Press Release - 2020
November 20, 2020 - Urbandale Mayor Signs Enhanced COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies Proclamation
Urbandale, IA – Urbandale Mayor Robert Andeweg signed a proclamation yesterday in support of the Polk County Board of Supervisors’ enhanced COVID-19 mitigation strategies in an effort to preserve the capacity of our local healthcare facilities.
The proclamation urges all Urbandale residents, living in either Polk or Dallas County to wear a mask at all times in public places, regardless of time spent in an establishment or social distancing availability; limit gatherings to household members only; minimize time in public places; and temporarily suspend all adult and youth extracurricular gatherings.
“The most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a mask at all times when in public,” said Mayor Bob Andeweg. “Now more than ever, we need to be extra vigilant to help get COVID-19 under control.”
The City of Urbandale is complying with all directives from the Governor’s Office, the State Department of Health, and Federal health officials when it comes to the reopening of City services. City facilities will gradually reopen as conditions warrant, a reopen date is still being evaluated. For the most up-to-date information visit www.urbandale.org/COVID-19.
October 15, 2020 - Searchlight Commemorates Opening of Urban Loop Interchanges
Urbandale, IA – During the early morning hours of Friday, October 16, two additional interchanges will open in the Urban Loop. After decades of planning, the half-diamond interchange at Meredith Drive and the Iowa Highway 141 flyover bridge are open to traffic. These interchanges are two of the now seven Interstate 35/80 interchanges that serve Urbandale and the 700 acres open for commercial and industrial investment in the Urban Loop development area.
“The City of Urbandale appreciates the many years of collaboration and problem solving with our state, federal and local partners that have led to this success,” said Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg.
To commemorate the opening of the new Meredith Drive and Iowa 141 interchanges in the Urban Loop, the City Council approved the use of a privately-funded searchlight. A searchlight was chosen as it can ‘highlight’ these major Urbandale transportation investments in a safe, socially distant manner. The searchlight will be on for seven consecutive days, from dusk until approximately 10:00 p.m.
The flyover replaces a loop exit ramp that could no longer accommodate the more than 100,000 vehicles traveling through the Urban Loop corridor every day. The interchange at Meredith Drive is a direct point of access to the growing commercial and residential areas in Urbandale. Together with the 100th Street interchange, these projects advance safety, efficiency and economic development potential for Urbandale residents and businesses, as well as the northwest area of the Des Moines Metro.
City Manager A.J. Johnson commented on the potential for more employment and investment: “Urbandale’s residential population and building investment continue to grow steadily. These new access points create more opportunity for great careers, easier commutes, and more services.”
With these major infrastructure projects nearly complete (work continues this construction season on other parts of the Interstate and ramps), the City of Urbandale will focus its Urban Loop infrastructure efforts in several areas. First is the expansion of the Hickman Road and 128th Street intersection in partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation and City of Clive, constructing dual left-turn and single right-turn lanes on each approach to the intersection. That project also includes widening Hickman Road to six lanes between the interstate and 128th Street. As part of that project, Urbandale will extend a paved bike/walking trail from Interstate 35/80 along Hickman Road west to meet an existing trail connection past 128th Street near Walnut Creek. The City will also continue to erect entrance monuments at main Urbandale community entrances.
September 28, 2020 - Urbandale Approves New Building Codes; Secures Higher Rating from Insurance Services Office
Urbandale, IA - At the meeting on Tuesday, September 22, the City Council approved new building codes to go into effect on Monday, October 5, 2020. With the adoption of these new codes, Urbandale residents can expect the continued construction of safe buildings, continuation of lower insurance rates on newly constructed buildings, and reduced economic and social disruption caused by catastrophes.
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) uses a Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) to classify Urbandale properties on a 1-to-10 scale with 1 being the best. Urbandale was previously assigned a classification of 4 by ISO for both residential and commercial properties but has now secured a 3 rating for both residential and commercial properties. The upgraded rating is based on the City’s administration of codes, review of building plans, and field inspections. The City of Urbandale maintains a better classification than the state of Iowa average of 6 for residential properties and 5 for commercial properties.
The ISO is a leading source of information about risk. They supply data, analytics, and decision-support services for professionals in many fields, including insurance, finance, real estate, health services, government, and human resources. Their products and services help customers measure, manage, and reduce risk.
