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Growing Community Requires Strategic Municipal Engineering & Planning Services

In 1977, Snyder & Associates won the bid to design a new water treatment plant for the quaint community of Polk City. With the success of that project, Polk City hired Snyder & Associates to provide all municipal engineering services for the city a short two years later. For the 40-plus years since then, our team has been continuously and faithfully fulfilling that duty for the city — improving public infrastructure and creating a better quality of life for residents along the way.

Located 16 miles northwest of downtown Des Moines, Polk City is primarily a residential community. Its convenient location is ideal for those seeking the tranquility of small-town life, with a short commute to the larger metro area. Likewise, Polk City’s close proximity to regional recreational amenities like Big Creek State Park, Saylorville Lake, and the Central Iowa trail system make it the perfect community for those with a love for the outdoors.

When Snyder & Associates began this relationship with the community, Polk City had a population of just under 1,700 citizens. Through the intervening years of infrastructure improvements and a societal shift toward exurb living, the community now boasts a population of just under 5,000. The Snyder & Associates team members assigned to work with the Polk City community have forged long-term relationships with city staff throughout this four-decade partnership. These relationships have created continuity and provide us with the insight to develop a better understanding of the goals and direction of the community and their leaders.

Overseeing the Day-to-Day Engineering & Planning Services at the Heart of What We Do

Among the services that Snyder & Associates provides for Polk City are comprehensive community and infrastructure planning, site development and survey, subdivision and platting review, pavement management, park and trail design, capital improvement plan (CIP) facilitation, and construction inspection, just to name a few. But perhaps most important, Snyder & Associates brings extensive resources to the table that help the city locate and secure the funding they need to make their project concepts reality.

No project is too big or too small for our experienced team. Backed by planners, engineers, designers, landscape architects, surveyors, and construction managers, the city engineer handles all day-to-day issues, with the ability to quickly consult experts in various fields when necessary. Among the varied tasks the city engineer manages are:

In addition, the city engineer takes a leading role in periodic capital improvement planning (CIP) efforts on the city’s behalf. The CIP acts as a roadmap for ranking future project importance. The CIP often includes stormwater drainage and water system studies performed to assess future community growth.

Comprehensive Engineering & Planning Projects Highlight the Range of our Expertise

The number of projects that we’ve managed for Polk City over the years is extensive. A look at just a few of the projects completed over the past five years provides a compelling snapshot of the broad scope of our abilities.

Twenty-Year Comprehensive Plan Drives the Community Vision, “Imagine Polk City — A Bridge to the Future”

Comprehensive Plan cover page

Cover image for the Polk City Comprehensive Plan created by Snyder & Associates

In 2016, the Snyder & Associates planning team set out to refresh the outdated version of Polk City’s comprehensive plan. A comprehensive plan is a long‐range policy manual that guides decisions about the physical development of a community and establishes broad policy directions for growth, development, and redevelopment. A comprehensive plan is the backbone of a community — providing valuable information, consistent direction, and predictability for residents and developers, alike.

The plan we created for Polk City analyzed and incorporated a wide variety of components including, the natural environment, population, land use, transportation, parks and trails, infrastructure, public facilities and services, and growth management. As a result, this plan is well-established to guide the critical decision-making efforts impacting the community for the next twenty years.

City Park Improvements Create Community Pride

large brown and green welcome sign at the entrance to large park

Doc Simmer Memorial Park received upgrades due to the City’s comprehensive plan

Not all projects, however, affect the entirety of the city. In 2018, a parks improvement project kicked off with a goal of providing much-needed upgrades to three different community parks around the city. Snyder & Associates performed site survey and design for all of these projects.

Lost Lake Park, Doc Simmer Memorial Park, and Twelve Oaks Park were the targets of various upgrades and amenities. These included:

While these beautification and improvement efforts have localized, neighborhood-specific impacts, they create healthy and family-friendly improvements that are desirable for attracting new members to the community.

Street Repairs Provide Quality of Life Improvements

two men shovel wet concrete into place

Upgrading and maintaining roadway pavement is an important factor in a comprehensive plan

While not as glamorous as other infrastructure projects, roadway repairs and upgrades are always of foremost importance to residents of a community. With a solid pavement management plan in place, Snyder & Associates has helped Polk City effectively manage its roadway system repairs. In 2019, repairs were made at 15 separate locations throughout the city.

The Snyder & Associates team led a street inventory and condition survey to document and rank the streets. This initial inventory and survey recorded all facets of the city streets, including; lengths and widths, type of surfacing, current condition, last improvement date, and proposed improvements. A ranking system was then developed to more accurately determine the costs associated with maintaining the desired LOS. The street inventory schedule is regularly updated to reflect the most current conditions and future improvement costs. It’s also utilized by the city to aid in the selection of streets to be improved.

At Snyder & Associates, we provide our clients with day-to-day services that are proactive, responsive, and cost-effective. We help communities plan responsibly for sustainable growth and we work diligently to nurture strong relationships, appreciate multiple perspectives, and respect the culture of each community we serve. Most important, we know it takes experienced, skilled professionals to hold the trusted position of municipal engineer. We have earned that trust with many cities and towns like Polk City.