Town Hall #8 – November 11, 2020

Regional Cooperation:

Is it possible? What opportunities exist?


  • 145 taxing authorities in Polk, Warren & Dallas counties
  • 3 counties, 44 cities, 20 school districts, 75 small authorities
  • DART, County hospitals, DMACC
  • Combined budgets, approaching $4 billion

Is there a way through regional cooperation, to share resources and responsibilities in order to increase efficiencies and effectiveness in the public sector?

Town Hall Panelists:

Regional Services Management:

  • DART
  • Water Reclamation Authority
  • Metro Waste Authority
  • Polk County Emergency Management
  • State Fire Marshal Bomb Squad
  • City of Des Moines HAZMAT Team
  • Mutual Aid Agreements

Coordinating/Communicating Groups

  • Metro Advisory Council
  • Metropolitan Planning Organization
    • Transportation planning

Regional Organizations:

  • BRAVO (Arts promotion)
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Polk County Library Association

Coordinating/Communicating Groups

  • Watersheds
  • Closest Unit Response
    • (Clive & Urbandale)
  • Fire Department Training Center
    • (Clive, Urbandale, Windsor Hts.)
  • University Avenue (Clive & WDM)
    • Signals, fiber, snow removal
  • Hickman Ave traffic signals
    • Clive & Urbandale

Types of Coordination:

Direct: For example, two cities sharing a library building. Both benefit from lower costs vs. two separate buildings.

Indirect: For example, the downtown Des Moines dam redesign for the Water Trails project. White in Des Moines, there is indirect benefit to the suburbs through economic impact,

Challenges & Barriers:

  • Less direct control by each city – managed by proxy
  • Resident resistance – typically a city’s indentity and pride resides in their own police department, fire department, library, etc.

Regional Cooperation (continued)