City Council to review ASSET funding priorities and implement guest lodging ordinance


The Ames City Council conducting business at their meeting on June 18.

Kara Gravert

The Ames City Council will be voting on ASSET (Analysis of Social Services Evaluation Team) funding priorities Tuesday night. The vote will either approve the current funding cycle for fiscal year 2020/21 and its priorities, or offer reprioritization.

ASSET consists of five major funders: The City of Ames, ISU Student Government, Story County, Central Iowa Community Services and United Way of Story County. 

Funders each appoint five volunteers as voting members. Each funder has priorities to guide volunteers in making their recommendations. Funding priorities are used as the volunteers determine how to best allocate the city’s designated ASSET funds.

Current priorities consist of three subjects: meeting basic needs, meeting mental health and chemical dependency needs and the provision of youth development and services activities.

ASSET volunteers have suggested re-prioritizing quality, affordable childcare and the availability of substance abuse-treatment programs in order to maintain a higher ranking in funding priorities. 

Agencies whose services least align with community needs — as envisioned by the council — are less likely to receive an increased allocation of funds. As state and federal funding continue to shrink, ASSET is increasingly being relied upon as a source of funding for community service providers.

In an attempt to regulate lodging, or home-stays, City Council is set to vote on the implementation of a guest lodging ordinance. Guest lodging refers to short-term renting of a dwelling. City municipal language defines guest lodging as 31 consecutive days or less rented to the same person.

The implementation of the new charter has seen council deliberation since last fall. The city estimates that there are currently 50-60 properties which operate a form of guest lodging. The ordinance would require property owners to pay an annual $50 licensure fee, in addition to inspection fees. 

The city council will meet at 6 p.m. in council chambers with a teeming docket. The meeting is open to the public.