Press Release - 2019
March 15, 2019 - Urbandale Council Approves Budget, Highlights Major Projects
Urbandale, IA - The Urbandale City Council unanimously approved a $136.4 million budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The proposed budget was presented to the City Council and a public hearing held during a regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
The budget presentation noted expected operating revenues of approximately $67.6 million, and operating expenses of $51.0 million, keeping expenses below expected revenue. The proposed budget is a reflection of the Urbandale Mayor and City Council’s commitment to providing exceptional quality municipal services.
“Major items impacting the budget this year include construction of the voter-approved Fire Station 43 and additional public safety personnel for the Police and Fire Departments,” said A.J. Johnson, City Manager. “These items directly reflect the importance the Mayor and City Council place on public safety and echo their strategic priorities—Urbandale is a first-class suburb that’s a great place for families.”
The Urbandale municipal tax rate of $10.52 is anticipated to be aligned with, or lower than many cities in the Des Moines Metro. “Residents owning a $200,000 home can expect to pay approximately $1,200 annually for city services,” said Johnson. “That’s about $3.29 per day for everything from snow removal and public safety to parks and streets.”
The 2019-2020 budget incorporates the expenditures recently adopted in the $89.5 million Capital Improvements Plan budget. “The City and its partners are investing at record levels in infrastructure projects like the new Meredith Drive I-35/80 interchange and flyover ramp in the Urban Loop.” said A.J. Johnson. “We are focused on providing a high level of value for residents and businesses—improving commute times and delivering excellent services at a competitive rate.”
- In November 2017, a bond referendum successfully passed at 82% to construct a third Fire Station in Urbandale. In the same election, voters in Dallas County also approved a one percent Local Option Sales and Service Tax (LOSST), which allows the City to provide 100% property tax relief for the 14 cents voters approved for the construction of the Fire Station. Once completed in fall 2019, this station will provide fire and EMS service for the growing western portions of both Clive and Urbandale. The City of Urbandale will own the station and provide service to the City of Clive on a contract-for-service basis.
- The City received a SAFER grant to cover 9 additional firefighter/EMTs starting in March 2019, which will make the new station fully staffed when the doors open.
- The full-time staffing level for public safety employees will increase by 2 positions from 113 to 115, consisting of Police at 62 (53 sworn Officers and 9 civilians) and Fire/EMS at 53 (52 Fire/EMS personnel and 1 civilian). The remaining full-time staffing level for non-public safety departments will increase by 2 positions from 113 to 115.
- Property valuations increased by 3.6% over prior year, which reflects the City’s steady growth.
- Solid waste fees will increase $1 per household per month.
- In keeping with the Council’s vision of offering great parks and amenities, a number of enhancements will be made to the park system, including: neighborhood trail reconstructions and improvements, the addition of four pickle ball courts in Walker Johnston Regional Park, and the opening of the Urbandale All-Inclusive Playground.
- The 86th Street Preservation project will overlay and repair 86th Street from Hickman Road to the north ramps at Interstate 35/80. Phase I of this project was completed in 2018 from Aurora Avenue to the city limits on the north side of Interstate 35/80, while Phase II is planned for 2019 from Hickman Road to Aurora Avenue.
The average tax bill is comprised of tax levies from a variety of sources – City, County, Schools, State, Hospital, Sewer Districts, etc. The largest portion of the average Urbandale homeowner’s tax payment (46%) goes to support the school district, 25% supports the City of Urbandale’s operations, 18% supports the County’s operations, and the remaining 11% goes to the other seven taxing bodies. The Budget and Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) are reviewed extensively each year by the Urbandale City Council. Copies of the Budget and CIP are available for viewing online and at Urbandale City Hall.
March 5, 2019 - Clive and Urbandale Receive Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa's 2019 "In the Public Interest Award"
Urbandale, IA - The Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa (TACI) has awarded the 2019 In the Public Interest Award to the cities of Clive and Urbandale. The award is given annually to an individual, local government, or intergovernmental project that best demonstrates the aggressive pursuit of efficiency over the past year. Clive and Urbandale were recognized for their collaboration on Fire Station #43, which when completed will provide emergency services to the growing western neighborhoods in both cities.
“Emergency services are an essential service for municipalities, but providing those services is expensive today and will be more expensive in the future,” said Gretchen Tegeler, President of TACI. “Cities must pursue innovative solutions to efficiently and sustainably deliver quality services to taxpayers. The Station #43 project is a great example of taxpayers benefiting when cities focus on their core responsibilities and value for taxes paid. Clive and Urbandale have strong traditions of fiscal stewardship and collaboration, and we applaud them for their work on this impressive project.”
As Clive and Urbandale have grown, many of their current or planned developments have extended beyond the recommended distance and travel time from existing fire stations. To correct this coverage gap, Clive and Urbandale could have each built and staffed their own stations, but this would have created millions in unnecessary taxpayer expenses.
Clive Mayor Scott Cirksena and Urbandale Mayor Robert Andeweg jointly thanked the Taxpayers Association for the recognition, and expressed optimism about future partnerships that would create more efficient and effective services for residents and businesses in Clive and Urbandale.
Station #43 will cost $4.7 million to build and equip, and annual operational costs will be over $2.2 million. Had the cities decided not to collaborate, taxpayers would have collectively paid over $50 million in the next ten years to build and operate two separate stations. Instead, Urbandale is paying for the construction, equipment, and annual operating costs of Station #43 while the staffing expenses are shared—Clive paying 40% and Urbandale paying 60%. Together, Urbandale and Clive expect to save $21.5 million in avoided costs over the next ten years.
January 11, 2019 - Urbandale’s 2018 Building Report Details One of the Strongest Commercial and Residential Investment Years on Record
Urbandale, IA - The City of Urbandale’s Community Development Department issued a total of 942 building permits in 2018, with a total valuation of $140.2 million. This is the highest valuation since 2005, and the fourth highest of all time.
Residential investment included 177 single-family detached housing units, and 15 single-family attached (townhouse) units, along with 24 new commercial buildings resulting in the second highest commercial valuation of all time. The remaining permits include commercial and residential projects such as additions, remodels, fences and decks.
“Urbandale continues to attract residential and particularly commercial investment at a noteworthy pace,” said Community Development Director Steve Franklin. “As the community continues to grow to the northwest, the City will be exploring the possibility of annexing additional territory in what is currently unincorporated Dallas County.”
Urbandale maintains a vast array of investment-attracting amenities including newly added I-35/80 interstate access, a senior recreation center, an indoor public pool, and an extensive park and trail network. Urbandale’s current annual budget represents the City's operating plan for this fiscal year, July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Valuation generated in calendar year 2018 will be reflected in the City’s annual budget beginning July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.