The City Council approved and adopted the 2018 International Residential Code, International Building Code, International Existing Building Code and the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code ordinances; the Fire Code ordinance; the Electrical Code ordinance; the Mechanical Code Regulations ordinance; and the Plumbing Code Regulations ordinance.
September 22, 2020 - Urbandale Ranked One of the Best Places to Live in America by Money Magazine
Urbandale, IA – Urbandale, Iowa ranked No. 47 on Money Magazine’s 2020 “Best Places to Live” list. Money looks at cities and towns all across America with populations of at least 25,000 and then narrows the list by collecting and analyzing more than 200,000 different data points. Money considers data about economic factors like employment opportunities, as well as housing, cost of living, diversity, health and safety, education, weather, lifestyle, and amenities.
“Urbandale’s place on Money’s list is an endorsement of the work of city leaders, businesses, and residents to build a premier community for all generations,” said Mayor Bob Andeweg. “We are pleased to receive this well-respected honor.”
Urbandale’s population of 44,000 people continues to grow, driving historically strong residential investment. Transportation infrastructure projects in the Urban Loop are encouraging new private sector investments and employment opportunities with over 30 new business developments announced in just three years. Quality of life amenities like a 50-mile trail network add value to those commercial and residential investments.
City Manager A.J. Johnson stated: “Residents and businesses in Urbandale value excellent and affordable services. This announcement by Money magazine is an affirmation and inspiration to keep delivering for our community.”
A team of reporters researches every location to ensure that the statistics are a true representation of each place. This year, Money also incorporated filters to flag cities that fell short of standards in a few key areas: unemployment (measured on a county-wide basis) and housing distress as a result of COVID-19 economic disruptions; and diversity as a means to account for representation and segregation.
August 13, 2020 - Two Cooling Centers to Open in Urbandale
The City of Urbandale will be opening two Cooling Centers for residents to cool off if they are still without power. Masks and social distancing are required. Masks will be provided for those that need one. The centers’ location and open hours are as follows:
Urbandale Public Library, 3520 86th Street.
- Thursday, August 13: 1 – 6 p.m.
- Friday, August 14: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Saturday, August 15: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (if needed)
Chairs are available for people to sit on while cooling off. Wi-Fi is available. Outlets are available for charging devices, but people must bring their own cords.
Giovannetti Community Shelter, 9000 Douglas Ave.
- Thursday, August 13: 3 – 5 p.m.
- Friday, August 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Chairs are available for people to sit on while cooling off. Wi-Fi is available. Outlets are available for charging devices, but people must bring their own cords.
August 12, 2020 - Urbandale City Council Approves Agreement to Expand Fiber Optic Telecommunications in Urbandale
Urbandale, IA - The Urbandale City Council approved an agreement with MetroNet yesterday to begin construction of a network for high-speed fiber optic internet, TV, and phone service throughout the Urbandale community. MetroNet is a private-sector provider based in Indiana. The company offers 100 percent fiber optic connections directly to homes and businesses with speeds ranging from 100 Megabits to 1 Gigabit per second.
“This is more than just having another company providing fiber optic internet to Urbandale residents and businesses,” said Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg. “It is important to the City Council and me to see expanded broadband service available in our community because it facilitates learning and working from home, opens economic development options for our businesses and entrepreneurs, and helps to close the digital divide,” said the Mayor.
It will take approximately one year to build out the Urbandale system, with the first customers expected to begin receiving service in the coming year. The construction of this fiber optic network by MetroNet is being financed entirely by the company. No taxpayer funds are being used to finance or incentivize the construction.
Urbandale staff and elected officials have been working towards expanding telecommunications services in Urbandale since before 2014. At that time, Urbandale was designated as an Iowa Connected Community and established a goal of improving broadband services within established neighborhoods in Urbandale.
Commencing in 2005, MetroNet has expanded its service to communities in Iowa (including Bettendorf, Davenport and Ames), Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida.
July 29, 2020 - Urbandale Mayor Signs City Council Resolution Encouraging Observance of Public Health Practices to Curb the Spread of COVID-19
Urbandale, IA – Yesterday Mayor Robert Andeweg signed a resolution unanimously approved by the Urbandale City Council encouraging the observance of public health practices like social distancing and the use of face coverings in Urbandale. These practices can help slow the spread of coronavirus and help keep Urbandale open for business. The safety of the Urbandale community has been the top priority for the Urbandale City Council since the COVID-19 pandemic started. The city has taken several steps to protect its residents, businesses, and staff with increased safety measures and operational changes.
