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Frequently Asked Questions

Animal Control

What can I do about my neighbor's barking dog?

Barking dogs are enforced under Municipal Code 62.01(b): No person shall permit any loud and raucous noise in, or upon, any premises owned, occupied, or controlled by that person, and which are in the vicinity of any residence or hospital, which causes unreasonable distress to the occupants of said residence or hospital. Barking
dog complaints should be reported to the Police Department at (319) 286-5491.

Who do I contact to report roadkill?
Domestic Animals (cat or dog), please contact Animal Control at (319) 286-5993.

Small wildlife (raccoons or squirrel), please contact the Solid Waste Department at (319) 286-5897.
 
Large wildlife (deer), please call the Streets division at (319) 286-5826.
Who do I contact if an animal bites me?

Any time a domestic animal bites a human, it must be quarantined and observed for rabies for no less thank 10 days. Wild animals that bite humans must be euthanized and tested for disease.


Have someone confine or keep track of the animal and call Animal Care & Control at (319) 286-5993 or call the Police immediately.

If this is not possible, report as much of the following information as possible:

    • Owner’s name, address, and phone number
    • Animal’s rabies tag number, year, and administering veterinarian
    • Type/breed of animal
    • Color
    • Size/approximate weight
    • Gender


Immediately flush the bite wound with soap and water for five minutes. In the unlikely event of rabies exposure, this will greatly reduce the chance of infection.

Seek medical attention immediately.

I found a stray dog/cat, who should I contact?

Please contact Animal Control at 319-286-5993. Lost and Found Reports are also posted on the Cedar Rapids Area Lost Pets facebook page.

I am interested in adopting a dog/cat, how can I learn more?

Before visiting the shelter, you can view the dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, rabbits, and other small animals shown available for adoption in our online adoption listings on our PetFinder website at http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/IA125.html. Please note that not all of the animals in the shelter appear on the site’s adoption listings. CRACC attempts to work with everyone who is interested in adopting an animal and giving it a new forever home, however, CRACC does reserve the right to refuse an adoption application for reasons including, but not limited to: false information is given, background checks cannot be verified, vaccination records for currently owned pets cannot be verified or are not current, current identification and address cannot be verified, landlord approval is not given, or if the adoption is not in the best interest of the animal and the adopter.
Dog adoption applicants must first present their current pet at the shelter for a meet ‘n greet with the dog you wish to adopt. No exceptions without management consultation.

The application can be found here.

How do I obtain a dog park permit for the dog parks?

The options for Dog Park permits are Daily Permits or an Annual Permit. There are two ways to obtain a permit to the two dog parks within the City.  You must have your rabies tag number in order to obtain a permit.

Online for registration or renewal

In Person:

  • City Services Center, 500, 15th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
  • Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405

Aquatics

What are the City pool locations and hours?

The Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department operates two outdoor aquatic centers – Noelridge and Cherry Hill, three outdoor pools – Bever, Ellis and Jones, and one indoor pool – Bender.
The five outdoor aquatic centers and pools operate seasonally, generally from the last day of school until the first day of school in the fall. Pre-season (Memorial Day) and post-season (Labor Day) swimming is available at some of the pools. Year-round swimming is available at the indoor pool. Hours vary.

Learn more about pool locations, hours, and passes.

What are the City splash pad locations and hours?
The locations of the splash pads are Cedar valley Park, Cleveland Park, Daniels Park, Greene Square Park, Hayes Park, Hidder Park, Jacolyn Park, Noelridge Park, Redmond Park, Time Check and Twin Pines Park. Hours vary.

Learn more about the City splash pad locations and hours.   
How can I purchase a swim pass for the season?

There are several ways you can purchase or renew your season swim passes:

Apply for new pool passes by filling out the Pool Pass Form located on the website and mail it to one of our two locations:

  • City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
  • Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405

 

Apply for new pool passes or renew existing passes in person at:

  • City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.


Renew last year’s pass online or by phone at: (319) 286-5566, option 1.

Learn more about the City pools and passes.  

If I purchase a swim pass, will it get me into all City pools?
Yes, a City of Cedar Rapids pool pass will get you in to all City of Cedar Rapids pools.  This does not include pools in surrounding communities.
Do you offer swim lessons and if so, how do I sign up?

Yes, the City of Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department offers Red Cross swim lessons. 

Learn more about the levels, dates, times and location of the lessons.

Are there additional fees once I get into the City pools?
There are concessions available for an additional fee as well as children’s swim diapers available for purchase.
Do the City pools accept personal checks?
Yes, the pools accept personal checks. Starting Summer 2019, Visa and MasterCard will also be
accepted.
Do I have to pay admission even though I am not going to swim?
Yes, anyone entering the pool area over the age of 6 months is required to pay admission. Infants under six months are free.
Is there an age requirement to swim in the pool?
Children 5 and under must be supervised by an adult within arm’s reach.  Youths ages 6 – 10 must be supervised by an adult or responsible person at least age 14. 
What age do you need to be in order to visit the pool without a parent or guardian?
Individuals 14 years and older do not need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children 5 years old and under must be supervised by an adult within arm’s reach. Youth ages 6 – 10 must be supervised by an adult or responsible person at least 14 years or older. 
Do you have a lifeguard on duty at all of the City pools?
Yes, there is always a lifeguard(s) on duty. The Parks & Recreation Department follows the Iowa Department of  Public Health Pool Regulations when determining staffing.
How deep is the water for small children?
All pools have zero entry/beach like entry with the exception of Ellis Pool.  Ellis Pool has a separate baby pool available.
Do you allow flotation devices?
Water and float toys allowed only at Family, Evening and Weekend swims.  Water wings/floaties, infant float tubes, large inner tubes, swim suits with removable floats and life jackets are not allowed.
Are swim diapers required to be worn by little kids?

Swim diapers are mandatory for children who are not yet toilet trained. They are available from the pool cashier for a nominal charge.

How warm is the water?
For outdoor pools, the water is colder/warmer depending on outside temperature and the water tends to be mid to upper 80’s. 
The indoor pool, Bender Pool, is kept at 84 degrees, plus or minus 2 degrees.
What are the opening and closing policies for the City pools?

Pools and Aquatic Centers may not open or may close early for the following reasons:

  • Air temperature below 70 degrees
  • 20 people or less in the facility for a period of one hour. For Noelridge and Cherry Hill, the pool will close if there are 50 people or less in the facility for a period of one hour.
  • Lightning or severe storm in the area
  • Mechanical problems
  • Poor water quality
  • Special events/situations
  • Darkness
  • Maximum bather limit reached. (When a pool reaches capacity, patrons may be turned away and will be referred to another facility.)

 

How do you notify people if you close in inclement weather?

If there is inclement weather in the area or the temperature is around 70 degrees, please contact the pools to verify they are open for the session you would like to attend:

Bever Pool: (319) 286-5791

Cherry Hill Pool:  (319) 286-5792

Ellis Pool:  (319) 286-5793

Jones Pool:  (319) 286-5794

Noelridge Pool:  (319) 286-5795

Do you have locker rooms and lockers?
Each pool has a locker/restroom area. Please do not store valuable items in the lockers. The Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation Department is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Lockers are not for overnight use.
What rules are there concerning dress code?
Actual swim attire is required. Fibers from street clothing damage the pool filter (basketball shorts are not allowed).
Can I bring food or a cooler into the pool area?
Concessions are available. No outside food, beverages, alcohol or coolers.
How do I make a birthday party reservation?

Pool shelters are available for your event at Cherry Hill Pool and Noelridge Pool for a nominal fee.  To reserve these shelters and inquire about availability and pricing contact us:

By phone at:  319-286-5566, option 1.

In person at: 

  • City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
How do I get a job at the City pools?
 Visit the Human Resources page on the City of Cedar Rapids website to learn about current employment opportunities and how to apply.

Assessor

How does the Assessor determine the value of my property?
Depending on the classification of the property, the assessment is to represent the market value of the property unless otherwise provided by Iowa Code. Residential, agricultural dwellings, commercial, and industrial classed properties are to be assessed at market value. Changes in market value as indicated by research, sales ratio studies and analysis of local conditions as well as economic trends both in and outside the construction industry are used in determining your assessment. Agricultural land and buildings are valued on productivity and net earning capacity.
What is Market Value?

Market value of a property is an estimate of the price that it would sell for on the open market on January 1st of the year of assessment. This is sometimes referred to as the 'arm’s length transaction' or 'willing buyer/willing seller' concept.

When are Assessment Notices mailed?
Assessment notices are mailed on or before April 1st, whenever there is a change in assessment to a taxpayer’s property.
How often is my property reassessed?

State law requires all properties to be reassessed every two years. Current law requires the reassessment to occur in odd numbered years. If necessary, assessors may reassess property every year.

Why do assessed values change even though I have not made any changes to my property?

A change in the market value of a property can be from new construction or building removals, but it can also come from changes in market value that are caused by inflation, deflation (recession) or economic changes within a small neighborhood area. The assessor estimates the market value only after researching sales and completing sales ratio studies which show market trends. An analysis of local conditions as well as economic trends both in and outside the construction industry are also used in determining property assessments.


After properties have been appraised, the preliminary assessed values are analyzed to ensure that accurate and equitable values were established using the most recent selling prices.

What do I do if I disagree with the Assessed Value of my property?
If you disagree with the assessment of a property, you have two basic options. One option is to have an informal review with the assessor’s office. If an agreement can be reached between April 2 through April 25, a signed document will change the assessment to the mutually agreed to value or classification. The second option is to file a formal appeal with the Board of Review between April 2 and April 30. Appeal forms for the Board of Review may be obtained from the assessor's office and must be returned back to that respective office by the deadline above.
What is the Board of Review and who are the members?
The local board of review is composed of either three or five members who are familiar with local market conditions and trends. According to Iowa law, one member must be a farmer, one a licensed real estate broker, and one a registered architect or contractor. The Board of Review reviews all petitions and has the power to confirm or to adjust upward or dowward any assessment. The Board operates independently of the assessor's office.
What is the Property Assessment Appeal Board and who are the members?
The Property Assessment Appeal Board (PAAB) is a state agency created for the purpose of establishing a consistent, fair and equitable property assessment appeal process. Decisions of the local Board of Review may be appealed to PAAB. One member of the board shall be a certified real estate appraiser or hold a professional appraisal designation, one member shall be an attorney practicing in the area of state and local taxation or property tax appraisals, and one member shall be a professional with experience in the field of accounting or finance and with experience in state and local taxation matters.
What is a Homestead Credit?

The homestead credit is a property tax credit for residents of the State of Iowa who own and occupy their homestead on July 1 and for at least six months of the calendar year. It is a tax credit funded by the State of Iowa for qualifying homeowners, and is based on the first $4,850 of actual value of the homestead.

What is a Military Exemption?
Veterans who served in active duty and who were honorably discharged are eligible to receive a military exemption on their property taxes. If you served in the military and were on active duty for 18 months you are eligible for a military exemption. Pursuant to Iowa law, the reduction in taxable value is determined by the dates and amount of time the veteran served in active duty. The reduction of taxable value for World War I veterans is $2,778 and $1,852 for all other periods of service. Former and current members of the Iowa National Guard and reserve forces need not have performed active duty if they served at least 20 years.
How do I apply or find out if I qualify for the Homestead Credit or Military Exemption?

The Assessor’s Office has forms that you need to complete, sign, and file for the homestead credit and/or military exemption. That office can also tell you the qualifications for each. Iowa law provides for a number of exemptions and credits, including homestead credit and military exemption. It is the property owner's responsibility to apply for these as provided by law at the Assessor’s office in their jurisdiction. If the property you were occupying as a homestead is sold, or if you cease to use the property as a homestead, you are required to report this to the assessor in whose jurisdiction the property is located.

Applications can also be found on the Iowa Department of Revenue’s website.

I have applied for the Homestead Credit and/or Military Exemption, but I don't see them on my property tax bill?

Depending on when the homestead credit application or military exemption application was signed by the property owner, it may be more than 24 months for the credit or exemption to appear on the property tax statement. July 1 of the current assessment year is the deadline for filing for the homestead credit or military exemption for the current assessment year. If the July 1 deadline is missed, the exemption or credit will not be applicable until the next assessment year.

As an example, if a property owner applied for the homestead credit on July 2, 2019, they have missed the July 1 deadline for assessment year 2019. The property owner is now applying for the homestead credit for assessment year 2020. The property owner will not receive a property tax statement for levies against the 2020 taxable value until Aug or Sept 2021.

I received a notice from the City for a Special Assessment.  Who do I contact to discuss this assessment?
Special Assessments are handled by the Public Works Department.  They can be contacted at 319-286-5802.  To pay a special assessment bill, please contact the Cedar Rapids Treasury Department at 319-286-5003.

Automated Traffic Enforcement (Traffic Cameras)

Boards and Commissions

What are the names of the City of Cedar Rapids boards and commissions?

 

The City has various boards, commissions, committees and task forces comprised of volunteers appointed by the City of Cedar Rapids City Council.  All of the City's boards and commissions play a critical role in public policy development, implementation and review for the City Council.

A list of all boards and commissions and their members can be found on the City’s Boards and Commissions webpage.

