WHAT IS NIACOG?
The North Iowa Area Council of Governments
(NIACOG) is a voluntary association of local
governments established for the purpose of
promoting intergovernmental cooperation and
strengthening local units of government. By
working collectively through the Council of
Governments, cities and counties can share
professional and technical services they could
otherwise not afford.
Unlike municipalities and counties, NIACOG is not
a unit of government, has no power to tax, or to
enact or enforce laws. NIACOG's basic financial
support comes from participating units of local
WHO BELONGS TO NIACOG?
Any of the counties or incorporated communities
within the eight county region can belong to
NIACOG. Membership is obtained by adopting a
single article of agreement and is maintained
through payment of annual dues. Dues are based on
a per capita rate for the resident population.
Representation of the member units of government
is reflected in the NIACOG Board of Directors,
which is the overall decision and policy-making
body. The NIACOG Board of Directors is a 25 person
body; each of the eight counties elect or appoint
two elected officials and one non elected
individual as delegates. There is also one
minority representative selected from the region.
The Board meetings are held the second Monday of
each month at various locations throughout the
region. These meetings help to provide a forum for
continuing communication among local governments.
All meetings are open to the public.
WHAT TYPE OF SERVICES DOES NIACOG OFFER?
The North Iowa Area Council of Governments is a
service oriented agency geared to assist member
units of government and their affiliated groups.
NIACOG is organized to meet daily and long term
operational and planning needs for efficiency and
effectiveness of the units of government. NIACOG
programs are a reflection of the needs of its
Groups which have received assistance include
city and county governments,school districts,
local development corporations and community based
Assistance is available in a variety of areas
including : Community Development - Grant
Administration - Housing - Personnel Planning -
Safety Training - Technical Assistance - Transit -
Transportation Planning MORE DETAILS
The NIACOG Planning staff works with local
representatives in the preparation of local and
regional comprehensive guidelines for development.
This involves planning in the areas of land use,
economic development, recreation, historical
preservation, housing, solid waste, recycling, and
others; in the form of comprehensive development
plans, recreation plans, zoning and subdivision
ordinances, personnel polices, annexation studies,
site designs, neighborhood studies, community
builder plans, and housing needs assessments. By
acting as a conduit for information and projects,
planning by NIACOG allows better coordination and
communication between local governmental units and
state and federal agencies.
Membership with NIACOG allows communities to
obtain management and professional personnel to
assist with local problems. As with all programs
at NIACOG, technical assistance is an essential
ingredient of the planning department's services.
Technical assistance offered by NIACOG has been
expanded to include assistance in the actual
day-to-day operation of city and county government
in the form of circuit riding in administration in
zoning and grantsmanship. This assists city and
county personnel in the performance of their jobs
when specific expertise is required, and enables
cities and counties to receive administrative
technical assistance while eliminating the high
cost of permanent personnel.
NIACOG provides member governments assistance in
making application for, securing and administering
federal and state grants-in-aid. Funding needs
include, but are not limited to, community and
economic development, infrastructure,
transportation, recreation and conservation,
housing, community facilities and services.
The federal and state governments sponsor a wide
variety of programs to be carried out on the local
level. Funds are generally allocated in small,
rural areas on a discretionary basis. Communities
must compete with each other for certain federal
and state program funds. By providing technical
assistance to member governments with grant
administration, NIACOG works to make them better
able to compete for funds and effectively
NIACOG serves as the regional transit authority.
The agency prepares and administers transit
operating and capital grants; prepares, negotiates
and administers contracts with local governments
and transit operators; provides financial
assistance for service operation; maintains a
bookkeeping and data collection system to monitor
transit operation; promotes and markets transit
services; implements service improvements;
coordinates existing transit services and expands
service to non-served jurisdictions. NIACOG serves
as a brokerage, rather than as a central dispatch
NIACOG is the administrating agent for the North
Iowa Safety Coalition (NoRISC). NoRISC provides
safety training sessions to city and county
employees, written programs, and facility safety
inspections with the goal of bringing all its
members into compliance with OSHA standards for a
safe work environment. Membership is open to all
cities and counties in the NIACOG region and dues
are based on a per employee basis.
NIACOG serves as the Regional Planning
Affiliation (RPA), as required by the Federal
Highway Administration and Federal Transit
Administration, to perform joint inter-modal