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Uniquely Urbandale, it is more than the City’s logo, it is our culture.  Urbandale is a modern suburb that has not forgotten its small-town charm.   Urbandale is known for our safe streets and neighborhoods, our rich parks and recreational trails, and business opportunities and places to work.  Urbandale is a community that has something for everyone.  You are invited to browse this website to learn more about Urbandale.  For more information, please feel free to contact the City at 515-278-3900 or by email.

What's New – Urbandale News and Announcements
Centennial Logo Contest Extended

Entrants now have until Nov. 30 to submit a design in the Urbandale Centennial Steering Committee’s logo contest. Individuals of all ages who have a current or previous vested interest in Urbandale, either by residence, business or community involvement, are eligible. 

“We extended the deadline because we want entrants to have ample time to prepare their designs,” said E.J. Giovannetti, co-chairman of the committee. “And we’re eager to collect a variety of ideas before making a final selection.”

The logo may be used on letterhead, Web sites, signage, T-shirts, memorabilia and other items related to the Centennial celebration from July 4, 2016, to July 4, 2017.

Finalists will be chosen in three categories: Ages 12 and younger, Ages 13 to 18 and Ages 19 and older. Each finalist will be awarded $100, and the winner will receive $250.

For a complete list of contest rules and submission requirements, go to www.urbandalenetwork.org/centennial. For more information about the centennial or the logo contest, or for sponsorship information, contact UCAN Program Director Mary Polson at 515-278-3936 or e-mail info@urbandalenetwork.org.

DART News for November 2014

New tools making riding DART easier
DART recently launched a suite of MyDART Tools, which use both schedule and real-time bus location information. Visit www.ridedart.com to check them out:

  • Trip Planner is an online trip planning tool, which now includes the Next DART Bus feature. 
  • Real-Time Map is an online map that lets riders monitor buses on route in real time. 
  • Alerts is an email-notification program that allows riders to set reminders for regular transit trips.

No DART service on Thanksgiving Day
DART will not operate bus service Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014, in observation of Thanksgiving Day and DART Central Station and the administrative offices will be closed. Additionally, on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, DART will operate on its Saturday schedule. Hours for the customer service window and schedule information phones will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and administrative offices are closed. Regular service and office hours will resume on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014.

For more information, please visit www.ridedart.com or call DART Customer Service at 515-283-8100.

Call to Artists for the Urbandale Art Park

The Urbandale Public Art Committee has issued its 2015-2016 Call to Artists for the Urbandale Art Park.  The Urbandale Public Art Committee invites you to submit an application to participate in the Urbandale Art Park Exhibition.  The Urbandale Public Art Committee will oversee the selection of 2-3 sculptures which will be secured to concrete pads in the Urbandale Art Park for a 10 month exhibition during 2015-16.  Selected artists will receive a $1,200 stipend for loaning the work for the exhibition time period. There is no application fee.  For more information contact, Parks and Recreation Director, Jan Herke at 515-278-3963. 

Metro Home Improvement Program

The City of Urbandale with the collaboration of nine other metro cities participates in The Metro Home Improvement Program with the purpose to preserve affordable housing stock in these communities. The participating cities are Ankeny, Altoona, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Urbandale, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights. The Program is currently accepting applications from Urbandale homeowners interested in the program.  The Program is able to assist three to four homeowners per funding period.  Homeowners that are not assisted presently will be placed on a waiting list for the next available funding.

The assistance is for housing repairs and correcting code violations up to $12,500. The awards are in the form of a five-year forgivable loan to eligible households with income less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Polk County. Eligible property types are single family dwellings and do not include mobile homes, homes being purchased on contract, duplexes or rental units. The house assisted must be the primary residence of the applicant and assessed below $161,212. Property taxes, mortgage payments and insurance must be current.  The Metro Home Improvement Program is administered by the City of West Des Moines. The program is funded through the participating cities and the Polk County Housing Trust Fund.  For further information, please contact Christine Gordon or Kay Schoon at (515) 273-0770.  Download an application here.

