Background Conditions Regarding City Water and Sewer Rate Increases

For several years during annual city budget work sessions the budget & finance committee and the utility committee have been discussing the financial condition of the water and sewer utility funds.  The situation is complex and this paper will attempt to explain three key issues impacting the utilities; insufficient utility revenues, lower water consumption history, and initiatives aimed at cost containment.

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Municipal Utility Feasibility Studies

Several feasibility studies have been conducted regarding a proposed Decorah Electric Municipal Utility. Over the past several weeks, culminating in a Town Hall meeting on Saturday, February 10, 2018, the city council asked residents of the community to submit their questions regarding the municipalization of the electric utility process. The questions were gathered and submitted to both Alliant Energy and Decorah Power representatives. Their responses are linked below for review.

Additional questions regarding the proposed municipal utility can be directed to Chad Bird, City Manager at (563) 382-3651 or via email at


Open Houses Scheduled For Housing Needs Assessment Input

The Winneshiek County Housing Needs Assessment committee will be holding its final public open house meetings during the months of October and November to conclude the assessment process.

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Telecommunications Feasibility Study

On September 18, 2017, the Decorah Telecommunications Utility Board presented to the city council a summary of the feasibility study conducted by Uptown Services, LLC.  The feasibility study itself provided information on four core areas: Market Analysis, Technology Strategy, Design, and Capital Budget; Incumbent and Proposed FTTP Offerings; and Pro Forma Financial Analysis.   Continue reading

Leaf Removal Program Returns

Leaf Removal Program...

The City of Decorah will be offering leaf pickup service from October 1, 2017 to November 15, 2017

  • 24/7 drop off at the Street Department located at 108 Railroad Avenue
  • Extended hours at City Compost Site (see below)
  • Scheduled leaf pickup along street curbs

Extended Hours At Compost Site Beginning October 1, 2017...

Saturdays, 8 a.m. - Noon
Weekdays, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Wednesdays, 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Compost/Wood Chips Giveaway

The City of Decorah is offering a “Free Loading” opportunity in May. Continue reading


A phone survey will be conducted beginning May 25, 2017 to gauge public demand for a Decorah Broadband/High Speed Internet telecommunications utility.  The city has hired American Directions Research Group, a market research company, to solicit citizen feedback.  The survey should only take 10-12 minutes of your time.  If you are called, please plan to participate.  Any questions you have regarding the survey may be directed to City Hall at (563) 382-3651.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Solidarity with Muslims Statement


Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center
National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms

Endorsed by: Decorah Human Rights Commission, Northeast Iowa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Ryumonji Zen Monastery, Good Shepherd Congregation Council, First United Methodist Church, Grace Episcopal Church

Endorsed by Decorah City Council majority 3-6-17

Throughout its history, the City of Decorah has been built on the strength of its ethnic, racial and religious acceptance.

Many Muslim students attend Luther College and contribute to the cultural diversity of Decorah; and Postville is home to a thriving Somali Muslim community, many of whom visit Decorah on a regular basis.

Inflammatory comments by public figures have increased, including calls to shut down mosques, to ban Muslims from entering the United States and to institute a Muslim Registry.

Incidents of violence and hatred against Muslims have also increased, with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) documenting more than 300 incidents that targeted immigrants or Muslims in the first 10 days after the recent election.

We declare that fear will not divide us. We recognize the threats posed by fear of Islam to our American values of religious freedom and cultural diversity are threats against our very way of life in Decorah and the United States; and we as a community stand firmly with our Muslim neighbors against Islamophobia in all its manifestations.

SPLC Southern Poverty Law Center, February 15, 2017. The Year in Hate and Extremism.

USA Today, June 29, 2016. 2016 already marred by nearly daily terror attacks.

The Bridge Initiative, A Georgetown University Research Project, May 2, 2016. When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections.

Global Research, January 28, 2017, Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks in America.

Notice of Fiber RFP

(Decorah, IA) The Decorah Telecommunications Utility is seeking proposals for a Fiber to the Premise Feasibility Study. The purpose of this effort is to hire a qualified consulting firm to provide insight on the feasibility of installing fiber to the premise within the city limits of Decorah.

This Request for Proposal (RFP) is intended to generate responses to the set of defined issues listed within the Scope of Work section, and also stimulate creative ideas that will add value to the envisioned concept of a fiber to the premise (“FTTP”) network in the city.

The utility commission is issuing this RFP for the purpose of selecting a qualified contractor to provide, at competitive and reasonable costs, professional consulting services to conduct a study of the feasibility of the Decorah telecommunications utility providing a fiber to the premise (“FTTP”) network. The proposed study is complex in nature and includes a review of salient issues perhaps not seen in communities of similar size or demographics.

A copy of the RFP may be obtained by expressing interest to the contact below or downloading a copy from the City’s website at

Interested firms should submit seven (7) copies of their statement of qualifications and experience to the following address by no later than 12:00 noon, 2/6/2017.

Prospective responders with questions regarding this RFP may email or contact:

Chad A. Bird
City Manager
City of Decorah
400 Claiborne Drive
PO Box 138
Decorah, IA 52101
Phone: (563)382‐3651