Press Release - 2021

April 6, 2021 - Moody’s Affirms Urbandale’s Strong Aa1 Credit Rating

Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday, April 1, affirmed the City of Urbandale’s Aa1 bond rating on approximately $91 million of outstanding general obligation unlimited tax (GOULT) debt. Factors that led to the rating include Urbandale’s healthy financial operations and reserves, affluent and growing tax base, and ample revenue raising flexibility.

“Securing a strong credit rating helps to ensure that the City of Urbandale can continue to maintain lower-cost borrowing capabilities," said Nicci Lamb, Finance Director. "Because of our financial stability, we are able to provide exceptional quality municipal services which make Urbandale a great place to live.”

“The City of Urbandale appreciates these strong ratings,” said Mayor Bob Andeweg. “It underscores the long-term commitment of the City Council and staff for strong fiscal discipline, operational excellence, and a close ad­herence to our strategic priorities and mission.”­

Moody’s Investors Service is a global provider of credit ratings, research, and risk analysis. Urbandale’s Finance and Records Department manages the financial integrity of the City. Learn more at: https://www.urbandale.org/230/Finance-Records 

April 5, 2021 - Urbandale Public Library and NFC to Host Virtual “House Party”

The Urbandale Public Library and the Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC) will host a virtual “house party” event to educate community members about unique lending programs and other services to facilitate neighborhood revitalization now available in specific areas of Urbandale.  This free event will take place online Monday, April 12 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 

Attendees will learn about the NFC’s home purchase and refinance programs, “front porch” home improvement loans, and hear firsthand how one area resident has used these programs.  A panel of local housing experts will be on hand to answer questions.  Attendees will also be entered into a drawing for gift certificates to Do Overz, an Urbandale furniture consignment store.

“The NFC team is really looking forward to sharing more information about our lending programs with those that live in NFC’s Urbandale lending area or are thinking of buying a home in the area,” said NFC Executive Director Stephanie Murphy.  “We appreciate the partnership with the City of Urbandale and are very appreciative of the Urbandale Public Library for sponsoring a House Party.”

The event is free and open to the public.  Pre-registration is required to receive the link to participate in this virtual program.  To register, visit www.urbandalelibrary.org or call 515-278-3945, option 1. If you are a person with a disability who requires special assistance, please call 515-331-6765 in advance. 

April 1, 2021 - Urbandale Public Library to Host Food for Fines Event April 5 - 13

The Urbandale Public Library will host a “Food for Fines” event from Monday, April 5 – Tuesday, April 13 in honor of National Library Week.  

Library cardholders are encouraged to bring in non-perishable food or new, full-sized personal care items (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.) in exchange for clearing overdue fines from their library accounts:  1 non-perishable food item = $0.50 of fines forgiven; 1 personal care item* = $1.00 of fines forgiven.  All items collected will be donated to the Urbandale Food Pantry. 

For more than a decade, the Urbandale Public Library has hosted a one-day Food for Fines event in honor of MLK Day in January.  Library Director Nicholas Janning says this year’s multi-day event is both a gesture of goodwill to the community and a celebration.  “The theme for this year’s National Library Week is, ‘Welcome to Your Library.’  For us, the theme is ‘Welcome Back to Your Library!”  After almost a year of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve opened our doors for browsing and other services.  We look forward to seeing our patrons again and helping provide the Food Pantry with some much-needed resources.”  

To learn more about the Food for Fines event guidelines, library hours, and available services, visit www.urbandalelibrary.org or call 515-278-3945, option 1. 

January 27, 2021 - Urbandale One of Six Fire Departments in Iowa Selected to Participate in Nationwide Community Risk Pilot Program

The Urbandale Fire Department was one of 250 Fire Departments selected nationwide by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to participate in the second phase of a pilot program to build a digital tool that helps community leaders make data-informed decisions around fire prevention and other community risk-reduction (CCR) activities in their communities.

“Community risk reduction actions are those actions that help prevent and mitigate the loss of life and property in our community,” said Urbandale Fire Chief Jerry Holt. “While we are the Fire Department, our mission goes well beyond just dealing with fires. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the safety of everyone in our community.”

Innovative technology and access to data is now be combined in new ways to help Fire Departments aggregate and disseminate data that pinpoint where risks exist within a given community. 

The first phase of the pilot project, which included participation from 50 Fire Departments across the country, helped identify needed features of the digital tool. The second phase of the program involves participation from 250 Fire Departments nationwide (including six in Iowa: Urbandale, Ankeny, Hiawatha, Marion, Mason City, and Oskaloosa), and the Urbandale Fire Department will provide insights around the use of the dashboard through June of 2021 to help continue refining and enhancing its effectiveness.

“Participation in this project allows each Fire Department to provide important feedback that will be used to improve future versions of the dashboard, positions the community among CRR leaders in the United States, and signals an interest in leveraging technology to drive high-quality community safety initiatives,” said Karen Berard-Reed, community risk reduction strategist at NFPA.

As a participant in the pilot program, Urbandale Fire Department will have free access to the dashboard, which includes customized maps, charts, and graphs that illustrate each community’s risks and hazards across a variety of categories such as demographics, geography, building stock, economics, infrastructure, and event loss history. The dashboard also provides a snapshot of local capacity for risk reduction activities with information about public safety response agencies and community service organizations.

“We are excited to be chosen as one of 250 Fire Departments nationwide—and one of only six in Iowa to be a part of this process,” said Chief Holt. “This experience will enhance our ability to identify and evaluate the risk in our community and strengthen our ability to identify programs to address those risks.”

For more information online, visit www.nfpa.org/crr.