Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission
January, 2012

UERPC Unveils New Website
Upper Explorerland is excited to announce the launch of our new website, uerpc.orgVisitors to our site will now be able to look to this website as a resource for themselves, their communities and counties. Special links are provided for each of our region’s counties, workforce development, housing, planning and grant information.  New unique features to the website also include the posting of videos, news headlines and a facebook link. This upgrade will provide better service and more efficient information to our partners and local governmental units.  

Feel free to visit our site and provide your comments or questions to Diana Johnson or Casey Mai, website coordinators at 563-382-6171.
Please forward our link to your boards and partners. Special thanks to Alliant Energy, the Arlin Falck Foundation and Black Hills Energy for their financial support of our website development.

Safe Routes to School Plan Awarded
Upper Explorerland is excited to announce the awarding of funding in the amount of $115,000 for a Safe Routes to School Plan.  The Iowa Transportation Commission approved $1,512,885 in total funding for 14 Safe Routes to School program projects throughout the state. Five projects were awarded for non-infrastructure and nine were awarded for infrastructure.
The program was created with federal transportation funds in 2005 with the purpose of increasing the number of children safely walking and bicycling to school. Funding is available to cities, counties, state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and public and private schools through an annual application-based program. UERPC will be working closely with 17 school districts and 5 non-public schools served by UERPC to create a plan for each.  For more information contact Casey Mai at cmai@uerpc.org or 563-382-6171, ext 212.

UERPC Planning Team to Facilitate 30 Community Engagement Meetings in 38 Work Days!
Upper Explorerland’s planning staff will be out at one of 14 communities across the region nearly every evening (and even a couple of Saturdays!) for the months of January and February.  Staff will be conducting the community meetings as part of the public engagement efforts for the four comprehensive “Smart” plans currently underway in our region.  Each meeting will provide the public with the opportunity to offer input into the future plans and goals for their community.  Following the Iowa Smart Planning Principles, each session will cover just a few of the 13 Smart Planning Elements so that community residents have ample time to think about and discuss their town.   Background information and historical data will be shared as it pertains to the topics of the day prior to a discussion on existing assets and future needs or desires.  Participants will be asked to envision the community in 15 or 20 years – will it be a place their children want to live, work and play?   If you live in Winneshiek or Fayette Counties, Lime Springs or McGregor, watch for posters in your community and plan on attending and add your voice to the think tank!

“The staff support provided by UERPC for our local grant projects has assisted us in making sure that our grant reporting is done correctly and in a timely fashion.  The staff is knowledgeable and very professional in dealing with all aspects of community redevelopment projects.  We are very lucky to have the UERPC staff here in Northeast Iowa.”
Robin Bostrom, Program Director
Main Street West Union
Burkes Resigns
Aaron Burkes, our executive director, has accepted a new position in Wisconsin and has left Upper Explorerland effective January 19th.  Aaron’s work at Upper Explorerland has strengthened the organization and brought new opportunity to the region.  We have truly enjoyed having Aaron lead our organization and while he will be missed, we wish him the best in his exciting new endeavor.

With Aaron’s departure, please contact the following with specific questions on:
IowaWORKS:  Fern Rissman

Economic Development and Grant Writing & Management:  Rachelle Howe

Community Planning, Brownfields and Transportation:  Karla Organist

Community Housing Programs and Loan Funds:  Lori Brockway

Section 8 Rental Assistance:  Bev Krambeer

Finance Department:  Lisa Lensing
Questions regarding the Executive Director Position can be directed to UERPC’s Board President, Randy Uhl.

Workshop Dates

January 26 How to Become a CEO of Customer Service, Waukon

February 2 Marketing-How to Get Started, Strawberry Point

February 9 Start your Ebay Business, Waukon

February 22 How to Become a CEO of Customer Service, Cresco

March 1 How to Set Up Your Website for Your Business, Strawberry Point

Contact Rachelle Howe for more information or to sign up.

Audit Complete
The Upper Explorerland Regional Housing Authority audit for the period ending June 30, 2011 is complete and can be viewed on our website at uerpc.org.
Copyright © 2012 Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission, All rights reserved.
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