City Treasurer Don Brush Named Sage Over 70

For the fourth annual Sages Over 70 recognition, dsm is pleased to honor Chuck Betts, J.C. “Buz” Brenton, Don Brush, Judy Conlin, Patty Cownie and Stan Reynolds. In the stories below, their friends, family members and colleagues show us how the honorees have used their creativity, energy and passion to enrich the community in ways that benefit us all. On this video, the Sages share experiences and insights gained from a lifetime of giving.  From the community, City and Mayor and Council congratulations Don!

Yard Waste Season Ends November 29th

2014 Compost It! Season – Now through Nov. 29 - The weather is becoming chilly, which means yards are full of leaves and gardens are filled with dead plants and flowers.  Make sure all your yard and garden waste is ready for collection before the end of the season. November 24-29 is the final week for curbside collection through the Compost It! program.  Bags and stickers are sold at local hardware, grocery and convenient stores. A complete list of vendors is available at www.WhereItShouldGo.com.  For more information, including what is accepted and what is not accepted, visit www.WhereItShouldGo.com or call 515.244.0021.

Citizen of the Year Nominations Sought

The Urbandale Chamber of Commerce is looking for its 2014 Citizen of the Year.  If you know of someone who has made positive impacts to the Urbandale community, please consider completing the Nomination Form.  This prestigious award will be given to the citizen selected at the Chamber’s Celebration of Business Dinner held January 29, 2015. Individuals may nominate themselves for this award.  Requirements are that the individual nominated must be or have been a resident of Urbandale at one time.  For more information contact Jeana Schultz at the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce at jschultz@urbandalechamber.com.  

Endow Urbandale Kicks Off Annual Fund-Raising Campaign

The Board of Trustees of the Endow Urbandale Community Fund will begin its annual fund-raising campaign in mid-November with the hope that Urbandale residents are becoming more aware of the benefits of the organization.

“This fall, four local groups received grants from Endow Urbandale, which has been working since 2001 to grow the endowment fund,” said trustee Steve Lytle. “Through prudent investment, this fund can enhance Urbandale’s quality of life by supporting education, youth development, community development, cultural amenities, the arts and health and human services.”

The Urbandale Historical Society was selected as one of this year’s recipients of grant money from Endow Urbandale. Historical Society board member Virginia Gee said the group was “honored” to receive the grant.  “We had known of the organization as one raising money to support local groups, but had not realized we could eventually be fortunate enough to receive an award,” Gee said. The Historical Society received $4,000 for the repairs of the memorial walkways in front of the Olmsted-Urban House and the walkway around the parking lot of the property. The brick walkways need to be raised and repaired for the safety of visitors.

The Urbandale Police Department received $1,800 to purchase workbooks, T-shirts and graduation supplies for students taking its “Culture of Integrity” program at the Urbandale Middle School. This program aims to instill values and keep students safe by teaching them about bullying, keys to success, personal safety and social media.  “If we had not received the grant money, we would have had to look for a budget line to take the money from, which would have caused other deficiencies within the department,” said Community Relations Officer Melissa Waalk. “We are very pleased that the committee sees the value to our Culture of Integrity program as much as we do.  

Jim Cade, 2nd vice commander of American Legion Post 663, said his group has in the past taken money out of savings to fund its annual essay contest for fifth graders on what the American flag means to them. This year, a $600 grant from Endow Urbandale will pay the expenses.  “This is an avenue to provide a viable civics lesson for kids this age,” Cade said. “The proof that this is important is the review of the essays we receive. You have to have the Kleenex handy, as some of their words regarding what the flag means to them is touching, especially if the child has a tie to a military mom or dad in their life.”

