 to sign up!

Applications will be accepted beginning August 15th,  2012.

Below are the income guidelines by household size:

  • Household Size 1: Gross Income-$33,250
  • Household Size 2: Gross Income-$38,000
  • Household Size 3: Gross Income-$42,750
  • Household Size 4: Gross Income-$47,450
  • Household Size 5: Gross Income-$51,250
  • Household Size 6: Gross Income-$55,050
  • Household Size 7: Gross Income-$58,850
  • Household Size 8: Gross Income-$62,650

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 Lori Brockway at Upper Explorerland RPC, at 563-864-7551 ext. 106.  Applications can also be accessed by clicking below.

Equal Housing Opportunity
... [ Read More ]


WIA Annual Report has been posted

Posted: Wed, August 1, 2012
The Workforce Investment Act Annual Report for the program year 2011 has been posted to our Workforce page.  To access the document click below.
... [ Read More ]


Fayette County Local Housing Trust Fund Annual Meeting

Posted: Tue, July 31, 2012
The Fayette County Local Housing Trust fund will hold its fifth annual meeting on Wednesday, August 15th at 3:00 p.m. at the Fayette Library ICN room.  Citizens and officials from Fayette County communities and the rural area are invited to attend this public meeting and learn about the Housing Trust Fund, its application procedures and the types of home repair projects funded thus far.  Community feedback on our Housing Assistance Plan is important to the process, and copies will be available for review.  Treats will be provided.
... [ Read More ]


Turkey River Rocks!

Posted: Mon, July 30, 2012
On Saturday, August 11, 2012 you can experience the Turkey River with other community leaders and residents within the Turkey River Watershed. The cost is $20, which includes registration, float insurance, your evening meal and live music entertainment. Registration is at 8 a.m. in Elkader. After a short program beginning at 10 a.m.; the float will begin at 11:30 from Elkader to Motor Mill. Meal time is set for 5:00 p.m. at Motor Mill with live music throughout the evening!
 
At Elkader, Motor Mill and along the way, experts will discuss river history and ecology and conservation partnerships. The goal is to get everyone better acquainted with the natural wonders and economic vitality of the Turkey Valley. Turkey River Rocks is sponsored by Iowa Rivers Revival and the Turkey River Recreational Corridor. For more information please contact Robin Bostrom at 563-422-3070.

... [ Read More ]


RWIB-Notice of Meeting

Posted: Thu, July 26, 2012
There will be a meeting of the Executive Board members of the Regional Workforce Investment Board (RWIB) on Monday, July 30, 2012 at 4:00 a.m.  This meeting will be conducted via telephone conference call.  For information on the pending agenda or phone-in instructions, please contact Ardie Kuhse at Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission, 563-864-7551.

Meetings held by the Department of Workforce Development are accessible to all.  If you have special needs to participate in this meeting, please call the above listed number to be placed on the agenda and to obtain the call-in information..

... [ Read More ]


CEO-Notice of Meeting

Posted: Wed, July 25, 2012
A special meeting of the CEO (Chief Elected Officials) Board will be held on Monday, July 30, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.  This meeting will be held via telephone conference call.  For information on the pending agenda, and for call-in instructions, please contact Ardie Kuhse at Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission, 563-864-7551.

Meetings held by the Department of Workforce Development are accessible to all.  If you have special needs to participate in this meeting, please call the above listed number to be placed on the agenda.
... [ Read More ]


UERPC July Newsletter

Posted: Mon, July 16, 2012
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • Howe is Named Executive Director
  • Christensen attends IA Trails Summit
  • EDA Investment Award to UERPC
  • Save the Date for Turkey River Rocks!
  • Legislative Event Success
  • Get To Know Your Region
  • Downtown Grant Awards
... [ Read More ]


Tall Corn Stalks Obstruct Views

Posted: Fri, July 13, 2012
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 28 crashes during 2011 at rural intersections due to obstructed views by trees or crops. These crashes killed one person and caused at least 34 injuries, six of those were considered major.
 
