The Des Moines Metropolitan Counties form the Economic Development District

Data: United States Economic Development Administration; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A new economic development district (JED) which includes Polk and six other central Iowa counties was approved last week.

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

Why is this important: This will help central Iowa get more federal money, which is especially important for future disaster recovery efforts.

Details: MIPA is a group of regional governments that formed last year and will oversee ESD.

  • The new district also includes Dallas, Warren, Story, Jasper, Boone and Marion counties.
  • Local governments will contribute a combined total of $70,000 per 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 the innovation and competitiveness of grants through regional applications.

By the numbers: According to the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (DFO).

  • Areas of Iowa with EDDs received an average of $25 per person in federal grants from January 2018 through January 2021, compared to $4 in central Iowa, DFO said.

And after: MIPA meets Tuesday at 10 o’clock.

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Sara H. Byrd