Learn how Region 6 is making a difference in the communities we serve.
2019 Annual Report
Welcome to our Annual Report. Learn how Region 6 Resource Partners is making a difference in the communities we serve.
Marshalltown Tornado Recovery Assistance
Region 6 staff and resources assisted in multiple ways with Marshalltown tornado housing and commercial recovery efforts. Following the July 2018 tornado, we evaluated where our limited housing trust fund resources could best help with housing recovery. For the first six months we focused on roof, foundation, and other emergency house stabilization efforts. We provided $173,000 of assistance for 22 lower income owner occupied families. Our assistance was for housing repair needs that exceeded insurance coverage or the household had no insurance.
Over the past six months we have completed projects to stabilize the entire house, not just the critical components. We have provided $213,000 of assistance for 21 lower income families. The projects have included siding and window repairs, repairs for poor post tornado contractor workmanship, and similar homeowner improvements. About $352,000 of the funding for these improvements was from Iowa Finance Authority grants and $34,000 was from local contributions from the Region 6 counties.  
We are currently assisting with tornado work that exceeded the $5,000 state grant assistance. This includes inspecting, preparing work write ups and cost estimates for funds that have been raised locally for repairs. We also are at the beginning steps of using $500,000 of HUD Community Development Block Grant funds through the Iowa Economic Development Authority for repairs that exceed the limits of this local fund raising account, and potentially some home reconstruction efforts.
The downtown central business district sustained a direct hit from the tornado. Staff have worked with the Marshalltown Central Business District (MCBD) to secure funding for a two year MCBD Business Disaster Coordinator. This position will be funded by a $70,000 grant from the US Economic Development Administration and $70,000 in matching grant funds from the Martha Ellen Tye Foundation. We will contract with Jenny Etter for this new position.
Region 6 Introduces New Name and Logo
The Region 6 Planning Commission was legally established in 1974 under Chapter 28E of the Code of Iowa. As we started the process of rebranding the organization, we felt the term “Planning Commission” did not fully define our services. With the assistance of marketing agency Froehlich Communications, the Region 6 Board went through a lengthy evaluation process of names.
At the end of the process “Region 6 Resource Partners” was chosen. We often see ourselves as partners with Cities and Counties on getting desired local projects completed. Partnerships with Cities, Counties, state, federal agencies, and many others are a key part of our historical success. We also provide a large number of resources to our partners across Hardin, Marshall, Poweshiek, and Tama Counties. These include things like the annual $300,000 Housing Trust Fund, the $2.78 million annual regional transportation fund, grant writing services, the Peoplerides public transit system, a variety of community planning services, zoning and codification services, disaster response services, and many other projects that help our city and county members.
We work hard daily to be your partner and help implement many needed projects. Our regional name and identity does not change often, but the types of projects and activities that staff have helped communities complete has and will continue to be diverse.
Enhancing Affordable Housing Opportunities
Over the year we assisted these five regional communities access more than $1.1 million of outside grant funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. This funding will help Iowa Falls, Tama, Toledo, Ackley and Melbourne improve at least 30 owner occupied housing units for income qualified families. This funding helps preserve affordable housing units for local residents. Common improvements include new roofs, siding, windows, soffit/fascia/gutters, electrical improvements, radon mitigation and painting.
These 30 homes would not be improved without this assistance. Enhancing the appearance of communities is another benefit. Most of the homeowners have historically wanted to do the improvements, but could not afford to make the repairs.  
Dilapidated Building Demolition Projects
The old Albion School was becoming a liability for the city. The building had many problems including an asbestos containing roof that was in danger of collapsing. We helped the city secure a $60,000 grant to demolish the building and mitigate asbestos. The City provided about $112,000 of cash to help complete the project. The site is a future location for civic or private improvement activities.
Traer Municipal Utilities has a 70 year old power plant that is adjacent to the city and municipal utility offices. The large building is in very deteriorated condition. The city wants to remove the asbestos containing material before a roof collapses or another catastrophic event. We helped the city secure a $24,890 IDNR grant to help with asbestos mitigation.
Funding is available for some small city demolition and commercial rehabilitation projects, so contact us if your city has interest in a project.
Helping Cities Provide Quality Sewer Services
The City of Hubbard had a major rain event in 2014, and 57 households experienced sewer backups. We helped the city secure two $300,000 Community Development Block Grants through the Iowa Economic Development Authority for sewer lining. The lining work will prevent future backups. The system is designed to transport sewage, not large amounts of ground water.
The City of Rhodes is nearing completion of a long standing wastewater collection and treatment improvements project. The city was required to upgrade the wastewater treatment system to comply with IDNR standards. We helped them with a CDBG for the wastewater collection improvements several years ago and another $300,000 grant for the wastewater treatment upgrades.