Jeremey Vortherms, the Iowa DOT's state safety engineer, said, "Obstructed views at highway and railroad intersections in rural areas are a common occurrence in Iowa during the summer and fall. Entering an uncontrolled intersection or railroad crossing requires an added measure of caution. Be alert and take the extra time; One Death is Too Many."
 
During the summer months when corn detasseling and other agricultural operations are underway, and then again during the fall harvest period, traffic increases on rural roads, making encounters with other motor vehicles and farm equipment more frequent and often unexpected.   
 
While motorists often rely on dust patterns to judge oncoming traffic on gravel roads, Vortherms says this method is not reliable and should not be used. Periods of wet weather and special roadway treatments can hold down the dust and make it more difficult to tell if a motor vehicle is approaching on a side road. Loose gravel can also make controlling a vehicle very difficult when making any sudden stop.
 
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.
 
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 ]


Live Bear Educational Program in Decorah on 7/31

Posted: Wed, July 11, 2012
The Winneshiek County Conservation Board and the Pella Wildlife Company will present "Bears of Iowa" on Tuesday, July 31 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 117 of Valders Memorial Hall of Science on the Luther College campus.

The event is open to the public with no charge for admission.

"Bears of Iowa" features two live black bear cubs, and discusses species identification, behavior, impact on agriculture, and interactions with people. The program focuses on habituation, urban wildlife conflicts, and how to safely photograph and interact with wildlife in their natural habitat.

The non-profit Pella Wildlife Company, licensed under the U.S. Animal Welfare Act of the USDA and located in Des Moines, Iowa, was established in 2006 to focus on three areas of animal welfare: education, sustainability, and conservation. It strives to help the public understand our history, participate in conservation, and preserve the future habitat and ecosystems we all share and live in.

A black bear has recently been reported roaming across northeast Iowa, and has been sighted several times in Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fayette, and other counties. Black bears in Iowa are almost always young males from established populations in Wisconsin or Minnesota that are searching for mates and have been forced out of their territories by more dominant males.

Black bears were once widespread across Iowa, particularly in more heavily wooded areas. As Iowa was settled, the killing of many bears for food and hides and the loss of their forested habitat dramatically decreased the bear population, to the extent that the last historical sighting of a bear in Iowa was in 1876 near Spirit Lake. New reports of black bears in Iowa began to occur in the 1960s. The recent rise in sightings in Iowa is due to increasing black bear populations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

For more information on this program, please contact the Winneshiek County Conservation Board at (563) 534-7145.
... [ Read More ]


Cresco Airport Receives Funds

Posted: Tue, July 10, 2012
The Iowa Transportation Commission today approved $5.6 million for the fiscal year 2013 State Aviation Program, which includes several subprograms detailed below.  
 
The Airport Improvement Program (AIP) will provide more than $3.2 million for aviation safety, planning and development. Projects funded through the AIP include:
  • maintenance of aviation weather systems;
  • runway marking;
  • windsocks;
  • emergency operational repairs at publicly owned airports;
  • match for federal statewide planning studies;
  • land-use planning;
  • air service development; and
  • wildlife mitigation at airports.

AIP programs are funded with revenue from aircraft registration fees and aviation fuel taxes.  Among these awards was $42,500 for the Cresco Municipal Airport - Ellen Church Field, to update their master plan.

Aviation vertical infrastructure programs will provide nearly $2.4 million for projects at all eight commercial service airports and seven general aviation airports throughout Iowa. These programs provide funding for maintenance and development of airport facilities, such as terminal buildings, maintenance facilities and aviation hangars. Vertical infrastructure programs are funded through the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund.
 
The State Aviation Program supplements local and federal funding sources, and seeks to maintain a safe and balanced statewide air transportation system. For additional details on the FY 2013 State Aviation Program, see http://www.news.iowadot.gov/newsandinfo/2012/07/iowa-transportation-commission-approves-2013-state-aviation-program-topstatesia.html
 
For additional information regarding aviation in Iowa, visit www.iowadot.gov/aviation
... [ Read More ]


Howe Is Named Executive Director

Posted: Mon, July 9, 2012
Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) is delighted to announce the promotion of Rachelle Howe to Executive Director effective August 1, 2012.   Howe graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism. Howe was the Executive Director of Allamakee County Economic Development for 14 years before accepting a position at UERPC as Team Leader in Economic Development.  She quickly became a Department Head after being with UERPC after two years.  Howe is married with two children, Will and Grace and is a native of Waukon.

