Feb 1, 2022 - News

Des Moines metro counties form Economic Development District

Data: U.S. Economic Development Administration; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A new Economic Development District (EDD) that includes Polk and six other central Iowa counties was approved last week.

Driving the news: The U.S. Economic Development Administration sent a letter Jan. 26 notifying the Mid Iowa Planning Alliance for Community Development (MIPA) of the designation.

Why it matters: It'll help central Iowa land more federal money, which is particularly important for future disaster recovery efforts.

Details: MIPA is a group of area governments that formed last year and will oversee the EDD.

  • The new district also includes Dallas, Warren, Story, Jasper, Boone and Marion counties.
  • Local governments will contribute a combined total of $70K a year to help cover administrative costs.

How it works: An EDD allows counties in a geographic area to pool resources and coordinate economic development planning.

  • They can better show innovation and competitiveness for grants through regional applications.

By the numbers: The central Iowa counties missed out on $470K of no-match federal pandemic grants because the area previously lacked a regional planning body, according to the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).

  • Iowa areas with EDDs averaged $25 per person in federal grants from Jan. 2018 through Jan. 2021, compared to $4 in central Iowa, the MPO said.

What's next: MIPA is meeting Tuesday at 10am.


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