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Governor Signs Key Priority Legislation - Connect Every Acre

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, June 24, 2015

 

On Wednesday, June 22, Governor Branstad signed into law a bill addressing one of his key legislative priorities of the last two years - the “Connect Every Acre” bill.  House File 655 encourages the expansion of high-speed broadband internet.  IAMU has been generally supportive of broadband expansion in the state and was registered in support of the Governor’s broadband bill.

Most of the policy included in the bill is to promote expansion of broadband infrastructure in targeted service areas.  A “targeted service area” is defined as a United States census block within which no communications service provider offers broadband service at or above 25 megabits per second of download speed and three megabits per second upload speed.  

The state’s Chief Information Officer is given the duties to implement the various portions of the Act, including adopting rules and procedures to determine whether an area meets the definition of “targeted service area” and to administer the broadband grant program and the fiberoptic network conduit installation program. 

The broadband grant program will provide for grants to assist communication services providers to reduce or eliminate targeted services areas throughout the state.  Grants are limited to a maximum of 15% of the service providers project cost.  There was NO money appropriated for the grant program during the legislative session. However, once the grant program receives funding the office is to award grants on a competitive basis based on the following:

  • The relative need for broadband infrastructure in the area and the existing broadband service speeds.
  • The percentage of the homes, farms, schools, and businesses in the targeted service area that will be provided access to broadband service.
  • The geographic diversity of the project areas of all the applicants.
  • The economic impact of the project to the area.
  • The applicant's total proposed budget for the project, including the amount or percentage of local match, if any.
  • Other factors the office deems relevant.The purpose of the new fiberoptic network conduit installation program is to provide for the installation of fiberoptic network conduit where it doesn’t presently exist.  The CIO is to ensure that providers have the opportunity to lay of install fiberoptic network conduit wherever a state-funded construction project involves trenching, boring a bridge, roadway or opening of the ground, or alongside any state-owned infrastructure.

The Act requires political subdivisions with permitting authority to approve, approve with modification or disapprove nonwireless broadband permits within 60 business days.  If no action is taken within 60 days, the permit is deemed approved. 

A 100% property tax exemption for 10 years is provided in the bill in an amount equal to the actual value added by installation of the broadband infrastructure.  The exemption only applies to infrastructure built between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2020 in targeted service areas. 

The bill also included the cell tower siting provisions which will be discussed in next weeks Informer.

Tags:  Connect Every Acre  Governor  House File 655  Legislative 

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Carlisle's Miller Receives APPA Award

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, June 24, 2015

 

by the American Public Power Association

Don Miller, electric superintendent at Carlisle Municipal Electric Utility in Carlisle, Iowa, received an American Public Power Association Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award at the Association’s national conference in Minneapolis, Minn. This award recognizes managers of small utilities serving fewer than 2,500 meters. These managers have a very small staff and must assume multiple roles. The seven hats they must wear are: planning and design, administration, public relations, field supervision, accounting, human resources, and community leadership. Miller is one of eight winners in 2015.

Miller has been with the City of Carlisle for more than 22 years. He is directly involved in undergrounding electrical lines and making sure the lines are in place for any new construction. He replaced the utility’s outdated meter system to allow for more accurate billing. Miller is on the front lines with customers, answering their questions, and he is a champion of electrical safety.

Tags:  APPA  Award  Carlisle  Don Miller 

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IAMU Launching New Member Portal

Posted By IAMU, Friday, June 19, 2015
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IAMU is hard at work preparing to implement a new member community portal.  This community portal will greatly enhance our member’s experience with event registration and directory listing management.  In addition, new features will be added to iamu.org to include online credit card payment, forums, latest news, and more.  This new portal is scheduled to be implemented by the end of this month.

