March 2019

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: Polk County Hazard Mitigation Plan

Are we prepared for an emergency?

The Des Moines Area MPO is putting that question to the public as it asks for comment on a draft Polk County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Comments are being accepted through March 25 and can be made online at

The MPO is developing the Hazard Mitigation Plan under contract with Polk County. It’s a win-win partnership. The contract work positively impacts the MPO’s budget, while not cutting into the MPO’s core work; and, as a government partner, the MPO is able to perform the work at a lower rate for the County.

The Hazard Mitigation Plan is expected to be finalized by April.


The latest Policy Committee meeting was held Thursday, February 21. You can find the full agenda HERE and the full presentation HERE. Topics include a presentation from Des Moines Civil and Human Rights staff, a Banking and Treasury Services Request for Proposal, Safety Targets, and an MOU between DART and the MPO.


The Policy Committee voted unanimously to approve the 2019 slate of officers recommended by the Nominating Committee.

Steve Gaer, West Des Moines – Chair
Joe Gatto, Des Moines – Vice-Chair
Gary Lorenz, Ankeny – Secretary/Treasurer

The full lists of committee members are linked below. They reflect the committee structure as updated as part of the MPO Strategic Plan.

Policy Committee Members
Executive Committee Members
Transportation Technical Committee

SPEAKER: Mike Curtin of DC Central Kitchen

Next up in the Tomorrow Plan Speaker Series is Mike Curtin Jr., CEO of DC Central Kitchen, the United States’ first community kitchen. Under Curtin’s leadership, DC Central Kitchen has continued to find innovative ways to target the cycle of hunger and poverty in Washington, D.C.

“We want to take things on that people say are too hard, that can’t be done,” Curtin said in an interview with National Geographic. “It’s easy to doubt, to say let someone else do it. Our job is to try.”

Curtin’s talk is timely in Greater Des Moines, where several efforts are underway to combat hunger, notably the Partnership for a Hunger-Free Polk County.


NEXT SPEAKER: Adie Tomer, Brookings Institute, “We need a fresh approach to infrastructure”

IN THE NEWS: Noteworthy MPO Mentions

Des Moines Business Record: MPO seeks comments on $13 million in grants