Howe states, "It is said best by Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."  Howe states, "I believe that UERPC staff as concerned citizens for our region believe in this motto.  UERPC board and staff members can change the economic overview and want to make Northeast Iowa a wonderful place to live, work and play."

"I am excited to be a part this positive movement and hope to lead UERPC and the Northeast Iowa region toward this mission."

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission was created in 1972 to promote regional cooperation and meet the planning and economic development needs of local governments in the 52 cities and five Northeast Iowa counties of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties.  Since 1972, UERPC has helped the region obtain over $184 million in federal and state grant funds to assist the cities and counties they serve.  It also serves as the fiscal agent for Region1 Employment and Training.

For more information on what Upper Explorerland has to offer visit their website at www.uerpc.org or contact Rachelle Howe at rhowe@uerpc.org or 563-382-6171.
... [ Read More ]


No online driver's license renewal system exists in Iowa

Posted: Sun, July 8, 2012
Contrary to published reports, the Iowa Department of Transportation has not established an online driver's license renewal system. Reports that a system took effect July 1 are inaccurate.
 
Senate File 2338, an Act relating to government operations and efficiency and other related matters, contained a provision authorizing the Iowa DOT to begin online driver's license renewal effective July 1; however, that bill was vetoed May 25.  
 
Because online driver's license renewal is more cost effective to administer and convenient for the public, the Iowa DOT remains committed to establishing such a system in the future; however, no firm date has been set.
 
The Iowa DOT is presently exploring options that may permit establishment of such a system without necessitating revisions to the Iowa Code. When a system is made available, the Iowa DOT will notify the public.  
 
The Iowa DOT is making an increasing number of driver services available online. If you want to look at your driving record or receive an electronic reminder when it is time to renew your driver's license, sign up today at: https://mymvd.iowadot.gov/.
... [ Read More ]


New flashing yellow arrows to direct left-turning traffic

Posted: Thu, July 5, 2012
Do you stay or do you go? Is oncoming traffic stopped? Motorists attempting to make a left turn will no longer have to wonder what message the traffic signal is conveying.

The Federal Highway Administration has adopted the flashing yellow arrow as a national standard for permissive left-turn operations. Several such signals have already been installed in Iowa.

Others will be installed by the Iowa Department of Transportation and local jurisdictions throughout Iowa as agencies upgrade their traffic signals or make improvements at intersections.

The new left-turn signal head has four signals (listed from top to bottom).
1)    Steady red arrow:  Drivers turning left must stop and wait.

2)    Steady yellow arrow:  The left-turn signal is about to turn red. Do not enter the
       intersection if you can stop safely. Complete your left turn if you are already within
       the intersection.
3)    Flashing yellow arrow:  Yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians; then turn left
       proceeding with caution. Oncoming traffic has a green light.

4)    Steady green arrow:  Drivers can proceed with the left turn. Oncoming traffic
       must stop. Do not go straight.

The flashing yellow left-turn arrow is intended to:
  • Help prevent crashes. A national study demonstrated that drivers found flashing yellow left-turn arrows more understandable than traditional yield-on-green indications.
  • Reduce traffic delays. There are more opportunities to make a left turn with the flashing yellow left-turn arrow than with the traditional three-arrow, red, yellow and green indications. This helps reduce delays at intersections, which save time and fuel.
  • Provide more traffic management flexibility. The new traffic signals provide traffic engineers with more options to handle variable traffic volumes.

Visit the Iowa DOT's website at http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ods/flashingyellowarrow.html to take a look at the new signals and learn more about their use.