How do I apply to be appointed to a City of Cedar Rapids board or commission?

Applications are accepted year round for current and upcoming vacancies on the City's boards, commissions and advisory committees. The board and commission application can be accessed here.

Which boards or commissions have vacancies?
The list of current board and commission members, term expiration dates and vacancies is updated
monthly. Applications are accepted year round for mid-term resignations. Most terms of service expire on June 30 each year.

Learn more about board and commission membership and vacancies.

What are responsibilities of board and commission members?
Membership on each board or commission requires varying qualifications.

Learn more about the responsibilities for each board and commission.
Do I have to live in Cedar Rapids in order to serve on a board or commission?

A majority of members must be residents and qualified electors of the City of Cedar Rapids.

Learn more about membership requirements for each board and commission.

Building Services - Building Inspections, Permits, and Plan Review

How do I know if I need a permit?
Generally, building permits are required to erect, alter, enlarge or demolish a structure. Permits are required for work including, but not limited to, new construction, remodeling, repair (other than minor, normal maintenance repairs), re-roofing, and vinyl siding and fence installation. When applicable, separate permits for electrical, plumbing and mechanical work are also required. In addition, any project must also comply with the Zoning Ordinance.

For more information, please call (319) 286-5836 or visit the Building Services Department at the City Services Center, 500 15th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.
What information do I need to obtain a building permit?

The following information will be needed in order to obtain a building permit:

  • A description of the work to be covered by the permit and the use of the structure.
  • A site plan identifying existing structures, the location of the proposed work, and their dimensions to property lines, streets, alleys, and easements (if known). NOTE: a site plan is not required for siding, re-roofing, window replacement or interior remodeling permits unless there is a change of use involved.
  • Plans, diagrams and specifications are usually required. If plans are larger than 11x17 two (2) copies of plans are required. NOTE: An Iowa architect's or engineer's seal is required on plans for certain commercial projects.
  • The valuation of the construction work to be covered by the permit.

 

The building department staff will work with the applicant to obtain any other required information.

Where do I go to obtain a building permit?

The Building Services Department is located at the City Services Center on the second floor, 500 15th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

Permits are issued from 7:30 to 4:00 p.m.

How much does a permit cost?
Building permit fees are generally based on the total cost of construction and are shown in the Building Permit Fee Table. Exceptions to this are permits for construction of fences, swimming pools, and retaining walls ($25.00 each) and accessible ramps ($10.00 each).
How long are permits effective?

Permits expire 12 months after issue date.  However, permits may be renewed for 180 days upon payment of the renewal fee provided that no changes have been made to the original scope of work.

Is a separate permit required for electrical, mechanical, and plumbing work?
Each construction trade is permitted separately. All work to be performed must be identified including the contractor doing the work. All electrical, mechanical, and plumbing contractors must hold and employ persons licensed with the State of Iowa or qualify for the owner-occupant exemption and will secure their own permit.
Do I need a permit for a fence or deck?
A building permit is required for a fence or a deck.  For more information, please call (319) 286-5836 or visit the Building Services Department at the City Services Center, 500 15th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.
How do I schedule an inspection?
Permit holders may schedule inspections by calling the Building Services Department at (319) 286-5831 or by email at inspectionrequests@cedar-rapids.org.
What kind of inspections do I need?
The type of inspections you need depend on the type of work you are doing. When your permit is issued, a Permit Technician will go over required inspections with you. You can also call the Building Services Department at  (319)
286-5831 with questions or to schedule an inspection.
My neighbor's sump pump is draining onto my property/sidewalk/street. What can be done about this?
Sump pump discharges should be connected to an approved storm sewer if available or to an approved discharge location. Approved discharge locations are defined as no closer than 10 feet from the lot line and 2 feet from the foundation.  You can report illegal sump pump discharge by calling the Building Services Department at (319) 286-5831. An inspector will go out to the property in question to determine if the sump pump drain is in violation. If they are found to be in violation, the Building Services Department will work with the property owner to bring the drain into compliance.

City Council

How many City Council members are there?
The Cedar Rapids City Council consists of eight Council members plus the Mayor, all of whom serve four-year terms. The Mayor and three Council members are elected at large, while the remaining five members are elected by voters in their districts. For more information on the Council members and which district they represent, visit the City Council webpage.
What form of government is the City of Cedar Rapids?

Since January 1, 2006, the City of Cedar Rapids operates under a Council-Manager form of government.

Under this form of government, the city council appoints a full-time city manager to carry out the policies it establishes and to oversee the day-to-day administrative operations of city government. The manager is also responsible for preparing the budget and hiring and firing personnel. Each city department is managed by a department director, who answers to the city manager.

The mayor and council, as a collegial body, are responsible for setting policy, approving the budget and determining the tax rate. The mayor is recognized as the political head of the municipality but is a member of the legislative body and does not have the power to veto legislative actions.

How do I know what district I live in and who my council member is?

The Linn County Auditor’s Office offers several resources on its Election Services page to help you determine your voting district.

Search by address or Search by map

How do I contact my council member?
For more information on the Council members and how to get in touch with them, visit the City Council webpage.

Civil Rights

I feel I have been discriminated against, who can I contact for help?
You may contact the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission. They investigate allegations of discrimination in employment, education, credit, public accommodations, and housing based on age, color, creed, disability, familial status, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.
Can I bring my Emotional Assistance Animal [Companion Animal, Support Animal] or Service Animal [Assistance Animal] with me in public? May I have a reasonable accommodation for my animal?

Service Animal [Assistance Animal]: Individuals with disabilities shall receive a reasonable accommodation for their Service Animal [Assistance Animal] and may bring the animal into a public venue*.

 

Emotional Assistance Animal [Companion Animal, Support Animal]: Individuals with disabilities do not need to be provided with a reasonable accommodation to bring their Emotional Assistance Animal and may not bring the animal into a public venue*, unless an accommodation is granted.

 *Each and every place, establishment, or facility that caters or offers services, facilities, or goods for a fee or charge to nonmembers of any organization or association utilizing the place, establishment, or facility.

For more information, you may contact the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission.

Who do I contact regarding accessibility issues in the community?

Please contact April Wing at (319) 286-5683 at the City of Cedar Rapids regarding all questions or accessibility concerns related to city facilities and parks.

Please contact Public Works at (319) 286-5802 option 3 or sidewalks@cedar-rapids.org regarding accessibility concerns related to sidewalks or curb ramps.

Please contact Civil Rights Commission at (319) 286-5036 regarding accessibly concerns related to private businesses or organizations within the community.
Who do I contact regarding accessibility issues in the community?

Please contact April Wing at (319) 286-5683 at the City of Cedar Rapids regarding all questions or accessibility concerns related to city facilities and parks.

Please contact Public Works at (319) 286-5802 option 3 or sidewalks@cedar-rapids.org regarding accessibility concerns related to sidewalks or curb ramps.

Please contact Civil Rights Commission at (319) 286-5036 regarding accessibly concerns related to private businesses or organizations within the community.

The City of Cedar Rapids is dedicated to creating a community that is accessible and inclusive for all of our citizens.  Learn more about the City of Cedar Rapids' ADA compliance efforts.

Construction

Who do I contact to report issues (debris, noise, mud, traffic) at a construction site on private property?
For a road construction project that is impacting your private property, please contact Construction Engineering at 319-286-5812 or ConstructionEng@cedar-rapids.org

For construction issues on projects being completed by private property owners (example, building a shed), please contact Building Services at 319-286-5831 or bsd-admin@cedar-rapids.org.

For construction issues on commercial property site, please contact Development Services at you can at 319-286-5780 or developmentservices@cedar-rapids.org.

For noise issues, please contact the police non-emergency line at 319-286-5491.
There is construction work going on in my neighborhood, but I was not notified. Who do I contact to find out what is going on?
Contact the Construction Engineering division at 319-286-5812 or constructioneng@cedar-rapids.org to find out more information about a current construction project.

If you see flags in your yard:

The flags may or may not be for City work. Anyone who will be digging must contact Iowa One Call so all utilities can come out and mark the area if they have anything buried in the area (gas lines, electric lines, cable lines, etc.).

Residents can contact Iowa One Call to look up the associated work, by calling 1-800-292-8989 or through email at onecall@iowaonecall.com.

My yard was damaged due to a city construction project (i.e. right-of-way project, curb ramp installation, street work), who do I report this to?
Please contact the Risk Management division at (319) 286-5125. Claim forms and contact information can be found on the Risk Management page of the City of Cedar Rapids website.

Economic Development

Where can I find current City-owned properties for redevelopment?
Request for Redevelopment Proposals, as well as related staff contact information, can be found on the Community Development Redevelopment Opportunities page.
Where can I find information about available sites and buildings in Cedar Rapids?
City economic development staff maintain a web portal with up to date information about growth and development citywide. 

For sites and buildings, the web portal contains a search tool that allows users to view listings for specific property listings.
Where can I find information about the City of Cedar Rapids' economic development incentive programs?

The City of Cedar Rapids also makes information about City incentive programs available on its Economic Development web portal: www.economicdevelopmentcr.com.

Where can I find data to help locate or expand a business in the City of Cedar Rapids?

The City’s Economic Development Services Division provides access to an economic dashboard that makes tracking change in business conditions for Cedar Rapids simple.  Detailed information about the local economic development process, including studies and supporting data, may be found here.    

Finance, Purchasing, and Treasury

How can I pay my invoice?

City invoices can be paid the following ways:

Online: www.cedar-rapids.org

Mail: Treasury Operations, PO Box 2148, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2148

In person: Treasury Office, City Hall, 101 1st Street SE – 1st Floor, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 - Hours:  Monday – Friday 7:30am – 5:00pm

Who do I contact if I have a question about an invoice I received?
Contact the Accounts Receivable division by email accountsreceivable@cedar-rapids.org or by calling 319-286-5134.
Where can I view the City's annual budget?

The City’s budget can be found on the Finance Department webpage, and there are hard copies for viewing at our local Library and City Finance office.

Where can I find a copy of the City's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)?

The City’s CAFR can be located on the Finance Department webpage. The 10 most recent years are available electronically.

Where can I fax an employment verification to include payroll information (mortgage application, etc.)?
These requests can be faxed to (319) 286-5997.
I am a former employee of the City of Cedar Rapids, how do I request a copy of my W-2?
You can make this request by email payroll@cedar-rapids.org or by calling 286-5006.
How can I register with the City of Cedar Rapids as a vendor?
Complete the Accounts Payable registration packet using the Vendor Registration link.

Completed registration packets can be returned by email to accountspayable@cedar-rapids.org, faxed to 319-409-8092 or mailed to: City of Cedar Rapids, Finance Department – Accounts Payable, 101 First Street SE, PO Box 2148, Cedar Rapids, IA  52406-2148.
How can I find out if an invoice has been paid?
Contact the Accounts Payable division by email at accountspayable@cedar-rapids.org or by phone at 319-286-5006.
Who do I contact for a W-9 or sales tax exemption certificate?
Contact the Accounts Payable division by email at accountspayable@cedar-rapids.org or by phone at 319-286-5006.
Where should I send my invoices and statements?
Invoices and statements can be emailed to accountspayable@cedar-rapids.org, faxed to 319-409-8092 or mailed to: City of Cedar Rapids, Finance Department – Accounts Payable, 101 First Street SE, PO Box 2148, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2148
Where do I find information on bid opportunities?
A list of bid opportunities can be viewed on the Purchasing Services webpage.
Where does the City sell their surplus?
All City surplus is listed for sale at www.Govdeals.com
What types of payments does the City Treasury Office accept?
Treasury accepts water bill payments and City invoice payments. For more information visit the Treasury Operations webpage or call (319) 286-2148.
What forms of payment are accepted at the City Treasury Office?
The City Treasury Office, located at City Hall, accepts cash, checks, money orders, or credit/debit cards.

For more information visit the Treasury Operations webpage or call (319) 286-2148.
How can I make a payment?

Citizens can make payments various ways:

Pay Bill Online

Mail payment: Treasury Operations, PO Box 2148, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2148

Pay bills in-person: City Hall, 101 First Street SE, Treasury Office – 1st Floor, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Hours:  Monday – Friday 7:30am – 5:00pm

Phone:  (319) 286-5003

Email: Tspecialist@cedar-rapids.org

Where do I pay a ticket issued by a Police Officer?

Police Officer issued tickets can be paid at the Linn County Clerk of Court, 50 3rd Avenue Bridge, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Phone: (319) 398-3411

Who do I contact with questions about property taxes or to pay my property taxes?

For more information on your property taxes or to pay your property taxes, please contact the Linn County Treasurer's Office-Property Tax Division, 935 2nd Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Hours: Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 pm

Phone: (319) 892-5500

Fire

Do I need a permit for a fire alarm?

 

No, the Fire Department does not currently require a permit for fire alarm activations. However, fire alarm systems, which are monitored, may be assessed a fee for false alarms, which occur during any consecutive 12-months as follows: 

Number of False   Alarms

Fee for each   False Alarm

1st   Alarm

No charge

2-4 alarms

$75

5th and   above alarms

$150

 

Can I have a recreational fire (bonfire/campfire)?
Recreational fires are allowed in the City limits but must meet the criteria for a recreational fire. 

