Council Recap Header Image

The Urbandale Council Recap is a brief highlight of the City Council meetings. The recap is not minutes of the Council meeting. Minutes are considered and approved at the subsequent Council meeting.

May 19, 2020 - Council Worksession and Regular Council Meeting

The City Council met by videoconference for a worksession regarding the future operational plans for the Indoor Public Pool. Staff from the Parks & Recreation Department presented ideas and options for what operating an Indoor Pool would look like amidst coronavirus. After an hour of discussion, the Council adjourned the worksession, noting a final decision would be made in the future, and called to order the regular council meeting.

The Council accepted "Onward Urbandale", the City of Urbandale Plan for Recovering from COVID-19. The plan provides guidance for a phased reopening of facilities and activities. The plan is guided by three main principles:

  • Provide the valued services that our residents, visitors, and business community have come to depend on and utilize regularly
  • Safeguard the health of City employees and the public
  • Remain adaptive to changing situations and guidance from authorities

The plan also documents strategies for functions like communications, enforcement, and finance.

Due to coronavirus, most of the Fourth of July activities were cancelled this year except for the annual fireworks display. The Council approved a request from the Urbandale Fourth of July Committee for a $15,000 contribution to put towards the fireworks display—ensuring that fireworks would continue in Urbandale.

The City Council will meet again for its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 2 at 6 PM via WebEx. Please check the Agenda Center for more information.

May 12, 2020 - Council Worksession

The City Council met by videoconference for a worksession on economic development incentives and an update on the City’s coronavirus response.

Staff from the Economic Development Department presented an overview of how the city currently provides tax incentives for new business and development in Urbandale. Staff explained the three types of tax incentives and how businesses and developers access the incentives—showing the short- and long-term property tax impacts of new developments that receive incentives. The City Council provided perspectives on employment requirements and architectural standards for developments that receive incentives.

The City Manager gave the Council an overview of the City’s Coronavirus response. The City plans to have staff working at City facilities again beginning on Monday, May 18, pending guidance from the Governor’s Office. The City Manager explained that the status of normal summer schedules and programming is still to be determined. Finally, the City Manager shared a draft plan for the City’s recovery from COVID-19.

May 5, 2020 – Regular Council Meeting

The City Council meeting began with a proclamation recognizing Police Week 2020. Across the nation, May 15 is recognized as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it falls is designated as National Police Week. This recognition has particular importance for Urbandale as the community remembers the ultimate sacrifice made by Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin in 2016.

In Planning and Zoning items, the City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance to rezone property at the northeast quadrant of the intersection of Goodman Drive and 74th Street to create eight residential lots. This rezoning will be considered again at the next meeting. The Council also approved a site plan for a new 112-room Homewood Suites hotel on Plum Drive west of 86th Street and approved the preliminary plat for a 12-lot subdivision near Douglas Avenue and 142nd Street.

The Council approved bids for police department equipment and roadway salt in anticipation of the next winter driving season.

April 21, 2020 – Regular Council Meeting

The City Council met for a regular council meeting this evening via videoconference. This is the fourth time since the onset of Iowa’s Coronavirus response that the City Council has met by videoconference.

After reading a proclamation related to Arbor Day in Urbandale (a “Tree City USA” community), the Council spent the first part of the meeting discussing planning and zoning items.

One notable project is Lillis Lofts, an affordable housing development planned to be built just southwest of Merle Hay Mall—the site plan and plat was approved for this project. Site plans for both Iowa Bankers Association’s new headquarters office building on Northpark Drive in the Urban Loop and a building addition for Emmaus House in Downtown Urbandale were approved by the Council. Plats were also approved for the creation of new lots on the former K-Mart site at Hickman Road and 72nd Street. This action opens new opportunities for development at the former retail store site.

A site plan was also approved to build an open-air shelter and parking lot to serve visitors to the Walnut Creek Regional Park. The shelter and parking lot will be built to the east of Walnut Creek, and south of Aurora Avenue. The new parking lot and large shelter are identified in the Capital Improvements Program and will be constructed in two phases.

In mid-March, Governor Reynolds began issuing orders to restrict operations of certain businesses as a means to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. While these measures were a public health necessity, the impact on businesses in Urbandale has been severe. The Council approved a contribution of $101,970 to a regional small business relief grant program to help fund and create an effective way to assist impacted Urbandale businesses. Other participating communities are considering similar contributions. These funds would be allocated to support Urbandale businesses with successful applications. For more information in the coming days, please watch the City’s COVID-19 Business Resources page.