This year’s final grant went to The Urbandale Centennial Steering Committee, which received $3,580 to pay for design, marketing and promotional materials in connection with plans for the city’s centennial celebration beginning July 4, 2016, and concluding July 4, 2017.   “The Urbandale Centennial Steering Committee, operating under the UCAN umbrella, is a grass-roots organization of volunteers that's just getting off the ground,” said co-chair Scott Raecker. “We don't have a lot of funding, so we are extremely grateful for the Endow Urbandale grant to help launch our planning efforts. We pledge to use it effectively to plan a celebration that will touch all the citizens of Urbandale.”

The Endow Urbandale Community Fund (Endow Urbandale) is a tax-qualified community foundation managed by Urbandale citizens to facilitate charitable giving in Urbandale. It also provides a resource for other community organizations and individuals who wish to create their own charitable endowments funds.

Gifts to Endow Urbandale are not immediately spent, but are left to accumulate and grow through prudent investment. Also, gifts made to the Urbandale General Community Endowment Fund qualify for a 25 percent Endow Iowa tax credit – in addition to any federal tax benefits for which the charitable gift may qualify.

For more information on Endow Urbandale or to make a donation, contact Steve Lytle at 515-283-8159.

Emerald Ash Borer Update for Residents and Business Owners


Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a small green invasive wood boring beetle that attacks and kills ash trees. The adults live on the outside of ash trees feeding on the leaves during the summer months. The larvae look similar to white grubs and feed on the living plant tissue (phloem and cambium) underneath the bark of ash trees. The trees are killed by the tunneling activity of the larvae under the tree's bark, which disrupts the vascular flow.

The Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in the following counties surrounding the Metro area:  Jasper, Story, Boone, and Union.   It has not yet been identified in the Des Moines Metro area. The DNR does not recommend the preventative treatment of ash trees until the insect has been confirmed within fifteen miles of a community.

Urbandale residents and business owners are responsible for the treatment or removal of infested ash trees on their respective property.

     There are three common treatment methods being used: trunk injection, soil injection, and soil drenching. Research has proven that the trunk injection method has been the most successful in preserving the ash tree. The DNR and City staff encourages the trunk injection method as the most successful treatment as well as the safest for the environment. The other methods used have proven more likely to leach or drift from the target area and be a danger to ground water supplies. The City encourages residents to consider using contractors who choose to primarily use the trunk injection method of treatment.

How will the City address the EAB on City property?

     Once the Emerald Ash borer has been confirmed in our community, the City of Urbandale has chosen to treat selective ash trees throughout the City and Park system and will only use the trunk injection method.  All other ash trees will be monitored for health and removed as deemed necessary. The City is being proactive with the diversification of its tree population, to be prepared for diseases and/or pests such as the EAB which may devastate a certain variety of tree and require tree removal.

     If a resident chooses to treat their ash trees for the EAB, and works with a contractor, the City suggests using the competitive quote process to ensure cost efficiency and optimum effectiveness for their trees. In addition, below are a few suggested questions to ask a contractor to ensure you are receiving the appropriate service for preventative or curative treatment for the Emerald Ash Borer.

Questions or Criteria to consider for contractors:

Are they currently registered with the Department of Agriculture/ Pesticide Division?
Do they have current licensed pesticide applicators on staff?
Ask for confirmation that the contractor is licensed and bonded.
Enquire about their application methods (trunk injection method is recommended).
Ask about time frame most effective for treatment. Research has shown treatments are most effective after leaves have fully emerged in the spring, through the summer and while leaves remain on the trees in the fall, approximately from May 15-September 15.
Contractors should never treat City owned trees at the request of the property owner. Please contact the City of Urbandale for trees of concern on City property @ 331-6799.

DART's Ride for a Reason

Ride for a Reason: ‘Tis the Season for Giving
DART invites residents to ride for a reason and share in the spirit of the holiday season. DART will donate all cash fares collected from Local, Express, Flex and On Call services on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, to the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantry Network. 