Please visit the Fire Department webpage to learn more about the recreational fire guidelines.
How do I schedule an inspection?
To schedule a fire inspection, please call (319) 286-5200 please select option 2 for the Fire Marshal’s office or email CRfire@cedar-rapids.org.
How can I contact the Fire Department after hours or for a non-emergency?
Please contact the Joint Communications Center at 319-286-5491 for after-hours service.  The non-emergency contact number is (319) 286-5200.
How can I find out what programs the Fire Department offers?
Visit the "Programs/Community Outreach" toolbar in the main menu for a list of programs that the fire department offers.
How can I schedule a fire truck or a firefighter at my function?
To schedule a fire truck or firefighter to attend your event, please call the Fire Department at (319) 286-5200 and select option 2. Please give the fire department at least two weeks’ notice prior to your event.
Can I tour a fire station?
To schedule an event, call the fire department at (319) 286-5200 and select option 2. Please give the fire department at least two weeks’ notice prior to your event.
Why do fire trucks respond to motor vehicle accidents?
There are two key reasons that firefighters respond to motor vehicle accidents.
First, automobile accidents present other hazards such as potential fire, ruptured fuel tanks, and/or the presence of hazardous materials. Second, Cedar Rapids firefighters are trained Emergency Medical Technicians. Therefore, they can assist ambulance personnel with patient care or assist in extricating (removing) trapped occupants from the vehicle.
Why do fire trucks respond to emergency medical calls?

Firefighters are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). Our primary mission is to provide supplementary support to our local ambulance personnel. With additional fire stations and personnel on duty, we can often arrive prior to the ambulance personnel and begin life saving techniques such as rescue breathing, CPR, and defibrillation.

All Cedar Rapids fire stations are scheduled to be staffed with at least one paramedic. Paramedics provide advanced life support, can administer medications and start intravenous therapy.

What kind of smoke alarm should I buy?
The Fire Department cannot recommend specific manufacturers. However, we do recommend that electrical smoke alarms (hard wired) be C.S.A. approved. We also recommend any battery-operated smoke alarm be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved.
My smoke alarm goes off a lot, what is wrong with it?
First, clean the unit with a vacuum cleaner. Dust particles can and often do set off false alarms. Second, the unit may need to be relocated. It could be too close to the kitchen, bathroom, heat register or it could be defective and need to be replaced. Consult the installation instructions.
My smoke alarm beeps, what is wrong with it?
The problem is usually a weak or dead battery. Replace with a fresh battery as recommended by the manufacturer.
Who do I contact if I think a building is a fire hazard?
Pleae contact the Fire Marshal's Office at (319) 286-5200. You need to provide the address of the building and
the owner or manager’s name, if you have it. You also need to provide your name and contact phone number. Once the investigation is complete, your name will become part of the public information file on the building.
Does the Fire Department check car seats?
Call the Cedar Rapids Fire Department at (319) 286-5200 with your particular question or visit other sections
of our Web site, including the Safety Topics page.
Does the Fire Department offer CPR certification?

The Fire Department does not provide CPR certification or CPR training to outside agencies or personnel. CPR and other first-aid or life-saving training are available from the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.

How can I apply to be a career firefighter?
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a firefighter with the City of Cedar Rapids and applying, please visit the Employment page on the City of Cedar Rapids Fire Department's
website or call Human Resources at (319) 286-5000.
Where can I get general safety information?

Call the Cedar Rapids Fire Department at (319) 286-5200 with your questions or visit the Fire Department's Safety Topics page.

Flood Control System

Why is permanent flood protection important for the entire community?

Permanent flood protection is critical for the entire community’s safety, economic security, and quality of life. Without it, the city continues to be vulnerable to human loss and financial risk.

Safety

  • Flood protection is needed to keep Cedar Rapids residents safe and out of harm’s way.
  • Flood protection will ensure that emergency services have access to both sides of the river.
  • Flood protection will mean entire neighborhoods are no longer at risk of flood damage and loss.
  • Flood protection will prevent the shutdown of transit and school district bus services.


Economy

  • Funding for permanent flood protection is critical in order to protect the economic investment that has taken place in Cedar Rapids over the last 10 years.
  • Protection encourages future investment in our City.
  • Protection reduces the burden of high flood insurance rates.
  • Areas of flood risk provide a disproportionate, positive contribution to our community’s tax base, assessed land value, and employment level – providing a higher level of return per dollar invested.
  • Jobs, home values, and the business economy all depend on our ability to protect the city from future loss related to flooding.


Cost of Ongoing Flood Fights

  • Permanent protection means the City won’t have to spend $10 million each time we need to build temporary protection.
  • Permanent protection will remove the estimated $25 million in local economic loss when businesses are shut down during flood fights.
What is the cost of the project?

The system will cost approximately $550 million in today’s dollars. With inflation, the cost over 20 years is estimated at $750 million. The plan is to complete the system in 10-15 years in order to avoid the full cost of inflation.

To date, there is an estimated gap of approximately $342 million for project completion in 2034.

Secured to date:
• $117 million Federal US Army Corps of Engineers
• $267 million State of Iowa Flood Mitigation Board (35% of total cost)
• $15 million federal grants secured as of spring 2018
     o $12.5 million Federal CDBG Disaster Recovery Grant
     o $1.75 million Federal Economic Development Administration
• $9 million invested from local funds as of FY2019

Why is more money needed after the federal government awarded funding?
Funding for the system is a combination of federal, state, city, and private dollars. The federal government is funding only a portion of the entire system. In addition to state and federal dollars already secured, a city commitment of $110 million to the State of Iowa also exists, as well as additional funding gaps necessary to complete the entire system.
What differences are there for the federal funds vs state/local funds?

The federal funds are in the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) budget, and the contracts to spend those funds stay in the ACOE budget.  Those funds do not come to the City of Cedar Rapids. Federal funds must be spent on the east side of the river. 

 The State Iowa Flood Mitigation Board (GRI) awarded a maximum $267 million 20-year award, from 2014-2034. Each year the funding formula allows up to 70 percent of new sales tax generated, up to $15M to be awarded to the City of Cedar Rapids. As conditions of this funding, the State Flood Mitigation Board funds must be matched with federal funds and at least $110M of local funds; and the entire flood control system must be completed. State funds can be spent on either the east and west sides of the river.

What is the plan to fund the local commitment?

In order to create a funding plan, many sources for funding were considered, including public-private partnerships, FEMA pre-disaster mitigation, TIF redirection, special assessments, and more.  After much consideration, it was determined that bonding offers the most reasonable solution for the community.  In fiscal 2020, City Council would be asked to issue $20M in bonds, which would result in a property tax levy increase of 22 cent tax per $1,000 in property value, which is an additional $18 for a $150,000 home. Under the plan, each year thereafter would see another tax increase, but the amount could vary depending on a variety of factors that are unknown at this point, such as the interest rate on bonds, residential rollback, change in property valuations, other revenue sources to fund system, or reducing other parts of the tax levy rate.  The rate would also decrease if the State legislature approved the use of 30-year bonds.

 The City Council understands the importance of keeping property taxes manageable for residents and businesses owners, and has not increase property levy rates from $15.22 for 10 years. Because of this planning, the final rate after 10 years will still be in line with other comparable cities in Iowa. 

What is the property tax paying for?

The property tax funding will go directly toward the design and construction of the Cedar River Flood Control System, including earth levees, pump stations, detention basins, gates, underground storm sewer systems, 8th Avenue Bridge replacement, and permanent and removable walls. This includes protection on both sides of the river.

Funding share is approximately 50/50.  For every $1 we put in, other funding sources are putting in $1. This is extremely rare, and is a tremendous financial benefit for the City of Cedar Rapids.

What other funding options are available?

Municipalities have limited options in raising funds for public improvement projects. Many sources for funding were considered, including public-private partnerships, FEMA pre-disaster mitigation, TIF redirection, special assessments, and more.  After much consideration, it was determined that a property tax levy increase offers the most reasonable solution for the community.

Why are you not taxing the business district?
Businesses in these districts will contribute, but success is important for the entire community so it is important that the entire community supports protection. Both large and small businesses in this area currently incur very high flood insurance premiums, making it difficult to stay operational in our community. The economy of Cedar Rapids depends on the health of our core districts in order to provide jobs and support housing and entertainment options. There are wide-spread economic development impacts to all of Cedar Rapids and the entire county when a disaster happens to the downtown.
Why build something so expensive when we can build temporary construction if needed?

Even with the minimal water damage sustained during the September 2016 flood fight, the construction costs of building a temporary system were approximately $10 million. This does not include the over $25 million in local economic loss to Cedar Rapids businesses, who lost production time and revenue while downtown was shut down during emergency flood response. In addition, many businesses did not receive flood insurance to help cover the loss of revenue; since there was little actual flood damage, there was also very little flood insurance to help cover those losses. These strains impact numerous downtown businesses – both locally owned as well as some of the largest employers in Cedar Rapids.

In addition to the economic impact of building a temporary system, the risks greatly increase to build a temporary system of earth levees and sand-filled barriers. This plan depends on having the time and resources necessary to construct the system before flooding hits, and a temporary system will not be able to hold back a river surge of the 2008 volume. In addition, a breach anywhere in the temporary system could compromise the entire downtown and surrounding neighborhoods and districts, making this an unreliable long-term solution.
Why can you not build something less expensive?
The design of the flood control system is based on protection needs and does not contain “extras” – there is not a lot you can take out without compromising the system.
Once nearly all funding sources are in place, what is the schedule for construction of the Flood Control System? When will it be completely finished?
The Iowa Flood Mitigation Board Award presumes the system will be completed in 20 years – 2034. The system could be completed in 13 years – 2030, based upon time needed for design, property acquisition, coordination with other entities (railroad), and construction. The City's plan is to complete the system as quickly as possible in order to keep inflation costs as minimal as possible.

Garbage and Recycling

What holidays does the Solid Waste and Recycling Division observe?

When holidays fall during the week, it may postpone your collection. View our calendar and see if an upcoming holiday will change your collection.

Observed holidays include New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

What day of the week is my garbage and recycling collected?

Garbage, recycling, and yard waste crews reach 41,400 homes in Cedar Rapids each week.  In order to provide service to everyone, the City is divided into 5 sections. 

You can view a map to see when to expect our crew members. 

All containers need to be set out by 7:00 a.m. to ensure collection.

If you have questions about which day your garbage is picked up, please call our office at (319) 286-5897. 

Who do I contact if my carts were not emptied?

Please call the Solid Waste and Recyling division at (319) 286-5897 to report a “missed collection.”  Our phones are answered 24/7, if you are calling after hours, please leave a message with our answering service.

Who do I contact if my cart is damaged or missing?

Please call the Solid Waste and Recycling division at (319) 286-5897 to report missing or damaged carts.

How do I schedule a bulky item pick-up?
Please call our office at (319) 286-5897 to schedule a pick-up. See our Bulky Item Collection Service for objects that do not fit in your garbage can.
When is yard waste collected?
Yard waste is collected on a weekly basis throughout the year.
When are leaves collected?

The City of Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling Division Leaf Vacuum Collection occurs in the Spring and Fall each year. For more information on leaf collection including specific dates of collection, please visit the Solid Waste and Recycling Division’s webpage.

What is recyclable?
Learn more about what materials can be recycled and placed in your Curby.
Where can I dispose of needles or syringes?

NEVER PUT NEEDLES OR SYRINGES IN YOUR GARBAGE OR RECYCLING BIN


Dispose of personal needles and syringes at the following locations:


Cedar Rapids Solid Waste & Recycling Division (main office)

Address: 500 15th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Phone: 319-286-5897
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.


Cedar Rapids Linn County Solid Waste Agency (County Home Road location)

Address:1954 County Home Rd, Marion, IA
Phone: 319-377-5290
Hours: Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.–4:30 p.m.


Needles and syringes must be placed into a properly sealed container such as a detergent bottle, bleach bottle, or proper Sharps Containers.

There are illegally dumped items on my property, how do I get rid of them?
Please contact the police department non-emergency line at 319-286-5491 to report an illegally dumped item.  They will give you a case number, then call Solid Waste at 319-286-5897 with the case number, address, and items illegally dumped.
How do I report junk in my neighbor's yard?
Please call the Nuisance Abatement Officer at 319-286-5890 to report trash, furniture, appliances on private property.
Where can I drop off garbage, light bulbs, metal, or miscellaneous items?

Items can be taken to the Linn County landfill at 1954 County Home Rd, Marion (319) 377-5290.

General

How can I obtain a birth, marriage, or death certificate?
Birth, marriage, divorce or death records/certificates can be obtained at the Linn County Recorder’s Office
of Vital Records
located at
Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center 935 2nd Street SW Cedar Rapids, IA 52404or calling (319) 892-5000.
Where do I get my driver's license?
Driver’s license can be obtained by visiting the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), 3726 Queen Court SW, Suite 204, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 or calling (319) 377-6461.
Where do I get my license plates?
Treasurer’s Office/Motor Vehicle Department, Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 or call (319) 892-5500.

Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.

Where do I go for vehicle registration or title?

Treasurer’s Office/Motor Vehicle Department, Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd Street SW Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 or call (319) 892-5500

Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m.

Where do I register to vote?
Voter registration forms are available at the Linn County Auditor’s Office at the County Public Service Center, 935 Second Street SW, Cedar Rapids, or at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall. The Auditor’s Office, which is the primary contact for voter registration issues, provides additional information on their website.

Golf

What are the locations and hours of the City golf courses?

Due to the seasonal nature of golf, the best way to get an answer regarding hours of operation is to contact the respective clubhouse. Contact information is below:

 

Ellis Golf Course: 1401 Zika Avenue NW, Cedar Rapids, IA  52405
Phone: (319) 286-5589

Gardner Golf Course:5101 Old Golf Course Road, Highway 13 & Highway 100, Marion, IA  52302
Phone: (319) 286-5586

Jones Golf Course: 2901 Fruitland Boulevard SW, Cedar Rapids, IA  52404
Phone: (319) 286-5581

Twin Pines Golf Course: 3800 42nd Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA  52402
Phone: (319) 286-5583

How much does a round of golf cost?

There are a variety of options and fees. Learn more about golf fees and how to book a tee time.

How much does it cost to rent a golf cart?
The City of Cedar Rapids golf courses have golf carts to rent. Learn more about golf cart rental and fees.
Do you offer golf lessons? If so, how do I register and what are the rates?
Yes, the golf course does offer private and group golf lessons. Call the respective clubhouse to learn more from a golf pro or visit the Golf page on the City of Cedar Rapids website. 
Do you have golf leagues?
Yes, most golf leagues are organized through corporations. Cedar Rapids Golf does offer Senior and Ladies open leagues. Learn more.
Do you offer any specials?
The City of Cedar Rapids offers a wide variety of golf specials throughout the season. Learn more about the current specials.
What is the tournament schedule?
For a complete listing of all the Cedar Rapids hosted tournaments, please visit the Golf page on the City of Cedar Rapids website. Tournaments are listed on the calendar on the website.
Who do I contact to book a golf outing?
Please contact Mark McMahon, Head Golf Professional, at (319) 286-5589.

Historic Preservation

How do I find out if my property is historic?

You can find out if your property is historic by using the Cedar Rapids Historic Sites Viewer.

For additional assistance with the viewer, please reach out to the Community Development Department at (319) 286-5041, or cd-plan@cedar-rapids.org

How do I determine if I am required to follow the Historic Preservation review process for exterior changes to my property?

 For properties located in Cedar Rapids' two local historic districts and properties that are designated as local historic landmarks, the Historic Preservation Review Process is mandatory for all exterior changes.

For additional assistance, please reach out to the Community Development Department at (319) 286-5041, or hpreview@cedar-rapids.org

Housing Concerns and Inspections

Is the Section 8 waiting list currently open?
The Section 8 waiting list is now closed and we are not accepting applications at this time.
How do I apply for Section 8?
The Section 8 HCV Program waiting list is now closed and we are not accepting applications at this time.  The waiting list will remain closed for an undetermined amount of time.
What is my status on the Section 8 waiting list?

The City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services will periodically update the waiting list.  Families will be contacted by first class mail to determine if the family continues to be interested in the program.  If the notice is returned by the post office with no forwarding address, the applicant will be removed from the waiting list without further notice.

How can I update my information on the Section 8 waiting list?
All changes to the Wait List Application will only be accepted in writing and preferably on a Wait List Change form to ensure all required information is included.
What jurisdiction does City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services cover for the Section 8 HCV Program?
The City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services serves Linn and Benton counties.
Is your agency absorbing or billing for Section 8?
The City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services is currently billing for all Section 8 port-ins to Linn and Benton counties.
How do I make a payment for money I owe to Section 8?
If you would like to make a payment for money owed to Section 8 for a promissory note, you can make payment in person at City Hall, 101 First Street SE. Payment methods accepted include cash check, money order or credit card.  Also, you can make payment onlinewith checking/savings account or credit card.
How do I become a landlord with Section 8?

If you are interested in becoming a landlord with the Section 8 HCV Program, please complete the Section 8 Landlord Registration - Required documents and review the Section 8 Owner’s Handbook.  Also, we offer a Section 8 Landlord Orientation.  This is an educational opportunity at no additional cost which will provide owners, managers, leasing agents and maintenance staff with an overview of our program.  Learn more about Landlord Resources.

How do I register myself as a landlord, get my property registered and get signed up for the Landlord training class?

You need to complete a Landlord Business Permit, Rental Registration for Single Family Dwelling, Multi Family Registration and complete a Landlord Class signup sheet. 

Fees are:

  • One Time Landlord Permit: $50,
  • One Time Landlord Training Class: $50
  • Property Registration Single Family Dwelling: $38
  • Property Registration Multi Family: $30 Structure $10/Unit
  • Registration fees are not pro-rated as our Fiscal time of year is July 1-June 30th-landlord will be billed every July their respective Registration Fees
Are there any other landlord inspection fees?

Additional fees, beyond the annual registration fees, will be charged if properties inspections are needed 3 or more times. The 3rd inspection and consecutive inspections will be $100 per visit. We also charge a trip fee of $75 if our inspector arrives and nobody is at the residence to conduct the inspection with

I am a landlord and want more information about Fair Housing laws, where can I learn more?
You may contact the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission for fair housing training.
Am I considered a landlord if I own and rent one home to a relative and they do not pay rent?
Yes, regardless of whether or not you charge rent to your relative or any other individual living at the residence, you are considered a landlord.
How do I search to see if a specific address is listed in the City's database as rental or check to see if a person has a landlord business permit?
To learn more about the rental status of a specific property, you can search registered rental properties database.
How often do rental properties get inspected?
Rental housing inspections are conducted every 5 years with the inspections following the structure, not the owner.
How can I find out when my next inspection is for my rental property?
Inspection dates can be found by searching the registered rental properties database.
How can I find out if any properties have already been registered with the City?
You may search your properties and sort by date for the next regular rental inspection on the Registered
Landlords
page.
Do I need to be present for the housing inspection?
An individual 18 years or older must be present at all times while our inspector is at the property. We do not inspect vacant properties
What type of items does a Housing Inspector look for when conducting an inspection?
A copy of the rental inspection checklist can be accessed on the Housing Inspections webpage.
How do I file a complaint about my landlord?

To file a complaint about your landlord, write a letter and include what violations have occurred (reference the Rental Inspection Checklist on the Housing Inspections webpage)

Sign and date the letter. Make two copies, giving the original to management or owner.  Landlord/manager has 14 calendar days to let you know what their plan of action will be or make repairs. If requests have not been completed in 14 days, send one of the copies to the Building Services Department at 500 15th Avenue SW and keep the 2nd copy for your own record.

For more information, contact the Buiding Services Department at (319) 286-5197.

How do I file a housing discrimination complaint?
If you believe you have been discriminated against by your landlord based upon your age, color, creed, disability, familial status, gender identity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation, you may
file a complaint with the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission.
Can I have an emotional assistance animal (ESA) or a service animal if I am renting or applying to rent a property?
Individuals with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations regarding their service or companion animals. The Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Ordinance and the Fair Housing Act requires that owners and landlords provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities. Housing providers can ask an applicant or tenant to provide documentation from a qualified professional that the individual has a disability and requires a Service or Companion Animal as a reasonable accommodation. For more information, you may contact the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission.
How do I get help to fix my home?

The City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services offers two programs to assist with fixing your home. 

  1. The Minor Repair Program allows a grant up to $4,500 in assistance for income-qualified households for repair of health or safety repairs that could make the home uninhabitable. Learn more about the program.
  2. The Comprehensive Rehabilitation Program is available on select owner-occupied housing for income-qualified households and addresses a more complete rehabilitation.  To find out if you qualify for either program, please contact Leland Hoeger at 319-286-5179 or l.hoeger@cedar-rapids.org. Learn more about the program.  
How do I get assistance with down payment on a house?

The City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services offers the First Time Home Buyer Program (FTHB).  The FTHB program provides $1,000-$5,000 in down payment assistance to eligible buyers.  The assistance is forgivable after 5 years.  In order to be eligible, there are four main criteria:

  1. Be a first-time buyer
  2. Meet the income requirements
  3. Purchase an eligible property
  4. Meet debt and mortgage criteria

 

Details about these requirements can be found in the brochurepresentation, income limit chart, and FAQLearn more about the First Time Home Buyer program.

There is a City lien on my property.  Who do I contact to get it released?

The City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services serviced the liens, mortgages, and deed restrictions for the following programs:

  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) – Property Rehabilitation
  • HOME Program – Property Rehabilitation
  • First time Home Buyer Program – Down Payment Assistance
  • Lead Hazard Control Grant – Property Rehabilitation
  • Jumpstart Housing – Property Rehabilitation
  • Jumpstart rental – Property Rehabilitation
  • ROOTs/Single Family New Construction –  Forgivable Mortgage
  • LOST (Local Option Sales Tax) Owner Occupied – Property Rehabilitation

 

For LOST (Local Option Sales Tax) rental property related liens, please contact Building Services at 319-286-5831.


NOTE:  The liens and mortgages serviced through this office are for properties that received funding through programs listed above and administered by the City of Cedar Rapids Housing Services Office.  We are not able to assist with any other lien or mortgage questions.

In order to request information on a lien or mortgage, or to request subordination or release, please email:  housingliens@cedar-rapids.org

How much time do you allow an owner to cleanup their property?
Three notices are sent to the owner the first notice allow 35 days to correct the violation(s), second notice 14 days and third and final notice seven days. Failure to comply may result in legal action being taken.
My property is placarded, what next?
Please visit the Building Services Department at the  City Services Center located at 500 15th Ave SW to obtain a Permission to Enter (PTE), we will need to know who will be entering and for what purpose. A permission to enter gives the owner of the placarded property and those who are listed as allowed on the property/in the structure(s) time to correct the violation(s).
What are the reasons why my property would be placarded?
There are various reasons in which a property is placarded due to code violations including, but not limited to, a lack of required utilities such as water, gas or electricity, unsafe or unsanitary living conditions, structure is in disrepair or lacks maintenance, vermin or rat infested, contains filth and contamination, lacks ventilation or means of egress is restricted. For more information on placarded properties, please contact Building Services Department at (319) 286-5831 or visit the City Services Center at 500 15th Avenue SW.
Who do I call to report a vacant property?
Call Building Services Nuisance Abatement at 286-5838. Once the necessary information is collected, we will conduct an inspection and notify the owner(s) or the owner’s authorized agent they shall register a vacant and neglected building with the city within thirty (30) calendar days of the code official notifying the owner that the code official has declared the structure a vacant and neglected building or within thirty (30) calendar days of the building becoming vacant and neglected.
Who do I call if there is a dilapidated property in my neighborhood?
Please contact Building Services Nuisance Abatement at (319) 286-5838. Once the necessary information is collected, we will conduct an inspection and notify the property owner of the violation(s). Three notices are sent to the owner the first notice allow 35 days to correct the violation(s), second notice 14 days and third and final notice seven days. Failure to comply may result in legal action being taken.
Who do I call if I think the neighbor is a hoarder?
Please contact Building Services Nuisance Abatement at (319) 286-5838 and staff will conduct an inspection.
Who do I call regarding graffiti on private property?
Please contact Building Services Nuisance Abatement at (319) 286-5838. Once the necessary information is collected, we will conduct an inspection and notify the property owner of the violation(s). Three notices are sent to the owner the first notice allow 35 days to correct the violation(s), second notice 14 days and third and final notice seven days. Failure to comply may result in legal action being taken. It shall be the responsibility of the owner to restore said surface to an approved state of maintenance and repair.
What housing financial assistance program available?

There are a variety of resources offered to citizens of Cedar Rapids including a First Time Home Buyer Program, Low Income Housing Tax Credits and resources to assist with home repairs. For a list of resources, visit the Housing Programs webpage or call the Community Development Housing Division at (319) 286-5872 or email CD-HSG-Rehab@cedar-rapids.org.

Information Technology

How can I obtain a map of the City of Cedar Rapids?
Please submit your request to the City of Cedar Rapids Information Technology Department by emailing IT-GIS@cedar-rapids.org or calling (319) 286-5570.
How can I obtain a flood map?
Please submit your request to the City of Cedar Rapids Information Technology Department by emailing IT-GIS@cedar-rapids.org or calling (319) 286-5570.
How can I obtain GIS data?
Please submit your request to the City of Cedar Rapids Information Technology Department by emailing IT-GIS@cedar-rapids.org or calling (319) 286-5570.
Is your website accessible? Where can I submit feedback?
Yes, the City of Cedar Rapids uses a third party to conduct annual website accessibility audits and make improvements identified in the audit results. The City is continuously striving to make our website and applications accessible to all. If you are experiencing any issues with our website or would like to suggest improvements, we welcome your feedback! A feedback form can be accessed here or by emailing our IT department at CityofCRWebAccessibility@cedar-rapids.org or calling (319) 286-5500 (direct).

Land Development

What steps do I need to take to request to be voluntarily annexed into the City?