The Council also approved a settlement negotiated by the City’s insurance provider and authorized the Mayor to sign the agreement and release.

April 14, 2020 - Council Worksession

The City Council met for a worksession this afternoon via videoconference. This is the third time since the onset of Iowa’s Coronavirus response that the City Council has met by videoconference.

Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC) Executive Director Stephanie Preusch updated the Mayor and City Council on the work the NFC is doing and the opportunities they could offer Urbandale residents. NFC provides lending programs and other services to facilitate targeted neighborhood revitalization in Polk County and other areas of Iowa through partnerships with residents, governments, community-based organizations, and the business community. NFC lending is based on neighborhoods or lending areas and is designed to complement a larger revitalization strategy that could be created by the City. The Council expressed interest in the program and asked staff to continue evaluating a program like this for Urbandale.

City Manager A.J. Johnson and Polk County Supervisor Robert Brownell presented preliminary information to the Mayor and City Council on a program designed to assist businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The Council asked staff to prepare more information for consideration at the April 21 City Council meeting.

The City Council will meet again for its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 21 at 6 PM via WebEx. Please check the Agenda Center for more information.

April 7, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

The City Council met in regular session this evening via videoconference. This is the second time since the onset of Iowa’s Coronavirus response that the City Council has had to meet by videoconference. The new process is working well, presentations are being shared, and comments from guests are being made.

Tonight, the City Council approved development agreements with four developers investing in new projects in Urbandale:

  1. Remarc Enterprises, LLC for 4404 Merle Hay Road. The project is a major rehabilitation and expansion of the building for Broken Arrow Wear.
  2. Unity Center Pointe, LLC for a new building at 5200 100th Street. The new 13,000 square foot medical building is being constructed for a new Unity Point clinic.
  3. 8860 Northpark Drive, LLC. for a new multi-tenant office building at 8860 Northpark Drive. The 10,000 square foot building will house a dental practice plus two additional suites for lease.
  4. Iowa Bankers Insurance and Services, Inc. for a new building at 9001 Northpark Drive. The 60,000 sf office project will be the new headquarters for the Iowa Bankers Association.

The City Council also approved the sale of two bonds (the way the City “borrows” money to finance projects) after receiving favorable bids: one for $4.97 million and another for $11.36 million. Interest rates will average 1.96% and 1.85%, respectively, over the 10-year term of the bonds. The City of Urbandale’s bond rating as approved by Moody’s Investor Service is Aa1, a reflection of the City’s financial strength and fiscal management.

And the City continues to conduct business as usual (as much as possible) as the Council approved the purchase of fuel for City vehicles at a very competitive rate that is expected to cover municipal fuel needs for approximately two years.

March 24, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

Tonight was a first for the Urbandale City Council. Restrictions on public gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a meeting be held by videoconference. One of the first actions of the meeting was Mayor Andeweg’s proclamation that a time of emergency exists in the City of Urbandale.

This was the first time that the Mayor has had to invoke this emergency provision. The proclamation has the purpose of allowing “… the City of Urbandale to act quickly and decisively to implement the disaster response plan of any State or Federal agency, or to otherwise act in the best interest of the residents and businesses of the City of Urbandale…” The Mayor affirmed that any powers under this proclamation are used judiciously.

The Public Hearing on the amendment to the Waterford Landing Planned Unit Development was continued to the next City Council meeting on April 7, 2020. The City Council established Public Hearings on development agreements for four economic development projects to be held at the April 7 City Council meeting. The City Council also approved the purchase of a van for the Parks and Recreation Department and a contract for Emergency Medical Services billing software.

March 10, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

The regular session of the City Council began with a request from the Mayor for Fire Chief Jerry Holt to report on the Sunday, March 8 fire at the Ashford Ridge apartment complex. The Chief explained that no residents or firefighters were injured in the incident. The cause of the fire, which began outside the building, is currently unknown, but an investigation into the apparently accidental cause is expected to conclude in the coming days.

Polk County Supervisor Robert Brownell provided an update to the City Council, focusing on the County’s response to COVID-19. The Supervisor urged good hygienic practices and referred the public to polkcountyiowa.gov/health for more information.

The Council unanimously approved the budget (for the upcoming fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2020); cutting the City’s property tax levy by thirty-six cents (3.4 percent). The total operating budget of approximately $54 million maintains the exceptional city services that Urbandale residents have come to expect and also funds four new positions (including two new police officers), a health and social services function, and increased funding for stormwater management. The Council also took steps to initiate the sale of bonds to fund major projects for the 2020 construction season.