No DART Services On:

No DART service on Christmas Day - DART will not operate bus service on Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014, in observation of Christmas Day. On Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014, DART service will run modified weekday service, ending two hours early, in observation of Christmas Eve. The last trips will depart DART Central Station at 8:40 p.m. Additionally, on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, DART will operate on its Saturday schedule. Hours for the customer service window and schedule information phones will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and administrative offices are closed. Regular service and office hours will resume on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. DART reminds riders to plan their trips accordingly.

No DART service on New Year’s Day - DART will not operate bus service on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, in observation of New Year’s Day. DART reminds riders to plan their trips accordingly. 

Christmas Tree & Winter Yard Waste Collection

The holidays often include bringing in the new and disposing of the old. As you’re shuffling things around, make sure to get your Christmas tree to the curb in time for collection.

Christmas trees, just like yard waste, are collected from the curb and recycled into compost. Trees are picked-up on your regular garbage day between Dec. 29 and Jan. 9.  Please remove all decorations. Wreaths and garland are not accepted. 

This is also the last chance to have any remaining yard debris collected before spring. Be sure to use your Compost It! yard waste cart, Compost It! bags, or attach Compost It! stickers to generic bags to ensure your yard waste is picked up.

For more information about yard waste collection, visit Metro Waste Authority at www.WhereItShouldGo.com or call 515.244.0021.

Parks & Recreation Commission Seeks New Member

The City of Urbandale seeks to fill one opening on the Urbandale Parks and Recreation Commission. Committee members are appointed by the Mayor, approved by the City Council and serve five-year terms.  The Commission’s areas of focus include:

  • Develops and updates master plans related to parks & recreation facilities, open spaces, parks, playgrounds and other recreational activities. 
  • Establishes the rules for the use of parks, recreational facilities and programs. 
  • Oversees the use of parkland, off street bike trails, ball diamonds, tennis courts, playgrounds and the Urbandale Swimming Pool.

The application deadline is Friday, January 24, 2015. Interested individuals should complete the online application online at www.urbandale.org/boards-and-commissions.cfm 

The Commission meets the third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m.at City Hall, 3600 86th Street in Urbandale. The new appointee will join current board members Mark Courter, Jim Becker, Ellen Middleswart, Lori Noah, Heath Hinkhouse and Betty Devine.

For more information please contact Jan Herke, Director of Parks and Recreation at the Parks and Recreation office 515-331-6793 or jherke@urbandale.org.

Urbandale Achieves Certification as a Connected Community

Connect Iowa announced that the City of Urbandale has become the eighth community in Iowa to satisfy the requirements for certification as a Connected Community. Urbandale is the third community in the Des Moines Metropolitan Area to be certified. The City and Urbandale Chamber of Commerce have been working with Connect Iowa this year to engage community stakeholders in assessing broadband access, adoption and use.

Mayor Robert Andeweg noted the contribution of the Connected Community process and certification to the community’s development efforts: “The City's investments in infrastructure reflect our commitment to building a strong foundation for economic development. This certification validates Urbandale as a great place to invest and lays out a path to offer even more value to businesses.”  

The City of Urbandale Broadband Committee provided critical information and insights to complete the certification process. The group of approximately twenty stakeholders represented a wide cross-section of the Urbandale community.  

City Manager A.J. Johnson commented: “The collaborative effort that went into achieving this designation for our city was impressive. It reflects the way Urbandale operates: public and private, business and non-profit pulling together to make the community a better place to work and live.”  

Urbandale’s Technology Action Plan includes projects to: 1) Improve e-government services; 2) Study telecommunications infrastructure in business development areas; and 3) Improve residential neighborhood telecommunications services.

Winter Driving Tips

From the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council:

Be Able to See and Be Seen - Clean frost and snow off all windows, mirrors, lights and reflectors. Equip your car with good wiper blades and keep an ample supply of windshield washer fluid.  If visibility is poor, use headlamps.