 Please visit the Annexation page on the Development Services Division  wepage to obtain an application or call (319) 286-5780.  Annexations are approved by the City Council and the State of Iowa. The timeline to complete
annexations vary, but they are generally quicker when all affected landowners consent to the annexation. 

Can I subdivide my land into smaller parcels?

 Yes, the City’s Subdivision Ordinance has the requirements for subdividing land with a preliminary and final plat, or plat of survey.   Please visit Preliminary Plat and New Subdivision Infrastructure Review on the Development Services Division  webpage or call (319) 286-5780.

Where can I find applications for land development and learn more about submittal requirements?
Please visit the Application and Submittal Requirements page on the Development Services website for step-by-step instructions or call (319) 286-5780. 
How do I find out about new development sites under construction within the City?
Please visit the New Developments page on the Development Services Division webpage or call (319) 286-5780. 
I want to reconstruct my parking lot.  What documents do you need to review before I start?
You will need to submit an engineered site plan (referred to as an “Administrative Site Development Plan”) to the Development Services Division showing the new parking lot layout, and accessible routes from the building(s) to the sidewalk within the right-of-way. You can also submit a rough concept plan for an initial review which allows us to give you initial feedback on your improvements before you spend money on an engineered plan.

Development Services Division is located at the City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW.
I want to remodel the interior of my building.  What documents you need to review before I start?
A building permit will be required.  Depending on the scope, mechanical, electrical and plumbing permits may
also be required.  A review of the proposed improvements may need to be performed by our plans examiner for each of these permits, depending on the scope.  Note that signed and sealed plans from an architect/engineer may also be required depending on the nature of the improvements.  Call (319) 286-5831 or visit the Building
Services Department
at 500 15th Avenue SW before beginning your project to determine what will be required.
What are the minimum requirements for issuing a temporary certificate of occupancy on my project?

A temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) allows you to begin occupying your building before everything is finished.  A TCO is valid for 1 year and should be superseded by a final certificate of occupancy (FCO) before it expires.  There are some key items that must be in place before a TCO can be issued, including but not limited to:

  • All life safety components such as emergency routes and exits.
  • Power to the building
  • Accessible routes and features
  • Fire department access and systems.
I am still working out some final details before my site plans get fully approved.  Can I get started on grading the site and pouring foundations?
Please contact the Development Services Division at (319) 286-5780 to discuss the timing of your project and will work with you to facilitate approval of your project within a reasonable timeframe.

Library

How do I get a library card?

Apply using our online form that can be found on our website CRLibrary.org and get a temporary library card number; you must come into the library to get your permanent card within 30 days. You are not able to access our online and downloadable services with a temporary card number.

OR 

Stop in to one of our locations and get one of three handy cards: pick the one best suited to your needs: Metro, Metro Lite, or Quick Card.

 

Who can get a library card?

Anyone from Marion, Cedar Rapids, or Hiawatha. Anyone from communities who contract with the Metro Libraries (Robins, Alburnett, rural Linn County). Other Linn County communities with public libraries. Other Iowa communities with public libraries that participate in Open Access.

*If you don't have current I.D., you can get a Quick Library Card that limits you to checking out no more than three items, limits your holds to five, and limits your fines to $5. Quick Cards must be renewed after 12 checkouts. 

Library card applications for Metro and Metro Lite cards for children from birth through age 13 must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. Both child and guardian must be present.

Whichever card you apply for, you'll get your card right away and can start taking advantage of all the services we offer.

What are the different types of library cards and what do I need to get one?

METRO LIBRARY CARD:
LIBRARY MATERIALS AVAILABLE FOR CHECKOUT: All
UNLIMITED CHECKOUTS

HOLD LIMIT: 50 Items

FINE LIMIT: (card use will be blocked if fine limit is exceeded) $20

REQUIREMENTS TO GET THIS TYPE OF LIBRARY CARD: A valid photo ID and one of the following:

  • A piece of mail received at current address within past 30 days
  • Letter from Social Service agency
  • Check from local bank with name and address
  • Telephone directory (white pages) listing
  • City directory listing with correct address.

WHO WILL USE THIS CARD?

Library patrons who want complete access to all library resources.

 

METRO LITE LIBRARY CARD:

LIBRARY MATERIALS AVAILABLE FOR CHECKOUT: All

CHECKOUTS LIMITED: 10 Item Max on Account

HOLD LIMIT: 25 Items

FINE LIMIT: (card use will be blocked if fine limit is exceeded) $10

REQUIREMENTS TO GET THIS TYPE OF LIBRARY CARD

A valid photo ID and one of the following:

•              A piece of mail received at current address within past 30 days

•              Letter from Social Service agency

•              Check from local bank with name and address

•              Telephone directory (white pages) listing

•              City directory listing with correct address.

WHO WILL USE THIS CARD?

Library patrons who want to better manage the return of their library materials to help avoid large fines.

 

QUICK LIBRARY CARD:

LIBRARY MATERIALS AVAILABLE FOR CHECKOUT: Print and media materials only (no Hotspot or Kit checkouts)

3 CHECKOUTS PER VISIT: After 12 checkouts, ask staff to renew card.

HOLD LIMIT: 5 Items

FINE LIMIT: (card use will be blocked if fine limit is exceeded) $5

REQUIREMENTS TO GET THIS TYPE OF LIBRARY CARD

Verification of name

WHO WILL USE THIS CARD?

Library patrons who:

  • Have no ID or proof of address
  • Do not currently have a physical address
  • Are under age 14 and not accompanied by a legal guardian
  • Are over age 14 but have no proof of address
  • Want only public computer use.
Where can I return my materials?

Bookdrops are located within and outside the Cedar Rapids Public Library-Downtown, Cedar Rapids Public Library-Ladd, Hiawatha Public Library and Marion Public Library. Additionally, all Metro Area Hy-Vee Food Stores also have bookdrops available inside the main entrance.

How can I renew an item?

Most items at the Cedar Rapids Public Library can be renewed twice. Some items like Quick Picks cannot be renewed. Items that have holds on them cannot be renewed.

 

The Library offers three ways for you to renew items.

Renew via the internet

You can renew items by accessing your account here on our site. (http://crpl.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/crpl/search/patronlogin/)

You will be prompted for your library card number and PIN. Once you have entered your account, select the items you wish to renew and click on the ‘Renew items’ button. Items that have been renewed will show the updated due date.

 

Renew via the telephone

You can also renew items by calling any location of the Metro Library Network during the hours they are open.

 

Renew in person

You can always renew items in person by visiting any location of the Metro Library Network during open hours.

Where can I park at the Downtown Library?

Free non-metered parking is available for up to two hours in the south lot.

This is enforced during library hours every day. Parking is free downtown after 6 pm on weekdays and all day on Saturday and Sunday. The Parking Ramp is open to all on every level at no cost on weekends, unless there is a special event which may charge a small fee.

Library card holders receive up to two hours of free parking at any metered space in the 4th Avenue Parking Ramp, or any of the spaces around the library block or Greene Square. The library will validate up to two hours of parking per visit. Select the appropriate coupon option with the desired length of time and enter your coupon code. Your coupon code is the last eight digits of your library card number. You can only use it once a day, no matter what length of time you choose, so please keep that in mind. Your library card must be in good standing in order to take advantage of the free two-hours of parking. There is a parking kiosk located inside the north vestibule of the downtown library for your convenience. You can also use your library card at any of the kiosks located around the park, around our block, or in the 4th Avenue Parkade. If you have trouble or questions, library staff will work to assist you.

How do I place an item on hold so that I can pick it up when it's ready?

Holds can be placed on nearly any item that circulates at the library. For most accounts, you can have up to 20 items on hold at any one time. You can be notified by email, telephone or mail when a reserved item is available for pickup. Items can be held at any of the Metro Libraries regardless of where you live. In our Catalog, you can place holds on existing items as well as items that are on order or that are being processed by our cataloging staff. Once a hold has been placed on an item, you can access your account online to see your position in the hold queue.

What resources do you offer other than books?

The Library offers a wide variety of digital materials for check out. These include ebooks, digital audiobooks, magazines, movies and music, all free with your library card.

 

We also offer access to a variety of online databases, including Lynda.com, Ancestry.com, Brainfuse (resume and job search help and homework help), Consumer Reports, and Pronunciator (language learning).

What types of programs does the Library offer?

The Library offers programs for all ages throughout the year. These include everything from story time for kids to computer classes to crafting to parachute games to animals….on and on. Visit our event calendar for a complete list of Library programs. All programs are offered free of charge.

Can I use a room at the Library for my special event or meeting?

Yes, the Library has a variety of meeting spaces available for use at no cost during regular Library hours. Visit CRLibrary.org to see a list of spaces and book a room online.

Do you have wi-fi or computers?

The Library offers free public wifi and a number of free public computers. We also have laptops available for use in the Library and tablets available for checkout.

Neighborhood Associations

What is the Neighborhood Service Delivery Initiative?
The Neighborhood Service Delivery Initiative provides an additional platform for coordinating resources and improving city-community relations. City liaisons work with neighborhood leaders to facilitate the delivery of
services to communities. Liaisons also serve as the primary contact between the City and neighborhood associations.
How do I contact and become involved with my Neighborhood Association?
Contact information for Neighborhood Associations and meeting information can be found on the Neighborhood Contacts page.
How do I establish a new Neighborhood Association?

Please complete a Neighborhood Registration and Update Form found on the Neighborhood Service Delivery Initiative page.

If you have additional questions, please reach out to Eric Pate, Community Development Planner, via email at e.pate@cedar-rapids.org or by phone at (319) 286-5115.

Overgrown Vegetation: Grass, Weeds, and Bushes

How do I report overgrown grass or weeds in my neighbor's yard?

 

You can report overgrown vegetation by calling the Solid Waste and Recycling Division at 319-286-5897 or emailing solidwaste&recycling@cedar-rapids.org. We will need the address or the property in violation. Our Division will send an official notice to the property owner and then our Nuisance Abatement Worker will do a follow up inspection within 7 days of sending the official notice.

 

Guidelines for vegetation growth and costs for clean up

Overgrown bushes are blocking a sign or a sidewalk, who can I report this to?

You can report overgrown vegetation by calling the Solid Waste and Recycling Division at (319) 286-5897 or emailing solidwaste&recycling@cedar-rapids.org. We will need the address or the property in violation.

Overgrown vegetation at an intersection is making it difficult to see, who do I report this to?

 You can report overgrown vegetation by calling the Solid Waste and Recycling Division at (319) 286-5897 or emailing solidwaste&recycling@cedar-rapids.org. We will need the address and/or intersection.

Parks, Recreation, and Trails

Are there specific hours that general park areas are open?
Park hours are 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Learn more about parks locations and opening and closing dates.
What are the hours of operation for Old MacDonald's Farm?

The hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Learn more about the farm’s opening and closing dates and look in our Play! Guide.

Does it cost anything to visit Old MacDonald's Farm?

A minimum donation of $1.00 is recommended.

What types of animals are at the Farm?
The farm features various farm animals, such as sheep and calves, and North American waterfowl, such as ducks. Learn more.
I want to have my child's birthday party at Old MacDonald's Farm, who do I contact to get more details and to book the party?
Contact (319) 286-5763 to schedule your birthday party at Old MacDonald’s Farm and for more information.
What are the hours of operation for Ushers Ferry Historic Village?

The hours to visit Usher’s Ferry are 9:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.  Learn more about Ushers Ferry or call 286-5763 for more details. 

Does it cost to visit Ushers Ferry?
Yes, admission is $3.50 for adults, $2.00 for youth and 5 and under are free.
What events occur at Ushers Ferry?
Learn moreabout events at Ushers Ferry and look in our Play! Guide.
How do I schedule a class field trip to Ushers Ferry?
Please contact Ushers Ferry at (319) 286-5763.
I want to have my wedding at Ushers Ferry, who do I contact to get more details?
Ushers Ferry is a picturesque village on a 10-acre site along the Cedar River with opportunities to make your wedding as unique as you are. Learn more about how you can create the wedding of your dreams at Ushers Ferry or call (319) 286-5763.
What are the hours of operation for the NW Recreation Center?

The Northwest Recreation Center is open 7 days a week, except for holidays or special events. 

  • Monday through Friday:  8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday:  12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday:  12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

Summer Hours:  (check our website or visit the Play! Guide for dates).

  • Monday through Friday:  8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

For Open Gym hours visit the Northwest Recreation Center page on the City of Cedar Rapids website.

What types of events occur at the NW Recreation Center?
To learn more about the events, visit the Northwest Recreation Centerpage or view the Play! Guidefor scheduled events.
Can I rent the gym or other spaces at the NW Recreation Center?

Yes, there are rentals available at the Northwest Recreation Center.  Please call the center at (319) 286-5731 for more information including availability and pricing.

What are the hours of the Noelridge Greenhouse?
The Noelridge Greenhouse is open Monday-Friday 7:00 am – 3:30 pm.
Where are the off leash dog parks located and is there a fee?

The off leash dog parks are located at:

  • Cheyenne Park – located on Cedar Bend Lane SW off of Old River Road.
  • K9 Acres – located in Squaw Creek Park at 5200 Golf Course Road, Marion.

