Strengthening North Iowa's Communities and Region

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stat-4 128 Townships
stat-3 67 Cities
stat-2 21 Schools Districts
8 counties

All of the counties or incorporated communities within our eight-county region have chosen to belong to NIACOG. Membership was 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. The counties include: Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Kossuth, Mitchell, Winnebago, and Worth.

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NIACOG provides assistance to its member governments in the following areas: 
  • Planning & Zoning
  • Grant Administration
  • Technical Assistance
  • Transportation Planning
  • Transit Services
  • Safety
  • Housing
  • Mapping
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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, hazard mitigation 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.

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 administer programs.

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 serves as the Regional Planning Affiliation (RPA), as required by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, to perform joint inter-modal planning processes.

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 both a brokerage and a central dispatch operator.

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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 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 staff assist cities and counties with locating financial programs that assist with housing rehabilitation and housing development. NIACOG staff also coordinate the NIACOG Housing Trust Fund, which provides direct assistance for homeowners with low incomes to make home repairs.

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NIACOG staff will create maps for member governments using GIS software.  Contact John Robbins for more details.

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