LeGrand has a wastewater collection system that utilizes a wetland treatment system. This system does not always comply with the new IDNR standards. The city will be expending more than $2 million to convert the system to controlled discharge. We helped the city receive a $300,000 CDBG award for these improvements.
Montezuma also has an aerated lagoon wastewater treatment system. This system does not always comply with the new IDNR standards. The city will be expending more than $4 million to convert the system to a new treatment process. We helped the city receive a $500,000 CDBG award for these improvements.
We have several other communities that we are working with for other sewer and water improvements. Most of the projects take years to put together, and our staff is ready to assist with the process. There is no cost for the initial application.
Iowa River Trail Expansion Assistance
During the past year, the City of Marshalltown paved approximately 0.75 miles of the Iowa River Trail, aided by a large State Recreational Trail grant. This grant will also be used to replace four bridges beyond the paving project. Engineering work for those replacements is underway and partially paid by the same grant.
The Iowa River Trail Placemaking Master Plan process is underway. RDG Planning & Design was selected to complete the Iowa River Trail Placemaking Master Plan, and they are working with a dedicated advisory committee that includes Region 6 staff. The plan will identify areas along the Iowa River Trail for signage, trailheads, amenity development, and public art. The plan will also identify and design signature bridges that are a part of the trail as it traverses the Iowa River from Marshalltown to Steamboat Rock.
Region 6 continues to be involved in the planning and grant writing discussion for future phases of the Iowa River Trail across Hardin and Marshall counties. Both the trail owners — Hardin County and the City of Marshalltown — are actively planning future grant writing activities to pave more miles.  
Regional Road Improvement Projects
Only two paving projects were regionally funded in FY 2019. One Region 6 grant funded project was $1.675 million. This funding was used to resurface parts of F29 from V18 to the Iowa County line. This is the old Highway 6 road from Brooklyn to Victor.
Part of Hardin County D 65 & S57 in Southern Hardin County was the other Region 6 grant funded project at $1.8 million. This is in the Union/New Providence area.
We also funded $7 million in other eligible route improvements in FY 2020–2022. Projects next year total $3.5 million and are located in State Center, Ackley, and rural Marshall, Tama, and Poweshiek counties. Annually we accept applications and encourage cities and counties to submit eligible applications. Most of the funded projects are 3-4 years into the future. If you have a need on your major road system, let us know. Projects must meet certain federally determined standards to be eligible for this funding.  
Peoplerides Regional Transit Solutions
Peoplerides staff and drivers continue to do an exceptional job providing rides for regional cities that have no other transportation options. The team provided 49,000 rides in FY 2019. The majority of our rides are Medicaid related and all staff continually do a great job working with the recipients on many Medicaid funding changes. Peoplerides staff strives to treat all passengers with great care. We routinely receive appreciative comments about our drivers and the service. One of the most appreciative groups is older people who use our service to get to medical appointments and other essential daily functions as in grocery stores.  
The Region 6 Passenger Transportation Plan was developed in 2018-2019. The plan included participation by community members and partner agencies from all four Region 6 counties through countywide public input meetings and an online survey. Some of the Peoplerides goals over the next five years include:
1. Continue to replace vehicles when they exceed the federal useful life threshold.
2. Continue funding operating expenses for current public transit services.
3. Construct indoor storage facilities for vehicles in Marshalltown, Iowa Falls, Grinnell, and Tama.
4. Explore how to make rural transportation for medical service more affordable.
5. Explore how to make in-town transportation service more affordable.
6. Better market Peoplerides services.
7. Evaluate partnership with private taxi operators in Marshalltown to increase night and weekend services.
8. Expand the Peoplerides rural demand response fleet of vehicles to accommodate nearly all Medicaid non-emergency rides.
9. Consider serving the workforce needs of the region through vanpool vehicles.
10. Continue offering monthly transportation services to larger Iowa communities.
11. Work with local partners to assess unmet needs and coordinate service.
Region 6 and Peoplerides staff will continue to research and implement these ideas as funding and staff time allows. 
Zoning Updates Across the Region
Region 6 recently updated comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances and zoning maps for the City of Alden and the City of Le Grand. These communities had zoning ordinances and maps that were decades old and needed to be updated to reflect recent challenges and opportunities.
Communities should evaluate their land use controls every 10+ years to make certain these critical community character controls reflect current goals. This is a service that Region 6 Resource Partners can provide at an affordable level. Get in touch to learn more about starting a project. 
This email was sent to [email address suppressed] by Region 6 Resource Partners, 903 East Main Street, Marshalltown, IA 50158. Questions or inquiries? Call (641) 752-0717. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you may Unsubscribe at any time.