... [ Read More ]


DOT Reminder of Harvesting of Grass

Posted: Thu, July 5, 2012
Can the grass within the right of way of state-maintained highways be legally harvested for livestock feed? Yes, during certain periods of the year and with a permit issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation. Grazing is not permitted. Permits are required to access or perform any type of work within the state highway right of way.

Persons interested in applying for a permit should contact the Iowa DOT. Not all highway right of way may be mowed; and annual permits may have already been issued for some areas. Iowa DOT staff will be able to help identify available areas.

Iowa law prohibits mowing of roadside vegetation on the right of way or medians of any primary highway, interstate highway or secondary road prior to July 15, except:
  • Within 200 yards of an inhabited dwelling.
  • On right of way within one mile of the corporate limits of a city.
  • To promote native species of vegetation or other long-lived and adaptable vegetation.
  • To establish control of damaging insect populations, noxious weeds and invasive plant species.
  • For visibility and safety reasons.
  • Within rest areas, weigh stations and wayside parks.
  • Within 50 feet of a drainage tile or tile intake.
  • For access to a mailbox or for other accessibility purposes.
  • On right of way adjacent to agricultural demonstration or research plots.

The Iowa DOT has established two periods for harvesting grass within the state-maintained highway right of way.
  • July 15-Sept. 1: For cool-season grasses and forage legumes (e.g., smooth brome, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, alfalfa, bird's-foot trefoil)
  • July 15-Aug. 15: For areas containing warm-season native grasses (e.g., switchgrass, big bluestem, little bluestem, Indiangrass, sideoats grama, Canada wildrye)
 
The Iowa DOT may restrict operations or define additional stipulations in the permit, including those that affect the health of vegetation. Mowing of nurse crop or newly seeded areas that are not yet fully established will not be permitted. (It can take four to five years following seeding for an area to become fully established.)

All work shall be performed between 30 minutes after sunrise and 30 minutes before sunset. Work that is performed between the road and ditch bottom requires traffic control. All personnel must wear approved safety apparel, which the Iowa DOT will provide for the applicant when the permit is approved.

The Iowa DOT makes no guarantee as to the quality and quantity of the grasses, or presence of any toxic materials or other contaminants. Applicants should check with the local Iowa DOT maintenance facility for herbicide application records.

Iowa DOT Form 810050 - Harvesting and Mowing Permit Application - is available from any of the representatives listed below or online athttps://forms.iowadot.gov/FormsMgt/External/810050.pdf. The application covers three types of operations: (1) mowing only; (2) harvesting hay in large or small bales; or (3) harvesting plant material other than hay with machinery, by hand or with hand tools.

Contact the representative serving the area nearest where you would like to harvest grass to receive assistance in processing your permit application.  See below for contact information.
... [ Read More ]


Don't let distractions keep you from the fireworks this July Fourth holiday

Posted: Sun, July 1, 2012
The Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting that 2012 is already turning out to be a very deadly year on Iowa roadways. With the busy travel time for the July Fourth holiday coming soon, the Iowa DOT wants to make sure you make it to the fireworks by cautioning drivers to focus their attention on the task of driving when behind the wheel and ensuring that all persons in the vehicle are buckled up.
 
Of the 153 deaths reported in January through May 2012, 33 involved crashes where a vehicle crossed the centerline and caused a collision. This is compared to 12 such fatalities in the same time period in 2011; and an average of 24 deaths for these five months in the five-year period from 2006-2010.
 
Jeremey Vortherms, the Iowa DOT's state safety engineer, said, "Crossed centerline and lane departure crashes are almost always caused by driver distraction, which means most of them are preventable. It takes only a fraction of a second to be distracted while driving, which can have permanent and irrevocable consequences. Because everyone is affected when drivers are distracted, everyone must be part of the solution."
 