The Council also commissioned artist Clint Hansen to create and install public art sculptures on both the east and west sides of the Douglas Avenue interchange. More information is available on the City’s website.

The Council will meet again on Tuesday, March 17 for a monthly worksession. Watch the Agenda Center for more information or to view complete details on any of the Council Agenda items.

February 25, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

Mayor and City Council began their Tuesday meeting by formally recognizing and thanking everyone involved in two successful CPR life-saving events. Seconds count in an emergency, and it takes a dedicated Urbandale team to answer the call. The City of Urbandale is grateful for the following people who helped save a life:

Successful CPR Event on December 8, 2019:
Bystander Cathy Hale, Dispatcher Alex Kerr, Police Officer Brad Frick, Firefighter/Paramedic Coden Tennison, Firefighter/Paramedic Nick Porter, Fire Lieutenant Cory Macumber, Driver/Engineer Drew Stiles, and Firefighter/Paramedic Adam Tryon.

Successful CPR Event on January 20, 2020:
Bystander Eric Shimla, Dispatcher Chinyere Nwogu, Police Officer Micheal Ploeger, Firefighter/Paramedic Logan Derry, Firefighter/EMT Jackson Salter, Driver/Engineer John Ouverson, Firefighter/EMT Cory Seaton, Fire Lieutenant Dan Birkett, Driver/Engineer David Langley, Firefighter/EMT Josh Lux, Firefighter/EMT Brady Mausser.

The Council opened a series of public hearings and reviewed bids for various projects around town including the NW 54th Avenue reconstruction project and the Police Station roof replacement project.

The Council also approved an agreement for design services for Phase II and III of the Jackaline Baldwin Dunlap Park and Arboretum Master Plan. Once the designs are completed the City will have construction plans to build a memorial courtyard, seating area, paved plaza, and primary entrance enhancements for the Arboretum.

The Council will meet again on Tuesday, March 10. Watch the Agenda Center for more information or to view complete details on any of the Council Agenda items.

February 18, 2020 - Council Worksession

Mayor and City Council met for its February worksession over the Noon hour on Tuesday. The single topic for this session was stormwater: what it is, how Urbandale handles it and what can be done to limit the damage it causes to public and private properties. Engineering staff delivered a presentation to the Council.

Stormwater has been an important topic in Urbandale for years, but especially after the extraordinarily damaging floods of June 30 and July 1, 2018. While the City has been investing in infrastructure and practices to address older problematic areas and prepare for more intense rainfall, there will always be some storms that will overwhelm the best-designed systems.

The Council concluded their meeting by giving staff direction to map the drainage basins on the east side of the city and, as the budget allows, to contract with engineers to study those basins and provide recommendations on how to address problems within them. Meanwhile, city programs and regional efforts are in place to help homeowners address stormwater problems on their properties. For more information, visit https://www.urbandale.org/256/Storm-Water

February 11, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

City Council began their Tuesday meeting by formally accepting the donation of the Urbandale Miracle League Complex (special surface baseball field) and thanked all those involved in the fundraising and success of this project.

The Council moved forward many projects that will improve the quality of life in Urbandale, addressing sidewalks, streets, storm sewers, and parks:

  • An annual program to repair over 100 places in Urbandale’s sidewalk system
  • Work to repair storm sewer intakes in the neighborhood south of Meredith Drive and east of 100th Street
  • Repair of concrete streets in several areas of Urbandale
  • A trail connection in the northwest part of Walnut Creek Regional Park
  • Construction of four pickleball courts at Walker Johnston Park
  • Installation of an accessible restroom at the Miracle League complex
  • Purchased two new street sweepers and a mosquito fogger

Bids were submitted by various companies for all of these projects, and the great news was that almost all of these projects had bids that were less expensive than estimated. Lower bids mean quality projects are completed with less money.

The Council also advanced the Merle Hay Apartments project near the southwest corner of Merle Hay Mall.

 The Council will meet again on Tuesday, February 18 for a work session on stormwater management.  Watch the Agenda Center for more information or to view complete details on any of tonight’s Council Agenda items.

February 4, 2020 - Budget Worksession

City Council met for a budget worksession last night. Members are making preliminary decisions on the budget for the next fiscal year, with final decisions to be made by the end of March. Council gave staff direction to build a budget that includes these aspects:

  • Planned reduction in the city property tax levy of 36 cents per thousand dollars of valuation
  • Overwhelming majority of local option sales tax revenue will be applied to the City’s outstanding debt, reducing principal and interest payments.
  • Creation of a Health and Social Services function in the budget that can be used for community services for residents or projects that generally support the quality of life in Urbandale. 
  • Funds increased for the Urbandale Public Library to restore Library opening hours which were reduced last year.