“Wearing a mask is an easy step we can all take to protect our family and friends,” said Mayor Andeweg. “Until we get a vaccine, a mask is one of the best tools we have available.”
According to a July 2020 press release issued by the US Centers for Disease Control, cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19. “We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families and their communities.”
Residents should follow the guidance of the CDC for face coverings. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistance.
While visiting any public space, use your best judgment and act responsibly; wear a mask, bring your sanitation supplies with you, and adhere to recommended guidelines of social distancing. If you do not feel well or have been sick, stay home.
Visit www.Urbandale.org/covid-19 for additional information regarding changes to City business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 21, 2020 - Summer Clean-Up Postponed to September 21
Urbandale, IA - Summer Clean-Up has been rescheduled and will take place the week of September 21 - 25 on residents’ normal collection day. The City will conduct a modified curbside clean-up and has added additional disposal options.
In addition to the curbside pick-up in September, residents will also have two opportunities to drop off items on Saturday, August 1 and Saturday, August 8 at the MWA transfer station from 8 AM to 1 PM in Grimes. Residents will also be able to dispose of household hazardous waste free-of-charge at the MWA transfer site on Saturday, August 8.
Since employees will need to wear multiple pieces of personal protective equipment while collecting debris, the curbside pick-up was moved to September when the heat and humidity of summer is less intense. Help our crews stay safe by putting smaller items into tied trash bags and try not to overload bags. Don’t set your items out early, and place your items out by 6 AM the morning of your collection day, or the night before.
This September Summer Clean-Up will be similar to Spring Clean-Ups from the past. Please note these important guidelines:
Appliances (such as Refrigerators, Dehumidifiers, Microwaves, Water Heaters, Trash Compactors, Furnaces, Freezers, Air Conditioners, Dishwashers, Light Ballasts, Washers, Dryers, Stoves, and Garbage Disposal) will be collected through a separate City program called Bulk Item Collection. If you’d like to have an appliance collected now (or at any time during the year) please visit our Bulk Collection webpage or call 515-278-3950.
No construction debris or building materials.
All garbage must be bagged or boxed and secured.
One pick-up truck load limit per household, items must be able to be collected by a two-person crew.
Be sure to fill your container first with anything that fits and only leave items at the curb intended for city collection.
Examples of accepted items include Chairs, File Cabinets, Computers, Tables, Couches, Grills (no tank), Recliners, Televisions, Desks, Mattresses, Shelves, Toilets, Dressers, Monitors, Sinks, and TV Stands, etc.
June 23, 2020 - Urbandale to Host Community Listening Session on Race and Diversity
Urbandale, IA - Mayor Bob Andeweg and the members of the Urbandale City Council will hold a community listening session this Thursday, June 25 at 6:00 PM at the Urbandale High School Performing Arts Center. Residents are invited to share their comments on topics of race and diversity in the Urbandale community. Mayor Andeweg will moderate the session and offer opening comments. Councilmembers Matt Blake, Bridget Carberry Montgomery, Adam Obrecht, Ron Pogge and David Russell will also be in attendance to hear from residents.
“We want to hear from the Urbandale community on this important topic,” said Mayor Andeweg. “Elected officials value a wide range of perspectives to ensure Urbandale remains a premier community for all.”
There are two ways to join the session, online or in-person. Join online as we live-stream this event on our Facebook Page where you can watch and listen, or join us at the Urbandale High School Performing Arts Center (7111 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale IA 50322) and share your comments in-person. Comments posted on the livestream will not be monitored. The session is expected to conclude by 8 PM.
All participants in this session are expected to observe public health guidelines including:
- Stay home if you are sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Observe social distancing
- Consider wearing a mask
If you are not able to attend, you may always send comments to the Mayor and Council by mail or e-mail. Contact information is on the City website: www.Urbandale.org/council.
May 28, 2020 - Mosquito Control Program to Begin Next Week
Urbandale, IA – Mosquito spraying in Urbandale neighborhoods will begin on Thursday, June 4, 2020 weather permitting, and continue until autumn, or when mosquito population thresholds are no longer exceeded. City staff will be treating area neighborhoods with EPA-approved mosquito control product between the hours of 9:30 PM to 3 AM.