There is a fee for use of the dog parks.  The options for Dog Park permits are Daily Permits or an Annual Permit.  There are three ways to obtain a permit to the two dog parks within the City.  You must have your rabies tag number in order to obtain a permit.

  • Online for registration or renewal
  • Phone: 319-286-5566, option 1.
  • In Person:
    • City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
    • Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405
How do I rent a pavilion?

There are three ways to reserve a pavilion.  These are non-refundable fees.

  • Online reservations
  • Phone: 319-286-5566, option 1.
  • In Person:
    • City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
    • Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405
May I reserve a park space or pavilion if I do not live in Cedar Rapids?
Yes, anyone can reserve a pavilion.
Do you have a refund policy for pavilions if it rains?
Pavilion reservations are non-refundable for any weather circumstance since they are covered.
Do I have to reserve a pavilion in order to use it?
Pavilions that are not reserved are on a first come, first serve basis. Without a reservation, patrons do not have access to electricity.
What is the capacity for pavilions?
Pavilion capacities range from 48 to 144 people.  Learn more about our pavilion locations, capacity, rental costs, and rental policy.
Is there staff present at the park when I have my event?
Staff will prepare the pavilion for use prior to the start of the reservation.
Am I allowed to have an inflatable at my event?
Please contact the Parks Department at (319) 286-5760 for more information.
Is alcohol allowed in the parks?
The following parks are alcohol free: Alandale, Apache, Beverly, Beverly Gardens, Bowman Woods, Cedar Valley, Central, Cherokee, Daniels, Greene Square, Haskell, Hidder, Huston, Jacolyn, Lincolnway, Masaryk, Monroe, Navajo, Nixon, Pierce, Redmond, Reed, Riverside, Sinclair, Tokheim, Wellington Heights, Whittam.
Is smoking permitted in City parks?

Smoking is prohibited within 30 feet of playgrounds and a person shall not smoke in the area where programs for youth under age 18 are in progress, or on City owned real estate within 30 feet of such programs:

  1. Parks and Recreation Department sponsored activities;
  2. Athletic games and practices; and
  3. Camp and educational programs.

Learn more about the City's No Smoking policies.

Do you have a lost and found?
Parks & Recreation does not have a specific Lost & Found; however, if you have lost something, please contact the Parks & Recreation Department at (319) 286-5760 and staff will alert the maintenance crews of the item missing. If it is found, it will be turned into the Parks & Recreation Department, 500 15thAvenue SW, and you will be notified.
What recreation programs do you offer and how can I register?
The OurCR magazine is delivered to all Cedar Rapids residents and the Play! Guide is located in the back of the magazine. The Play! Guide can also be accessed on our website.  
What recreation programs do you offer and how can I register?
The OurCR magazine is delivered to all Cedar Rapids residents and the Play! Guide is located in the back of the
magazine.  The Play! Guide can also be accessed on our website.  
Where are recreational trails located in Cedar Rapids?
The Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department maintains walking trails throughout the park system as well as recreational trails in the city. Learn more about trails locations, hours, and any closures or construction.
When is snow removed from trails?
Snow will be removed from hard surface trails during snow events beginning at 2” or as conditions dictate. Snow will be removed within 48 hours post event.

Permits and Licenses

How do I know if I need a permit and where do I start?
Various City departments are responsible for coordinating and facilitating business activities within the city. To learn more about our types of permits and licenses that you need and where you can obtain them from, visit our Licenses, Permits and Taxes page  on our website to help you get started.
I operate a taxicab business, where do I obtain a taxicab business license?

Operators of taxicab businesses must submit a completed license application and a current list of drivers and vehicles to the City Clerk's Office. All taxicab business licenses expire June 30. Learn more about how to apply.

How do I obtain an alcohol or liquor license?

To obtain an alcohol license you must apply with the City Clerk’s office and the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division. The licensing process takes approximately 30 days to complete and requires City Council approval prior to license issuance.

Applicants with questions should contact the City Clerk’s Office at 319-286-5060 or via email at clerklicensing@cedar-rapids.org or email the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division at licensing@iowaabd.com.

 

How do I obtain a cigarette/tobacco/nicotine/vapor permit?
The State of Iowa requires a permit for retail sales of cigarette/tobacco/nicotine/vapor products. The City Clerk’s Office issues cigarette/tobacco/nicotine/vapor permits for any business selling within the limits of Cedar Rapids. Learn more on how to apply.
I own a food truck, what types of licenses or certifications do I need to obtain?

Please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (319) 286-5060 to determine which permits or licenses may be required for operating a food truck in Cedar Rapids.

I operate a massage therapy business, where do I obtain a license to operate my business?
Per Chapter 59 of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code, no person shall operate a massage therapy business without being licensed by the City. Massage Therapy Business Licenses are issued by the City Clerk’s Office. Learn more on how to apply.
Do I need a license to solicit or sell goods and services door-to-door?
Most individuals selling goods or services door-to-door are required to have a City license. However, there are some exceptions. To determine if you are required to have a license for your activity, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (319) 286-5060.
I want to build a new deck, do I need a permit?
Yes, to obtain a permit to build a deck, or make changes to an existing deck, you will need to provide a site plan of your property showing where you want to place the deck, a basic building plan showing how you plan to construct it, and the valuation for the cost of construction. Building permits are issued by the Building Services Department at 500 15th Ave SW, Monday through Friday, 7:30am – 4:00pm.
How do I check the status of a Building permit?
Status of permits can be viewed on the Municipal Permit Viewer or call (319) 286-5831.

Police Department

What is the location and phone number of the Cedar Rapids Police Department?
The Cedar Rapids Police Department is located at 505 First Street SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52404.
The Police Department’s non-emergency number is 319-286-5378.  The Police Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please consult our Directory for more specific contact information.
Where do I pay an officer issued ticket?

Officer issued tickets can be paid at the Clerk of Court, 50 3rd Avenue Bridge, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401


Hours:
Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm        Phone: (319) 398-3411

Is there a curfew for juveniles in Cedar Rapids?
Under Municipal Code 62.28, minors under the age of 16 have a curfew from 11:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m.
I need to be fingerprinted for a job application, professional license, or other personal reason. Does the City of Cedar Rapids Police Department do this?
Yes, the department provides fingerprinting serves on Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. The cost is $10 per card. This service is provided on a walk-in basis, subject to the availability of Crime Scene Unit personnel or Police Volunteer Corps members.
May I schedule a tour of the Police Department for my community group?
Sergeant Laura Faircloth is the department’s Community Outreach Officer and manages tours. She can be reached at (319)286-5425 or l.faircloth@cedar-rapids.org.
Are there any predatory offenders in the community, and where do they live?

Click here to view the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.

Does the City have an alarm policy?
Please refer to Chapter 60 of the Municipal Code – Burglar and Holdup Alarm Business, Systems and Users.
Do I need a permit for a burglar alarm?
User permits are required for every alarm user in Cedar Rapids per City Ordinance Chapter 60. User permits do not apply to proprietary alarm systems (self-contained on protected premises with no outside signal). More information on burglar alarm permits and false alarm fees can be found here.
I have recently moved, how do I update my burglar alarm permit?             

 If you have moved outside of City limits or will not have an active alarm at your new home, complete the Alarm Permit Cancellation Form   

If you do have an active alarm at your new home, notify the Accounts Receivable division by email at accountsreceivable@cedar-rapids.org or by mailing a letter to:

City of Cedar Rapids, Finance Department – Accounts Receivable, 101 First Street SE, PO Box 2148, Cedar Rapids, IA  52406-2148

If I am in a car accident, do I need to call the police?

Notify the Police Department by calling 911 if anyone is injured or killed. Also notify the Police Department if traffic is blocked or seriously obstructed, or if any object adjacent to the street has been struck. Otherwise, identify yourself to the other driver(s) and secure name(s) and address(es). Also, secure the license numbers of the other vehicles, the makes and models of the vehicles, and the other party’s insurance company information.

If the combined property damage is or may be $1,500 or more, or if anyone is killed or injured, fill out a State Accident report form, which can be acquired at the Police Department, any Cedar Rapids fire station, or from any police officer. The form should be completed within 72 hours of the accident. The form is also available online here.

The State accident report form needs to be mailed to the Iowa Department of Transportation in Des Moines.

I have questions about child car seats. Where can I get answers?

Child Passenger Safety Seat Checks are offered every other month beginning in January on the second Thursday at 5:15 p.m. at McGrath Buick GMC Cadillac, 1040 N. Center Point Road, Hiawatha (I-380 and Boyson Road Exit). Representatives from the Linn County Safe Kids Coalition, Cedar Rapids Police Department, and Cedar Rapids Fire Department will check seats for proper installation and recalls. The safety checks are voluntary and free of charge. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling 319-654-2221.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department has two certified child safety seat installation technicians. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department has three certified child safety seat installation technicians. Contact one of our technicians today to get your safety seat inspected.

Contact Information:

Cedar Rapids Police Department, 505 1st Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Phone: (319) 286-5434

 

Cedar Rapids Fire Department, 713 1st Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Phone: (319) 286-5200

Who do I call if my car has been towed?
Contact the Towed Vehicle Division at (319) 286-5305 menu option “1” or PoliceTowed@cedar-rapids.org.
How do I properly dispose of medication?
Bring your old medications to the Cedar Rapids Police Station at 505 1st Street SW. A medication disposal box is located in the vestibule which is accessible 24 hours a day 365 days a year. All medications in pill or patch
form are accepted. More information on other options can be found here.
How do I get a copy of a police or accident report?

The fee for a copy of any police report is $5. For more information, please visit our Records Request page.

Where can I find crime stats about Cedar Rapids?
The Cedar Rapids Police Department provides crime statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and also produces reports for Neighborhood Associations and the general public to learn more about criminal activity in our community. These reports can be found here.
Where can I get help for domestic abuse?
The Cedar Rapids Police Department is committed to providing information about available criminal justice and social service diversion programs for victims and witnesses of crime. Learn more about available resources.
I received an obscene/harassing phone call. What should I do?

The Police Department will take a report for phone harassment after three calls are successfully traced.

To have a call traced:

  • Hang up on the caller.
  • Get a dial tone and then dial *57.
  • If the trace is successful, you will receive a recording advising you that the call was traced and a fee will be charged to your bill. If you do not get this recording, call the phone company and request that a manual trace be put on your line.
  • After three successful traces, call 319-286-5350 to report the harassment. Your report will then be forwarded to the Investigative Division for further investigation.
How can I be notified when an offender is released from jail?
The Cedar Rapids Police Department does not house inmates. For information regarding offenders being released from the Linn County Jail, please contact the Linn County Sheriff’s Office at 319-892-6100 or the Linn County Jail at (319) 892-6300.
What is the SAFE-CR Program and how do I learn more about it?
The SAFE-CR program stands for Secure and Friendly Environments in Cedar Rapids. The program was formed to hold property owners accountable to their neighborhoods. Activities that are a detriment to a neighborhood have been identified as nuisance activities and compiled into the Chapter 22A Ordinance which can be found at the SAFE-CR website.

Right-of-Way

What is the Right-of-Way?
The Right-of-Way (ROW) is the area owned and/or controlled by the City and typically includes the street surface, sidewalks, and grassy areas between the pavement and property lines.
Do I need a permit to work in the Right-of-Way?
Yes, permits are required for all work in the City Right-of-Way. Some examples are driveway replacement, sidewalk repair, mailboxes and obstructing the street. All of these would require a Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit or Obstruction Permit. ROW permits can be obtained at the City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW or contact the Real Estate Division at (319) 286-5802 for more information.
Do I need an inspection to replace my driveway or sidewalk?

Yes, permit holders must schedule inspections. For the east side of Cedar Rapids, call Vaughn Dougherty at (319)-521-5863, for the West side of the City call Will Eggert at (319) 440-6377.

How much does a permit cost?
Permit fees are based on the type of project.
Where do I go obtain a Right-of-Way permit?
Right-of-Way permits can be obtained at the City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW or contact the Real Estate Division at (319) 286-5802 for more information. Permit applications are taken from 7:30 to 4:00 p.m.
How long is a permit good for?
Permits are valid for 30 days after the issue date. Obstruction permits are valid up to 60 days.
What kind of inspections do I need?
The type of inspections you need will depend on the type of work you are doing. Please call the Real Estate Dvision at (319) 286-5802 with questions or to find out what types of inspection(s) you will need.
What information do I need to obtain a Right-of-Way permit?

The following information will be needed in order to obtain a Right-of-Way permit:

  • A description of the work to be covered by the permit.
  • A site plan identifying the location of the work and dimensions of the planned work.
  • Plans, diagrams and specifications as required depending upon the scope and complexity of the project.
  • Residents doing the work themselves will need a copy of their Homeowners Declaration Page.

 

Payment is required at the time of submission and all paperwork must accompany the application or it will not be accepted.
Which permits require insurance?
If you are a resident who would like to perform work in the Right-of-Way, you must fill out a Right-of-Way permit application and submit it with a copy of your homeowner’s declaration page.
Which permits require Bond?
All contractors who would like to perform work in the Right-of-Way must be bonded with the City of Cedar Rapids.  
The Right-of-Way in front of my house was damaged due to a construction project who do I report this to?

