The East Central Intergovernmental Association is a council of governments, formed in 1974 with the goal of developing regional solutions for local governments facing similar problems. ECIA is an evolving organization, continuously creating new programs and initiatives.

In 1982, the RTA was formed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for the purpose of connecting the elderly, disabled, youth and low income citizens in Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson counties to critical services like healthcare, counseling, nutrition, childcare, education, employment, and social venues. The RTA provides accessible, safe, convenient, and efficient transportation for all citizens in the cities, communities and rural areas of the RTA region to enhance their quality of life.

In 2005, Eastern Iowa Regional Utility Service Systems (EIRUSS) was formed. EIRUSS is an organization created by the Cedar, Clinton, Delaware, Jackson and Jones County Boards of Supervisors. EIRUSS was created under Code of Iowa, Chapter 28E, which allows local governments to establish agreements that enable them to provide joint services and facilities with other agencies and cooperate in other ways of mutual advantage. The purposes of EIRUSS is to plan, design, develop, finance, construct, own, operate and maintain essential facilities and services including, but not limited to, wastewater treatment systems and water systems for and on behalf of the counties and the cities and unincorporated areas within the counties. East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) is the management agent.

In 2016, ECIA began partnering with and was awarded its first technical assistance grant through the University of Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) where masters students in pertinent fields of study work with communities to implement important community projects. One key project was a land bank feasibility study that was later drafted into legislation. The Iowa Senate introduced the land bank bill in January 2020. The IISC partnership has been valuable in assisting communities with community visioning and planning, community enhancement, feasibility studies, and more. In total, nine projects have been completed.

In 2017, ECIA assumed management of the Homeless Program. The focus is on safe and affordable housing first and then provides supports to maintain housing followed by increased opportunities for better health, integration into the community, access to benefits and services, and economic stability.

Also in 2017, ECIA helped establish Keep Iowa Beautiful groups in Clinton and Dubuque Counties. This program provides for a community coach, to help groups plan and implement recreational, beautification, and other types of community projects. Clinton County has their own coach for the communities and ECIA coaches Dubuque County communities

Most recently in 2019, ECIA launched a nuisance abatement program, to help communities address their citizen’s nuisance properties.

Aerial ECIA Building
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