Spraying will be done with City of Urbandale trucks, weather permitting, with no rain or winds over 10 miles per hour. All City trucks are white, with a blue diamond Urbandale logo, and will have an amber warning light blinking to alert residents that City staff are in the area.
While spraying reduces the mosquito population, it is still recommended that residents use mosquito repellent when outside early in the morning and late in the evening. Residents can do their part in the battle against mosquitos by eliminating sources of standing water such as disposing of old tires, any type of containers that collect and hold water, and maintaining gutters. Pet dish and bird bath water should be changed every two days.
City staff follows the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended label rates of application and procedure for this product.
Residents that would like to opt-out of mosquito spraying near their home should e-mail their name and address to Kevin James, Assistant Director of Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents with any questions concerning this program should contact the Urbandale Parks and Recreation Department at 515-331-6799.
May 21, 2020 - Urbandale Extending Closures and Announcing New Cancellations
The City of Urbandale is extending closures and announcing new cancellations due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
- The Urbandale Indoor Swimming Pool and Senior Recreation Center will remain closed until at least July 6, 2020.
- All in-person Parks and Recreation Programs are canceled through at least June 14, 2020.
- Virtual programming opportunities can be found at https://www.urbandale.org/170/Parks-Recreation.
The following park amenities remain closed until at least June 14, 2020:
- All City-owned sports fields
- Walker Johnston Skate Park
- Indoor and Outdoor Shelter and facility rentals
Parks and trails continue to be open, but social distancing is required. Avoid groups of people and crowded areas. If a public space can’t be enjoyed safely, go home or discover a new park. While visiting any public space, use your best judgment and act responsibly; bring your own sanitation supplies with you and adhere to social distancing guidelines. If you do not feel well or have been sick, stay home.
The City of Urbandale will be complying with all directives from the Governor’s Office, the State Department of Health, and Federal health officials when it comes to the reopening of City services. City facilities will gradually reopen as conditions warrant, a reopen date is still being evaluated. For the most up-to-date information visit www.urbandale.org/COVID-19.
May 5, 2020 - Urbandale Participates in Launch of Small Business Recovery Grant Program
Urbandale, IA – The City of Urbandale is pleased to announce its participation in the launch of the Small Business Recovery Grant program to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant program is a unique partnership with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Polk County, many private contributors, and several Polk County communities to provide financial assistance to our local businesses still continuing to struggle through these challenging health and economic times.
The grant program will be available for sole-proprietors or businesses with 0 – 30 employees that have had restrictions placed on their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant awards will range from $1,000 – $5,000 dependent on justification of need. Preference will be given to businesses that have not yet received money from federal or state recovery programs as this regional program is intended to complement, not duplicate, other existing programs.
“Urbandale values and relies upon local small businesses to provide the goods and services keeping us Uniquely Urbandale,” says Mayor Bob Andeweg. “Our City Council identified early on that if we were able, we should help as many small businesses as we can. This regional grant program will assist some of our most vulnerable businesses to come out of this health and economic challenge as quickly as possible.”
Applications can be accessed at www.DSMpartnership.com/smallbusinessgrant and will remain open until Midnight on May 20. Funding will be distributed based on merit and need, not first-come, first-served. Applications will be reviewed by the Iowa Center for Economic Success. Private donations to the fund are still welcome. Those interested in contributing to the fund can email info@DSMpartnership.com
January 28, 2020 - Urbandale Public Art Committee Seeks Community Input on Douglas Avenue Interchange Artwork
Urbandale, IA – The City of Urbandale has recently completed a beautification and signage project at the Douglas Avenue Interchange off I-35/80. The final stage of this interchange project is to commission artwork that will be placed at the two dedicated median spaces along Douglas Avenue.
After taking applications, the Urbandale Public Art Committee has identified three finalists to design and fabricate artwork for permanent outdoor installation at the interchange. The project consists of two elements, one on each side of the interchange, to be permanently affixed to existing concrete pads.
The Public Art Committee welcomes the community to review and share input on the three finalists’ proposals by February 17, 2020 online or in writing at the Parks and Recreation office at 3600 86th Street (across the parking lot from the library).
A finalist will be selected in March, and the project is anticipated to be completed and installed by the end of 2020. For questions or further information contact the Urbandale Parks and Recreation office at 515-278-3963 or email@example.com