According to www.distraction.gov, nationally 3,092 people were killed in 2010 in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
 
Many distractions within your vehicle can divert your attention away from the primary task of driving and should not be conducted while your vehicle is in motion. There are four primary types of distractions, any one of which can lead to a crash.
  • Visual distractions (looking away)are activities that cause a driver to take his or her eyes off the road; for example, watching a TV/movie, reading a map or newspaper, observing the actions of others in the vehicle, or looking at a navigational device.  
  • Manual distractions (hands off the wheel)involve a driver removing his or her hands from the vehicle's steering wheel; for example, adjusting your mirrors/steering wheel/seat, texting, fiddling with any of the dozens of electronic gadgets in the vehicle, personal grooming, eating/driving, smoking, or tending to passengers or pets.
  • Cognitive distractions (look, but don't see)cause drivers to take their thought and concentration off the road; for example, using a hands-free or Bluetooth device, daydreaming, talking to passengers, texting.
  • Auditory distractions (following the sound)are the noises and sounds inside your vehicle that can distract you; for example,carrying a conversation on the phone, passenger conversations, and listening to the radio/TV/movie/other electronic device.
Texting demands a driver's visual, manual and cognitive attention, and is considered the most risky in-vehicle driver distraction. Banned in Iowa, texting while driving can affect a driver's ability to the same extent as driving drunk.
 
Safe driving includes minimizing distractions, wearing seat belts, obeying speed limits, and never driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. 
... [ Read More ]

News Headlines

Check out these upcoming events in and around Riceville on May 5th!

Posted: Thu, April 26, 2018

Check out these events happening in and around Riceville on May 5th!

1)  IronHorse Half-Marathon, 10K & 5K Race - first USTAF Certified and Sanctioned race of its kind in our area and it is being run nearly exclusively on the Wapsi-Great Western Line (WGWL) Trail - Iowa's first interstate connecting trail with Minnesota. 

2) WGWL Trail's Southern Branch Grand Opening with five Celebration Stations to enjoy as enthusiasts traverse the new section of trail.

To learn more, check out the WGWL Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/wgwltrail/

... [ Read More ]

NEIRHTF is now Accepting Applications

Posted: Tue, April 24, 2018

NEIRHTF ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

The Northeast Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund (NEIRHTF) is accepting applications for housing rehabilitationimprovement projects.  Applicants can be low-moderate income homeowners, landlord/for-profit organizations or non-profit organizations to promote and create affordable housing activities.  All applicants must be in one of the four counties of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek. Eligible projects include rehabilitation and repair of existing housing, including, but not limited to: Roofs, windows, siding, plumbing electrical, energy efficiency, lead paint issues, and handicap accessibility.

For more information on the NEIRHTF or to see if there is funding in your area, please contact Upper Explorerland RPC, at 563-864-7551 ext. 101 for Sarah Snitker.  You can also obtain an application online at www.uerpc.org, Housing, Northeast Iowa Housing Trust Fund.

This institution is an Equal Opportunity Provider.

Esta institución es un Proveedor de Igual Oportunidad

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UERPC April Newsletter

Posted: Mon, April 16, 2018

Some of the headlines you can read about this month include:

  • Spring Walking School Bus Season is here!
  • Board Member Spotlight D. Warren Fisk
  • Monthly Workshops at IowaWORKS in Decorah
  • Northeast Iowa Farmer's Markets
  • Walk-on Waukon
  • Walk More Connect More
  • Solar Energy for Non-Taxable Entities Workshop
  • Selling Essentials for Iowa Businesses
  • Upcoming Allamakee County Housing Study Meetings
  • Jes Wegner Recognized for Physical Activity Efforts in Fayette County
  • Don't forget Mother's Day - Sunday, May 13th!
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UERPC March Newsletter

Posted: Mon, March 19, 2018

Some of the headlines you can read about this month include:

  • ICOG Legislative Breakfast
  • Upcoming Events
  • Healthy kids and families live 5-2-1-0
  • IowaWORKS to host "Real Colors" workshop
  • Iowa Association of Councils of Governements Staff Training
  • Winter Marathon Challenge Receives Positive Feedback from Participants
  • Luther College Job Fair a success
  • NEIRHTF has funding available
  • UERPC offices will be closed Friday, March 30th for Good Friday
... [ Read More ]
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