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Gov. Reynolds Announces Significant Assistance for Iowa Applicants Seeking Federal Broadband Investment

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that Iowa applicants applying for the USDA “ReConnect” Grant Program will have a significant advantage in the application process due to the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative and Iowa’s comprehensive plan for broadband internet expansion.

In December 2018, USDA announced the “ReConnect Program,” which will support broadband with $600 Million in grants and loans for unserved rural areas that do not currently have sufficient access to broadband. To be eligible for the ReConnect Program, applicants must provide broadband service to eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or fewer. To locate areas in Iowa that Federal law designates as “rural,” please review the Mapping Tool at http://reconnect.usda.gov. That communication can be viewed here.  

The USDA will award applications up to 150 points for a number of different criteria. With the Governor’s signed letter articulating Iowa’s qualifications, applicants will be awarded an extra 20 scoring points on their application by the USDA – giving them a greater chance of approval by the USDA. Read a sample letter from Gov. Reynolds here.

“Improving broadband internet access continues to be a top priority because it allows our rural communities to thrive. The Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative along with our focus on broadband internet will put Iowa on the map as a hub for rural connectivity,” said Gov. Reynolds. “By leveraging state, federal, and private resources, we can open the door for even more innovation and breakthroughs.”

“Making broadband a top priority not only means leveraging state dollars, but actively pursuing federal grants that can be used for our benefit,” said Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg. “Through the Governor’s action today and through our focus on empowering rural Iowa, we are taking concrete steps to connect communities by giving these applicants a significant advantage when applying for federal funding.”

To complete an application for USDA ReConnect and maximize your scoring potential, you must submit a map showing the U.S. Census Blocks in which you are proposing to provide service. This map will be Certified and returned by the Office of the Chief Information Officer, with a letter from the Governor.

Tags:  Broadband  Governor Reynolds  ReConnect  USDA 

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Attention Electric Members: Clarification on ME-1 Due Dates

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, May 15, 2019

As a reminder, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) issued an order on March 15, 2019, extending the filing deadline for a utility’s annual report from April 1 to June 1. This extension applies to Part A forms. Part B forms are not currently available or due. Please do not use the 2017 Part B forms.

When new Part B forms become available, notification will be posted to the IUB's website on the “How to File a Utility Annual Report” page and your utility company’s regulatory contact will receive notification. For questions, please call Don Tormey at 515.725.7347 or email don.tormey@iub.iowa.gov.   

To summarize the IUB’s statement, file Part A by June 1 and do not file Part B until you are notified the new forms are available.  If you have any questions on the ME-1, please feel free to contact Krista Wenzel, KDW Advisors, LLC, IAMU Regulatory Partner, at 712.579.6000.

Tags:  Electric  IUB  ME-1 

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Don’t Forget to Register for Golfin’ Fore Safety!

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Just a friendly reminder that IAMU’s Golfin’ Fore Safety is quickly approaching.  The event will take place on Monday, June 24 at Bos Landen Golf Club in Pella, Iowa.

Proceeds from the event go toward purchasing materials and equipment for the IAMU Training Field.

For more information, or to register for the event, click HERE.

Don’t have a team?  We’ll find you one!  There is still room available for interested golfers!  We are looking for additional singles and pairs.

Hope to see you there!

Tags:  Bos Landen  Golfin' Fore Safety  Training Field 

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Water Members: Be on the lookout for salary survey, enter to win $100

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Earlier this week, IAMU sent out a salary survey to our water members. IAMU often gets requests for salary information, so we developed a short survey to collect basic starting salary information for water and wastewater system employees (an electric and gas one were done earlier this year). Although no two systems are the same and there are many other benefits to consider, the survey numbers will give members a starting point when evaluating their wages.

Once we have the information compiled, IAMU will share it with members by posting it on the IAMU website and providing it upon request.

If you have any questions or didn’t receive the survey in your email inbox, please feel free to contact Jill Soenen at jsoenen@iamu.org or by phone at 515.289.1999.

Please have your survey completed by June 3. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered in a drawing for a $100 gift card.

Tags:  Salary Survey  Water 

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OSHA Written Programs Available for Free Download

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, May 8, 2019

IAMU offers members free OSHA compliance programs that may be downloaded and customized to your city/utility.

To access the downloadable materials, you must first sign in as a member. The OSHA Written Programs page is the first link under Safety Services, which you can find under the Services tab in the top navigation bar. The materials are available to utility and affiliate members. 

When using these IAMU programs or programs supplied by other entities, remember there are many responsibilities for employers and employee under each of the programs. Read and understand not only the responsibilities but the entire program. Then, train your employees. 

Additionally, many times, there are requirements within the safety programs to develop processes to support the various programs. For example, under the Energy Control (Lock Out/Tag Out) Program, employers are required to develop machine-specific lock out/tag out procedures. The program is not completed until these procedures are developed.

Questions? Call one of our Safety staff members at (515) 289-1999.

IAMU does offer a fee-for-service that can help you customize your written safety programs. Our Safety & Health Management Services is another IAMU service to help you in the longer task of developing supporting procedures and processes within the written programs. 

Contact David Hraha, Director of Members Services, at (515)-289-1999 to discuss the Safety & Health Management Services.

Tags:  OSHA  Safety Services  Written Programs 

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