Get a Feel for the Road - When you first start out, accelerate carefully to test wheel-spin and brake gently to test skidding.

Be Gentle - Use the accelerator and brakes slowly to maintain control of your vehicle. Fast acceleration can make wheels spin on ice and snow. Brake with a gentle pumping action. Stepping too hard on the pedal will lock the brakes and cause loss of steering control.

Increase Your Following Distance - Ice or snow can multiply your stopping distance up to ten times.

Make Turns Slowly and Gradually - Heavily traveled intersections can become "polished" and slick. Brake before you come to a curve, not while you are in it.

Turn in the Direction of the Skid - If the rear of your car begins to slide, turn into the direction of the skid. Expect a second skid as the car straightens out, and be prepared to counter this  sliding action.

Scattered Slippery Spots - Icy spots on the road surface can cause loss of  steering control. Do not use your brake. Take your  foot off the gas and steer as straight as possible until your car slows to a safe speed.

Avoiding a Collision - In an emergency situation, you can intentionally steer your car off the road and into a snow bank. You may get stuck, but you'll avoid a crash.

Making a Winter Driving Survival Kit

From the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council:

Use an empty three-pound coffee can or any similar container with a plastic cover to store the following items:

  • Small candles and matches
  • Small, sharp knife and plastic spoons
  • Red bandanna or cloth
  • Pencil and paper
  • Large plastic garbage bag
  • Safety pins
  • Whistle
  • Snacks
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter
  • Plastic flashlight and spare batteries

Reverse batteries in the flashlight to avoid accidental switching and burnout.  Warm batteries before using them.  Store safety items in the passenger compartment when severe winter weather threatens in case the trunk is jammed or frozen shut.  Choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold.

Suggested Food Items:

  • Raisins in small packets
  • Semi-sweet chocolate in pieces for sharing
  • Miniature candy bars
  • Chewing gum
  • Wrapped hard candies
  • Food bars
  • Canned soup, meat and poultry

Store bulky and heavy items in an accessible place:

  • 30-foot cord to use as homing line when you must exit the vehicle
  • Booster cables
  • Basic tools
  • Sand, cat litter or other grit in a plastic milk carton
  • Shovel
  • Tow cables or chain
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Road flares and reflectors
  • Snowmobile suit and heavy boots
Snow Ordinance Activated

The City of Urbandale Snow Ordinance will go into effect at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday November 26, 2014.

This means that all parked vehicles must be removed from City streets until all snow has been cleared from curb to curb.

Thank you for your cooperation and please drive safely.

Parking Lot Site Plan for the Urbandale Softball & Soccer Complex Approved

The City Council approved the site plan for the Urbandale Softball & Soccer Complex parking lot improvements project (4501 104th Street) at its November 25th Council meeting.  This site plan proposes minimal grading, landscaping and paving of the existing gravel parking lot for the complex. The project includes a new detention basin to the north of the parking lot, expansion of the existing detention area to the south of the parking lot, and storm pipes to carry water to those detention areas.  Access to the parking lot will remain at the existing location on 104th Street. A total of 299 marked parking spaces will be provided, which should maximize the number of spaces available. Currently, since the existing parking lot is gravel and no parking spaces are marked, it is reasonable to assume that actual parking availability is significantly less than the 299 spaces that will be made available upon completion of the project. 

Parking Lot Improvements

Amended and Restated Northwest Market Center Urban Renewal Plan

The City Council set dates of a public hearing and consultation with affected taxing entities for the amended and restated Northwest Market Center Urbandale Renewal Plan, at its November 25th City Council meeting.  The “Northwest Market Center Urban Renewal Plan” (“2000 Plan”) was originally adopted by the City Council in 2000, and amended in 2010. It was amended a second time in 2012 to comply with new legislation, and a third time in 2014 to reflect changes to proposed Urban Renewal Projects, primarily Capital Improvement Projects, because the Code of Iowa now requires the Plan to include a detailed listing of all proposed Urban Renewal Projects, including tax rebates and other incentives, development agreements, public infrastructure improvements, property acquisitions, fees and costs, acquisition and improvement of public buildings and grounds, and any other Urban Renewal Project.  