Please contact our Construction Engineering Department at (319) 286-5812. 

What can I put in my Right-of-Way?
No structures should be placed and/or built in the Right-of-Way. Sprinkler systems should not be installed in the right-of-Way and motor vehicles are forbidden to park in the grass area of the City Right-of-Way.
There are flags in my yard. What is the City doing?
The flags may or may not be for City work.  Anyone who will be digging must contact Iowa One Call so all utilities
can come out and mark the area if they have anything buried in the area (gas lines, electric lines, cable lines, etc.).  Contact our Sewer Department at (319) 286-5815 or sewer@cedar-rapids.org and they can
check to see who placed the Iowa One Call. 
I would like to buy some property owned by the City. Who should I contact?
You can view any City properties for sale by visiting the Local Government page on the City of Cedar Rapids website. The link to “Properties for Sale” and/or lease is at the bottom of the page.
How do I know if I have Orangeburg sewer?
For more information regarding Orangeburg, please contact the Right-of-Way Real Estate Division at (319) 286-5802.

Risk, Safety, and Health Services

How do I file a claim for damage? 
Information on how to file a claim and the related forms can be found on the City of Cedar Rapids website in the Finance Department under Risk Management  or contact the City’s Claims Analyst at (319) 286-5125 or  j.lynch@cedar-rapids.org.         
Where should I report damage to City infrastructure?  (i.e. traffic sign down, pot hole, guard rail damage, sidewalks)

Reporting damage can be done on the City of Cedar Rapids website in the Public Works Department or by calling (319) 286-5802.  Reports can also be emailed directly to the departments:

Where are you located and what are the hours of operation?

Risk Services, City Service Center – second floor lobby, 500 15th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30am-4:30pm

Finance, City Hall – second floor, 101 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm             

Can I make Property Damage payments in person and where?

Yes, you may make a payment the following ways:

 

In person: City Hall, 101 1st Street SE – 1st Floor Treasury Window, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Hours:  Monday – Friday 7:30am – 5:00pm

Online at: www.cedar-rapids.org

 

Mailed to: City of Cedar Rapids, Treasury Division, 101 First Street SE, PO Box 2148, Cedar Rapids, IA  52406-2148.

Who is our liability insurance carrier? 

The City of Cedar Rapids has a self-insurance program in accordance with Chapter 670.7 of the Iowa Code for liability claims.  Claim related insurance questions can be directed to the Claims Analyst at (319) 286-5125. 

Sewer and Storm Water

Who do I call for problems with my sewer service?

Please contact the Sewer Maintenance Division in the Public Works Department at (319) 286-5815, with questions or concerns related to your sewer service.

What happens when a sewer backs-up?
If unsure of the cause of the sewer backup, call the City immediately at (319) 286-5815.  City staff responds to reported sewer backups 24/7. Learn more about sewer backups. 
What is "Orangeburg pipe" and do I have it?
Orangeburg pipe is a type of pipe that was commonly used from around 1950 to around 1970. It is a paper tape type pipe impregnated with tar and pressed together. It is susceptible to damage by tree roots and has a tendency to collapse with age. The Public Works, Right-of-Way department can check date of service line installation if a permit was acquired for sewer work at a property. Neither Right-of-Way nor Sewer Maintenance will have type of material used or how much was replaced. To determine if you have Orangeburg, you could have the service line televised by a plumber or have the line dug up and exposed. For more information, please contact the Right-of-Way Real Estate Department at (319) 286-5802.
Where does the property owner's responsibility end and the City's responsibility begin for sanitary sewers?
The private building sewer extends from the interior plumbing of the building to where the pipe connects to the public sewer main, most frequently located in the center of the street or alley.
There is an odor inside my house, what is it?
The odor could be from a natural gas leak or sewer gases. If it is a natural gas leak, leave immediately and contact the gas company. If you smell sewer gas, check to see if all sewer traps are filled with water and check to see if the cap on sewer cleanout is tight. If the trap is dry, at least 4 cups of water are needed to provide a seal in the U of the drain, preventing the sewer gas odors from entering the house. If the sewer gas smell persists, call your plumber and have your system checked.
There is an odor outside, what is it?
Outside odors can be caused by a variety of reasons and are affected by atmospheric conditions. If you can detect the source and suspect that it is sewer gas, contact Sewer Maintenance at (319) 286-5815 and we will investigate.
What causes water to gush from my toilet?
This condition can be the result of preventative sewer maintenance activities. Sewer mains are cleaned from the inside of the pipe by using high-pressure water. Occasionally this can cause a surge in the service line. Conditions in a service line that could result in a pressure surcharge during cleaning are services connected low to the sewer main and “flat” (less than desirable fall or slope) service lines.
What can be done about the large opening on the storm sewer intake?
Contact Sewer Maintenance at (319) 286-5815 and provide the address and location. A staff person will be sent out to investigate. If a bar is missing or if the opening size is greater than 6 inches, Sewer Maintenance will schedule work to have the problem corrected. Reducing the opening more than this will restrict the flow of rainwater, causing street flooding to become a concern.
My sewer line backed up. I called a plumber, but it turned out to be a problem in the City's line. Who is going to pay for my clean up?

Please contact Risk Management at (319) 286-5125. The Risk Management division is located at theCity Service Center – second floor lobby, 500 15th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30am-4:30pm

Will someone help me retrieve my keys (or other items) that I have dropped into a storm sewer intake?
Please contact Sewer Maintenance at (319) 286-5815, during business hours: 7 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., and crews will be dispatched to help try to retrieve the item.
Who do I contact to help retrieve an animal from a sewer?
Please contact Animal Control at (319) 848-7373.
What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff is water from rain or snowmelt that comes off of roofs, driveways, sidewalks, and other surfaces that does not infiltrate into the ground.


What is polluted stormwater runoff?
When stormwater flows over surfaces, it picks up and carries pollutants on those surfaces becoming polluted. Common stormwater pollutants include oil, sediment, pesticides, fertilizers, litter, yard waste, and pet waste.
What causes stormwater runoff pollution?
Every day activities we do around our businesses, homes, and yards can impact the quality of our stormwater. Some common examples include over fertilizing our yards or fertilizing before a heavy rain, not picking up pet waste, and excessive use of pesticides. Oil drips from vehicles, litter, yard debris, and sediment are other examples of common stormwater pollutants.
How does the City manage stormwater runoff?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates stormwater discharge through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.  The City of Cedar Rapids is required to comply with NPDES regulations for its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) (view permit here), and implements a stormwater management program that includes 6 minimum control measures that include:

  1. Public Education and Outreach on stormwater impacts
  2. Public Involvement and Participation
  3. Illicit discharge detection and elimination
  4. Construction site stormwater runoff control
  5. Post-Construction stormwater management
  6. Pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations
What is a stormwater fee and why do I have one?
The stormwater utility fee is used to cover the cost of maintaining and making needed improvements to the storm sewer system that includes over 300 miles of stormwater piping, 15,000 stormwater intake structures, and 38 stormwater detention facilities. It also includes flood response, construction site inspections, and street sweeping, helping to protect and improve the quality of our local streams. Stormwater Utility Improvement Program.
How can I help prevent stormwater pollution?
When working around you home or yard, make sure you dispose of products properly, never dump or dispose of items in storm drains, pick up after your pets, keep yard waste out of the street, and eliminate or minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Volunteer to help educate your community on how they can help prevent stormwater pollution.
What is an illicit discharge?
An illicit discharge is any discharge to the MS4 that is not composed entirely of stormwater. These may occur due to illegal connections to the storm drain system in which wastewater enters the storm drains (i.e. floor drains connected to the storm drain system). Direct dumping of waste into a storm drain or placement such that waste can enter the storm drain system is also a form of illicit discharge.
What should I do if I see or suspect an illicit discharge?

Call the City of Cedar Rapids' Stormwater Pollution Hotline at (319) 286-5815.

For additional information regarding stormwater call (319) 286-5604 or email sewer@cedar-rapids.org.

Sidewalks and Curb Ramps

My sidewalk has uneven panels, how do I get these repaired?
Please contact the Public Works Department by calling (319) 286-5802, press option 3 or email sidewalks@cedar-rapids.org. Provide the address or streets these sidewalks are located. Inspectors will evaluate the area and notify the property owner if repairs are needed.
Who is responsible for repairing my sidewalk?
The property owner is responsible for sidewalk repairs.  The City can inspect and mark any areas needing repair.  A partial reimbursement is available for property owners who choose to do their own repairs (as marked by the City) or hire a bonded contractor.  If you prefer to have the City repair your sidewalk, you will be invoiced (assessed) for the repairs after the project has been completed.
How do I report a curb ramp (or lack of a curb ramp) that is not accessible?
Curb ramp or sidewalk issues can be reported to the Public Works Department by calling (319) 286-5802, press option 3 or email sidewalks@cedar-rapids.org. Provide the address or intersection in which the curb ramp is located. 
Why are so many curb ramps being installed or repaired around town?

The City of Cedar Rapids was invited by the Department of Justice to participate in Project Civic Access, a nationwide proactive initiative to ensure Cities are accessible.  As part of this initiative, the City is required to reconstruct all non-compliant curb ramps that have been constructed or altered since January 26, 1992 – which is when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went into effect. Out of 10,000 total curb ramps in the city, staff identified an estimated 3,800 as needing to be reconstructed based on this criterion. These include sidewalk curbs that have no ramps at all, or sidewalk curbs with pre-existing ramps that are now out of compliance with current standards.

Why are newly installed curb ramps being ripped out and reinstalled?
Curb ramps must be built to very specific design standards. If a ramp fails initial inspection, it must be ripped out and reconstructed. The Settlement Agreement required the City to hire a third party Independent Licensed Architect (ILA) to certify whether the alterations, additions and modifications made by the City comply with the ADA standards. Curb ramps are difficult to construct within the tight construction tolerance allowed, and are often found to be out of compliance by something as minor as the finishing brush stroke (the difference sometimes as thin as a paper clip). If a ramp fails inspection and needs to be reconstructed, the cost falls on the private contractor, not City taxpayers. 
What is the City doing to ensure sidewalks are accessible?
While the maintenance and repair of sidewalk is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, the City does have a process in place for reviewing sidewalk and ensuring repairs are made to damaged sidewalk. This includes reviewing sidewalks, notifying property owners of their responsibilities, and if necessary, undertaking repairs. If the City repairs a sidewalk, the cost is assessed to the adjoining property owner. Partial reimbursement is available for property owners who undertake sidewalk repairs themselves. Financial assistance is also available to those who qualify. The City continues to focus on overall walkability within the community and accessibility will be a key factor in the implementation of the Pedestrian Master Plan.
How often are sidewalks reviewed?
Beginning in 2014, we have focused sidewalk repair efforts on a rotating district basis. A map is available to find which district your property is located in. You may request to add your property to the Sidewalk Program regardless of its location during any year.
How do I learn more about the sidewalk repair and reimbursement program?

You can learn more about the sidewalk repair and resources available to property owners by visiting the webpage or reviewing the FAQ document.

Who can I contact regarding the assessment or with other questions?
Please contact Keith Abkes at the Cedar Rapids Public Works Department at (319) 286-5802, select option 3 or email sidewalks@cedar-rapids.org
Do you have a list of contractors who are bonded to work in the City?
Yes, the list can either be mailed or emailed upon request by calling (319) 286-5802, select option 3 or email sidewalks@cedar-rapids.org. It is also found at http://www.cityofcr.com/sidewalkrepair.
There are flags in my yard. What is the City doing?
The flags may or may not be for City work.  Anyone who will be digging must contact Iowa One Call so all utilities can come out and mark the area if they have anything buried in the area (gas lines, electric lines, cable lines, etc.). 

Residents can contact Iowa One Call to look up the associated work, by calling 1-800-292-8989 or through email at onecall@iowaonecall.com. 

If it is related to a City project, please contact the Public Works Department for more information. Call (319) 286-5802, select option 3 or email sidewalks@cedar-rapids.org.

Signs

I want to display a new sign. Do I need a permit?
When in doubt please contact the Development Services Department at (319) 286-5780. There are some limited instances when a sign permit is not required (i.e. approved home occupations, for lease/for sale if the size and location of these signs is “code compliant”, sandwich board signs displayed in compliance with the current code).
Are flag-banners (also known as flex-blade signs), permitted in the City of Cedar Rapids?
Portable signs are prohibited within the City of Cedar Rapids.
How do I request an accessible parking sign be installed in front of my house?

Accessible on-street parking spaces may be reserved for persons with disabilities, and may be requested by individuals who have a valid Persons with Disabilities Permit issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation. Parking in these stalls are not reserved solely for the individual who requested the space, but are public parking spaces reserved for any individual obtaining a Persons with Disabilities Permit. 

To get a Persons with Disabilities Parking Permit, please visit the Iowa DOT website.

To request an accessible parking space adjacent to your house, please call the Traffic Engineering division in Public Works at 319-286-5176. You will be asked to provide your name, address, phone number, and Persons with Disabilities Parking Permit number.