Public hearings on the budget will be on Tuesday, February 25 and again on Tuesday, March 10. After those hearings, Council will make final decisions on the budget for the July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 fiscal year. 

January 28, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

Your Urbandale City Council met in regular session last night. Mayor Andeweg administered the Oath of Office for two new Urbandale police officers: Bryce Andrews and Carlos Pacheco-Meza. The Mayor welcomed these new officers and thanked them and their families for their service to the community. Urbandale’s budget reflects the City’s priority for public safety. Over a quarter of the City’s expenditures are for police, fire, emergency preparedness and animal control.

The City Council approved the installation of a yield sign at the intersection of 149th Street and Sheridan Avenue on the recommendation of the City Engineer. Traffic control signs and signals are governed in Urbandale on the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) which helps to ensure that the proper controls are in place for safe and efficient traffic flow. City staff worked with the neighbors to hear their concerns and address those using guidelines from the MUTCD.

City Council also made decisions on those routine but important items that keep the City going, including heating and air conditioning improvements at City Hall, agreements with neighboring cities and outfitting of police vehicles.

January 25, 2020 - Budget Worksession

All-day budget work session for Mayor and City Councilmembers where City Manager and staff presented a proposed budget for the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2020. The proposed budget would reduce the City of Urbandale property tax levy by 36 cents per thousand dollars of taxable valuation.

Major themes from the budget presentation and discussion included: Partnerships, Efficiency, Service and Technology. The Mayor and Council asked questions about every department and function with these following highlights from the day:

  • Inter-city Partnerships: Urbandale collaborates with West Des Moines and Clive to fund and operate WestPet, the animal control service for the three cities;
    Urbandale and Clive collaborate both on the closest unit response to send whichever City is best positioned to respond to an emergency and on the third fire station being built at 152nd Street and Meredith Drive.
  • Energy and Fuel Efficiencies:  Conversion of standard streetlights to LED’s will save another $6,000 this year and approximately $90,000 per year over conventional streetlights. Bulk fuel purchases save approximately 40 cents per gallon for fuel compared to the market price.
  • Quality of Life: The Council is focused on providing excellent services and amenities for the people of Urbandale, keeping in mind the needs of those with less means than others.
  • Leveraging Technology: Urbandale is moving to cloud-based services, eliminating vulnerable tape and conventional servers. Cameras, GPS and sensors allow Urbandale to monitor equipment, system performance, inventories and maintenance needs.

The next Council Meeting is Tuesday, February 4 to continue budget discussions. Two formal public hearings on the budget will be February 25 and March 10. Watch the Agenda Center for more information

January 14, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

Last night the City Council approved the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) for 2020 through 2025. The CIP defines major infrastructure projects, building or equipment purchases over five years and how those are paid for. The City of Urbandale goes through a thorough process for developing the CIP: staff prepares a recommended plan which is forwarded to a CIP Committee made up of city elected officials, representatives of the Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission, school district representatives and citizens. The CIP Committee reviews every project in the plan and after a public hearing, makes a recommendation to the City Council on the projects and the timing of them. The City Council then considers approval of the CIP as they did last night.

The CIP is available online for review. A sample of projects slated for 2020 include:

  • Preliminary designs and citizen survey on potential community recreation, senior citizen and aquatic facilities for Urbandale
  • A Parks and Public Works Maintenance Facility on Hickman Road to consolidate currently separate operations into one efficient facility
  • Installations of a restroom, drinking fountain and utilities at Deer Ridge West Park
  • Construction of pickleball courts at Walker Johnston Park
  • A five-fold increase in creek and stream drainage improvements
  • $2 million in street rehabilitation
  • Improvements to Douglas Avenue between 100th Street and North Walnut Creek (near Walker Johnston Park)
  • Installation of a traffic signal at 112th Street and Meredith Drive
  • Various water main projects throughout Urbandale

City Council approved site plans for a Kwik Star convenience store at Plum Drive and 100th Street, a four-unit condominium townhouse project at 10112 Meredith Drive, an addition at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and a child daycare center at 128th Street and Meredith Drive.

City Council authorized the purchase of new equipment for the playground at Golfview West Park, one of over 50 parks available to Urbandale residents and visitors. 

The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 11. Watch for agendas and minutes for all meetings in the City’s Agenda Center.