A Tax Increment Finance District (“TIF”) was established in 2000 when the Plan was adopted, and the TIF District was amended in 2010.  

This Amended and Restated Plan incorporates all of the prior three amendments into a single document (i.e. the “Restated” aspect). It also amends the Plan a fourth time, again updating to reflect changes to proposed Urban Renewal Projects, both Capital Improvement Projects and potential Scheduled Tax Rebates and Development Agreements, but also to adopt new economic development incentives. The existing Tax Rebate incentive is being retained.  The proposed new economic development incentives and requirements, along with the existing incentive (“Standard Incentive”) are listed within the Plan.  Any rebates or other incentives provided under any one of the Incentive Programs will require the developer or business to enter into a development agreement with the City, and that development agreement will detail the applicable conditions, preconditions, restrictions and requirements that apply to the incentive.

Miracle League Field

The City Council approved the proposed site at Northview Park for the location of a Miracle League Field, at its November 25th City Council meeting.  A Miracle League field is a unique baseball complex that includes a custom designed field with a cushioned rubberized surface to help prevent injuries, wheelchair accessible dugouts, and a completely flat surface to eliminate any barriers to wheelchair-bound or visually impaired players.  

Miracle League is a chance for special needs children and their families to experience the game of baseball through friendly competition, which means each child gets to bat, each child scores, and every game — games last two innings — ends in a tie.  

Currently there are two Miracle League fields in the Metro area, including the Kiwanis Miracle League Field in Des Moines, which opened in 2008, and the Ankeny Miracle League, which opened in the fall of 2013.

The proposed location for a Miracle League field is at the Urbandale Little League complex, located in Northview Park (4871 78th Street). This complex is owned by the City, and leased by the Urbandale Little League. The Urbandale Little League is very supportive of the idea of integrating a Miracle League field within the complex, and a current location on the north end of the complex has been designated as a site for the Miracle League field. Also proposed is an all-inclusive playground, which would be located at the same site in Northview Park.

Central Iowa Trails Signage Info Hum at Walker Johnston Park

The City Council approved a Central Iowa Trails Signage Information Hub at Walker Johnston Park, at its November 25th City Council meeting.  The Central Iowa Trails (CIT) signage is an effort of communities throughout Central Iowa to install consistent signage through the area and across city and county boundaries. The Informational Hub will provide trail users with graphic and narrative information about the systems of trails in central Iowa, as well as specific Urbandale trail information. The Information Hub is a two sided vertical structure designed for people to walk up to and read relatively detailed information. A key part of the Information Hub is the large full color maps that will illustrate the extensive trail system throughout Central Iowa, a more detailed map of the Urbandale Trails, and an aerial photo of the location area. The information hub will be placed on appropriate footings and be surrounded by a small concrete plaza for people to navigate around.

Two firms submitted bids for this hub and the low bid of Parker Signs, totaling $18,390, was approved by the Council.  

Garbage/Recycle/Yard Waste - Thursdays Route

Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, Thursday's route will be picked up on Friday, November 28th.  Thank you.

City Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

City offices will be closed on Thursday, November 27th and Friday, November 28th for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday.  

Trash collection normally scheduled for Thursday, 11/27, will be collected on Friday, 11/28.  

City offices will open on Monday, December 1st at normal business hours.




Documents & Information
Peddlers Licensed in Urbandale
Current Street and Roadway Projects
Online Water Utility Accounts
Snow Ordinance Activated
External Funding Request Info
FY2015-2020 Proposed CIP
Urbandale TV Channel Off Air
CIP Committee Meeting
FY2014 Financial Report
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