Some of the features of this new membership portal will include:
  • A personalized log-in to members-only content for each member of IAMU.
  • A personalized profile page for each member of IAMU that can be updated as needed. 
  • Each member city, utility, affiliate, or associate will have the ability to add as many of their employees to their member profile as they wish.  These employees will also be assigned their own log-in to the site to access members-only content.  This gives each member the flexibility to either log in to the site as their member organization itself, or to assign key employees their own logins to use on the site.  
  • Each member organization will have a history of all transactions with IAMU including upcoming and past event registrations and dues history.  Invoices for these transactions may be viewed and printed.  The ability to pay an outstanding invoice online will also be available.
  • Event registration will be greatly enhanced with maps to each event and more information on each event.  Registration forms will be automatically populated with the profile information for the logged in member account.  This information can be overwritten if needed, which will allow a logged in member to register another associate of their organization for an event.  Each form will also allow for multiple registrations from each organization, eliminating the need to fill out a registration form for each associate from the same organization attending the same event.
  • All price calculations for an event are performed onsite and an invoice will be created and emailed to the logged in user.  There will be an opportunity to also print this invoice from the site when registering.
  • Online payment methods will finally be possible through the iamu website.  No more having to wait for a phone call from IAMU to pay with a company credit card!
  • An online forum has been created for members to ask questions and network with other members and IAMU staff.
  • The online directory will be expanded to include affiliate and associate members.  Associate members will no longer be limited to a single product type category.  Each associate will now be listed in any and all product type categories that they specialize in.
  • More features to come in the months ahead!
Be on the lookout for correspondence from IAMU that will be sent to our organization soon.  This will include your initial login and password for your organization to get started on the new member portal!

Tags:  IAMU  Technology  YM 

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Toolbox Talk: Abrasive Grinder Safety

Posted By IAMU, Friday, June 19, 2015

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One of the most commonly used pieces of equipment in any shop is the abrasive wheel grinder. These machines are used to remove excess or to shape metal. The grinder may be a bench mounted or on a pedestal and will use a straight wheel. These types of wheels are designed to be used on the periphery only. Some grinders may also be outfitted with wire wheels or buffing wheels.
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Here are some valuable safety tips when working with grinders:
  • Always wear eye and face protection during grinder use. The grinding operation itself can create chips or metal particles that can embed themselves in your eyes or face. 
  • Make sure that the rpm of the grinder and the abrasive wheel are compatible. Wheels that turn too fast may come apart or explode during use. The rated rpm of the grinder should be legible and available on the nomenclature.
  • Always ring test the abrasive wheel before mounting. This test ensures that there are no cracks or defects that may cause the wheel to explode during use. You gently tap a dry clean wheel with a light nonmetallic tool—perhaps a screwdriver handle for light wheels or a wooden mallet for heavier ones. The tap should produce a clear metallic “ping.” If the sound is more like a dull thud, the wheel is probably cracked and shouldn’t be used.
  • Check the distance of the work rest and tongue guard before using the grinder.
  • Never wear loose clothing, gloves, dangling jewelry, ties, scarves or hair while operating the grinder. They may become entangled in the equipment during use and cause serious injury.

Always wear a face shield in addition to eye protection when using abrasive grinders.


Tags:  Grinders  JT&S  Safety  Toolbox Talk 

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Thank You to 2015 Golfin' Fore Safety Sponsors!

Posted By IAMU, Friday, June 19, 2015

On Wednesday June 24th, nearly 90 golfers will step up to the tee at the 2015 Golfin' Fore Safety outing at Amana Colonies Golf Course. The annual event is a fundraiser fro IAMU's JT&S Department, and this year we've seen tremendous support from a number of companies who've signed on as sponsors. We'd like to take this opportunity to extend a warmTHANK YOU to the following companies and organizations!



Food & Hole-In-One Sponsors

  • Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.,our after-golf BBQ dinner sponsor
  • EMC Insurance, the sponsor of our Hole-In-One contest, a first at Golfin' Fore Safety
  • Jester Insurance Services, the sponsor of our lunch.


Event Sponsors

Hole Sponsors

  • Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.
  • Altec
  • Benefit Resources of Iowa
  • Border States Electric
  • EMC Insurance
  • G&L Clothing
  • Jester Insurance
  • KW Associates
  • IPAIT
  • Irby Utilities

  • NextEra Energy Power Marketing
  • Power Line Supply
  • PCS
  • RESCO
  • RPGI
  • SIMECA
  • Snyder and Associates
  • Van Wert, Inc.
  • WESCO

Tags:  Associates  Golfin' Fore Safety  IAMU  Sponsorship 

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