Cost: The cost for 2 accessible parking signs on steel posts is $100.00.

Fines: The fine for parking in a disabled parking space without a permit or with an expired permit is $200. Parking in a disabled parking space using a family member's permit is not permitted.

How do I request a School Crossing or Pedestrian Crossing sign?

School Crossing signs are used to indicate crosswalks located along a designated school route.

Pedestrian Crossing Signs are non-vehicular warning signs used to alert road users unexpected entries to the roadway by pedestrians might occur.

Request this sign or report a concern or call the Traffic Engineering division at (319) 286-5176.

Special Events

What activities do I need a special event permit for?
  1. An organized gathering of 50 or more persons outdoor at any public park, trail, public place or upon any public right-of-way, but that excludes the use of public facilities being utilized within their design specifications (i.e. large park pavilions, amphitheaters, etc.)
  2. An organized activity on private property that has an effect on a public right-of-way which will significantly alter conditions normally experienced on the public right-of-way.
  3. An event, gathering or organized activity on either public or private property that presents significant public safety or other concerns as determined by the city manager or city manager designee.

Examples of special events: Concerts, parades, circuses, fairs, festivals, pyrotechnic displays, marathons, bicycle races, spectator sports and any other gathering or event that meets the criteria.

Who can I contact with questions regarding holding a special event in Cedar Rapids?
Important special event contact information is listed on the Special Event Application or call Andrea Cooper in the City Manager’s Office at (319) 286-5083 – a.cooper@cedar-rapids.org.    
What happens after I submit my Special Event application?
Once you submit your complete application and map, it is forwarded to the members of the Special Event committee for review.  Members may contact you individually if they have questions about your event.  Once department review is finalized, a draft permit/resolution will be forwarded to you for review.  Once you review the draft permit/resolution you must return the Acceptance of Event document along with the appropriate insurance documents.  
Why am I required to hire off-duty police officers for my event?
Event organizers are ultimately responsible for the safety and welfare of those attending their event.  With that in mind, the City of Cedar Rapids may require you to hire off-duty police officers for your event.  The number of off-duty personnel required will be reviewed upon receipt of the application and included in your approval permit including the approximate cost of those services.  Please contact the Police Department at (319) 2865491 with questions.
What are the Police Department's general requirements/guidelines for off-duty officers?

Off-duty employment is performed for an outside employer beyond normal city police officer duties which require law enforcement authority. Off duty employment includes: 

•            Traffic control or security at special events in Cedar Rapids

•            Security at various businesses (i.e., grocery stores)

•            Security at various school functions

Events that entail alcohol or a street closure generally will require applicant to hire off-duty police officer(s) however the Police Department will use a risk assessment that takes the type of event, location, duration, time, history and type of entertainment into account when determining if off-duty officers are required. 

The off-duty officers will be primarily responsible for the enforcement of Federal and State laws at special events; protect life and property and to keep the peace.

What do I need to do in order to serve alcohol at my event?
The event organizer must apply for all appropriate liquor permits through the City Clerk’s office at (319) 286-5060, 45 to 60 days prior to the event.  You may need to provide an alcohol service area that has a defined delineated area with identified entrance/exit and barriers, fencing, chains, stanchions or similar material.  No alcohol may be taken outside the service area. 

Please contact Lt. Charlie Fields at (319) 286-5481 or Sgt. Dale Moyle at (319) 286-5329 to determine how many off-duty police officers and what type of set up will be needed.
How can I get my permit approved quicker? 
We request that applications be submitted a minimum 60 days before your scheduled event. The Special Event Committee will do everything possible to get your event approved as fast as possible.  If your event is a new one, submit your application as soon as possible allowing enough time for all to review and provide their conditions.  It is imperative that we have your application as soon as you finalize plans so that Committee Members can begin processing and place it on the Council agenda (if needed) prior to the event.
What do I need to do to close a street for an event? 

Once you have submitted your Special Event Application, you will need to hire an insured traffic control contractor to request that they provide all barricades/traffic controls required by the City for the temporary street closure.  All barricades/traffic controls must conform to the requirements of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.  You will need to   provide the name and phone number of the company providing the barricades/traffic controls to the Police Department (319) 286-5439 and Traffic Engineering (319) 286-5878 a minimum of one week prior to the event.

Applicant must also contact the Lt. Charlie Fields at (319) 286-5481 or Sgt. Dale Moyle at (319) 286-5329 at the Police Department to hire off-duty police officers for enforcement.  (Some event applicants (non-profits) may qualify for reimbursement of those fees).

If the street closure is downtown where there are parking meters, the Applicant shall arrange all necessary parking meter hooding and event loading zone operations per requirements of Republic Parking/Park CR (319) 365-7275 a minimum of one week in advance of event.

Can I put up a tent at my event?

If your tent is in excess of 400 square feet, you will need to obtain a permit from the Fire Department (319) 286-5862. 

Exceptions

1. Tents used exclusively for recreational camping purposes.

2. Tents open on all sides which comply with all of the following:  Individual tents having a maximum size of 700 square feet.  The aggregate area of multiple tents placed side by side without a fire break clearance of 12 feet, not exceeding 700 square feet total.  A minimum clearance of 12 feet to all structures and other tents.  

Please note:  Event applicants shall not use any equipment that penetrates or damages the City street or sidewalk surface.  All tents, stages, and other structures shall be water barrel or sand weight supported.

If your event is in a park, you must obtain permission to erect a tent due to sprinkler systems and other obstacles that may not be visible.  Contact the Parks Department at (319) 286-5750 for further information.

Can I hang signs or banners at our event?
Approval from the Building Services Division (319-286-5831) and any required permits must be obtained before erecting any signage.
Why does the City require a Certificate of Insurance?

A Certificate of Insurance provides certification that an insurance policy exists and a snapshot of the basic policy coverage and limits at the time of issuance of the certificate.  Thus it confirms that the applicant has the required insurance requested for a permit.  Insurance is necessary for special events so that taxpayers are not required to pay for injuries that may occur during your special event.

Why won't the City pay for insurance for my event?
If you provide insurance for your special event, the City taxpayers will not be required to pay for injuries that occur while they attend your special event.  Event applicants can purchase the liability insurance coverage from the City of Cedar Rapids by contacting the City’s Risk Manager at (319) 286-5008.
How do I contact on-duty park staff in case of problems or emergencies during my pavilion rental?

When a pavilion reservation is made, a facility sales receipt is issued to the reservation contact.  This receipt must be present by the party who is using the pavilion to confirm their reservation.  The receipt includes information such as:

•            Facility/date/time period of reservation

•            Name and contact information/reservation # of reservation holder

•            Emergency contact cell phones of on duty park staff for week days, week nights, and weekends

When planning an event in a park, what park staff should I expect to talk with concerning details and payments?

Planning/Implementation:  Special events making use of Cedar Rapids park facilities will be initially assisted with park related questions by the Parks Department (319-286-5750).  As planning moves toward implementation of the event, event applicants may also work with a Park Quadrant Supervisor for specific questions about logistics, event condition implementation, electrical hookup, etc.

Payments:  Currently, payment of fees for pavilion rentals, athletic field rentals, bandwagon rental, and Greene Square Park fees are remitted as follows:

NW Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405

Hours: 8 AM – 9 PM

Phone: (319) 286-5731   Fax:  (319) 538-0020                               

 

City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Hours: 7:30AM – 4:30 PM

Phone: (319) 286-5566      Fax: (319)540-8843

Do I need a Special Event Permit to stage a protest or demonstration?
Protests, demonstrations, candlelight vigils or rallies are considered First Amendment rights; therefore, a Special Event permit may not be needed for these types of events. Organizers are asked to contact the City Manager’s Office at 319-286-5080 to verify that no events are scheduled in the areas where protests are being planned and to ensure proper city departments are notified of the event.
Will I need any other permits to hold an event?

Possibly. Depending on the type of activity you are having at your event, other permits may be needed.  The Special Event Application has additional permit information stated throughout the application including contact information to obtain those permits. 

Examples:

If you are having food at your event, you or your vendor must obtain appropriate approval from Linn County Public Health Department. 

If you are having animals at your event, a permit is needed from Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control, etc.

If you are having alcohol, it is imperative to submit the application to the City Clerk a minimum of 30 days prior to the event. 

Please contact Andrea Cooper in the City Manager’s Office at (319) 286-5083 – a.cooper@cedar-rapids.org with any questions regarding the Special Event process.

Snow and Ice Control

After a snow storm, how does the City prioritize snow removal?

The following is a list of how the City prioritizes snow removal efforts. Priority begins on roads with the most traffic volume. After a snowfall, it may take up to 12 hours for crews to reach every street in the city. 

  1. Emergency Snow Routes: These routes are typically main arterials, bus routes, school zones, and areas near hospitals. They are designated with street signage and are prioritized for plows to clear due to their high traffic volumes.  
  2. Main collector streets which connect major sections of the City
  3. Residential streets
How do I know if I live on a Snow Emergency route?

If a Snow Emergency is declared, please remove parked cars from Emergency Snow Routes. Vehicles parked on Emergency Snow Routes after a Snow Emergency has been declared may be ticketed and/or towed.

Map of Emergency Snow Routes

List of Emergency Snow Routes

If a snow emergency is declared, how do I know which side of the street to park my vehicle?

When a Snow Emergency is declared, residents are asked to use the odd/even rule when parking their vehicles on the street. This applies from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM during Snow Emergencies. A vehicle illegally parked after a snow emergency has been declared is subject to a fine and or towing of the vehicle.

  • Park on the odd-address side of the street on odd calendar day
  • Park on the even-address side of the street on even calendar days

Odd/Even rule does not apply to:

  • Posted emergency snow routes
  • Parking metered areas in the central business district, or other areas where parking is presently restricted between the hours of 2:00 AM and 6:30 AM,
  • Any street where the alternate side parking would conflict with permanently posted parking restrictions.
What type of snow fighting applications does the City use?

The City has approximately 90 pieces of snow removal equipment and crews work 3 shifts around the clock between Dec and April to provide 24/7 service during snow falls.

Materials that are used include:

  • Salt – Most effective when applied during temperatures above 15 degrees
  • Sand/Salt Mix – Most effective when temperatures are dropping or conditions require the abrasive qualities of the sand for added traction.
  • Sand/Salt/Flake Chloride Mix – Most effective when temperatures plummet. This tactic uses a 3:1 sand/salt mix, and combines it with the added melting power of chloride flakes. The chloride is effective at melting snow/ice off the road at temperatures that drop to 20 below zero.
  • Brine – Most effective when used before the snow or ice falls, and when temperatures at the time of application are above 15 degrees. The brine helps coat the roads and make them less susceptible to sticking snow
Who is responsible for maintaining sidewalks are cleared of snow?

Property owners and private businesses are responsible for their sidewalk and adjacent sidewalk ramps at intersections. After a storm ends, residents and businesses have 48 hours to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice accumulations. Learn more about the property owner’s responsibilities.

It is important to the City of Cedar Rapids to provide a safe, walkable community for all residents, regardless of age or ability. During the winter months, it is important to maintain clear and safe sidewalks and sidewalk ramps in order to ensure that residents can access their sidewalk, bus stop, or routes to businesses. 
How can I report sidewalks that are not cleared within 48 hours of the last snowfall?

Call the Solid Waste and Recycling Department at 319-286-5897 or email the complaint, with an address of the property in violation, to SolidWaste&Recycling@cedar-rapids.org. The City will not log any complaints until 48 hours have passed since the end of the storm or snow event.

Who do I contact if a plow damages my grass?
In the event that damage occurs to your yard due to plowing operations, the City will repair sod damage in a timely manner in the following spring. To request sod repair, please call Public Works at (319) 286-5826 or email street@cedar-rapids.org
Who do I contact if a plow damages my mailbox?

If a plow damages your mailbox, homeowners should complete a Claim/Release form and provide a copy of the purchase receipt for replacement material. Claim form and receipt must be submitted to the City’s Risk Management division.

 

Contact Information:

Claims Analyst

Finance Department - Risk Division

500 15th Ave SW

Cedar Rapids, IA  52404

Phone: (319) 286-5125

Fax:  (888)611-1370

E-Mail: J.Lynch@cedar-rapids.org

 

Office hours are: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Streets

When is my street going to be repaired?
To learn more about the Paving for Progress Program including how roads are prioritized and upcoming projects, visit the Paving for Progress page on the City of Cedar Rapids website.   
What is Paving for Progress?
Cedar Rapids voters passed a one percent sales tax for street repair in November of 2013, which went into effect July 1, 2014 and will continue for 10 years until it expires on June 30, 2024. Paving for Progress will capitalize on approximately $18 million annually, set aside solely for the maintenance, repair, construction and reconstruction of public streets. Learn more about the Paving for Progress Program including results, improvements, upcoming projects, and outreach efforts.
What is the timeline for Paving for Progress work this year?
To learn more about Paving for Progress projects this year, visit the Projects page on the City of Cedar Rapids website.
How do I report a pothole in the street?
Please contact the Streets Division with the location information by emailing street@cedar-rapids.org or by calling (319) 286-5826.