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Administration

About Us

This Division provides administrative direction and support to the Department and is responsible for many special duties. Among the functions performed are: supervision, budgeting & planning, payroll processing, special project coordination, and other administrative responsibilities.

Polk County Recycling Program

Summary

Polk County operates its recycling/waste reduction program to serve approximately 1000 employees in 16 office facilities owned by the County.

Estimated Recycling Quantity

394,719 pounds (197 tons) of paper, corrugated, steel cans, wood pallets, license plates, and electronics recycled between January, 2012, and July 2013. Included in that:

  • 180 tons is paper, corrugated and steel cans from all facilities. The Polk County Jail, alone, recycles more than one ton per month of steel cans.
  • 4.5 tons of pallets are recycled every year.
  • 7.5 tons of electronics recycled in past 18 months.
  • All license plates received by the Treasurer’s office are cut in two and recycled (about 5 tons/year).
The program also saved the following:
  • 1,127 trees from destruction during 2013.
  • Enough money and resources to power 115 average sized homes for 5 months.
  • An equivalent of 30,329 gallons of oil.
  • 43 tons of paper.
  • 463,197 gallons of water.
  • 192 cubic yards of landfill in 2013.
Materials Recycled
  • Office paper
  • Magazines/catalogs
  • Tires
  • Steel cans
  • Glass bottles (detention facility)
  • Corrugated
  • Scrap metal
  • Motor oil
  • Batteries
  • Plastic bottles (detention facility)
  • Newspapers
  • Toner cartridges
  • Fluorescent bulbs/ballasts
Other Re-used Materials
  • Custodians re-use terry cleaning cloths.
  • Shipping/receiving re-uses boxes and packaging materials.
  • Archives re-uses records storage boxes.
Waste Reduction Milestones
  • The employee directory and regional phone book are on line for employees to use, reducing the need for 800 phone books over two years (1.6 tons/year).
  • An employee-driven decision to forward phone bills electronically to department heads, instead of making photocopies, saves 25,000 pages a year (0.12 tons/year).
  • An electronic purchasing/requisition system saves 70,000 pages a year over the old paper form (.3 tons/year).
  • An online version of the employee newsletter reduces paper consumption by 125,000 sheets (.61 tons/year).
  • 350 new recycling desk-side containers, with custom Polk County stickers, were added in fall, 2003 to make recycling more accessible to employees.
  • All custodians received new two-barrel carts to make recycling easier.
  • Training of both employees and custodians is ongoing, including regular prompts and incentives to keep participation high. The employee newsletter is one effective vehicle for education. Employee and staff meetings are also used. All new employees receive recycling education at their orientation.
  • Polk County had its first recycling “pledge” drive in fall, 2003. Of 1070 forms sent out, 568 were returned with a pledge to recycle. Nine facilities had 100 percent participation in the pledge.
  • Polk County collected and recycled over 14 tons of paper in its first ever Clean Out Your Files Day in November, 2003.
  • Polk County contracted with Metro Waste Authority to conduct two comprehensive multi-facility waste assessments to identify opportunities to reduce waste.
  • The Polk County Board of Supervisors has requested all documents be printed two sided and on letter-sized (not legal) paper.
  • The Polk County Board of Supervisors passed an Environmental Management System policy in April, 2003, stating its commitment to protecting the environment and the health and safety of employees, clients and the greater community. A six-member team of Polk County employees is working to transform the policy statement into a working Environmental Management System (EMS).
  • The County has an Energy/Resources Steering Committee, representing all departments, that meets quarterly to work on waste reduction.

Recycled Products Purchased
  • 30% post-consumer recycled copy paper.
  • Recycled letterhead, envelopes, toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, boxes, toner cartridges and notepads.
  • 10% post-consumer recycled file folders.

Real Estate Leases

Real Estate Leases

Hours of Operation: 11:30 am - 4:30 pm (Mon - Fri)
Phone: 286-2242
Free Admission
Website: www.polkcountyheritagegallery.org

Built in 1908, the Polk County Administrative Office Building originally was the old Post Office Building in Des Moines. It was an example of the high quality Civic Center Architecture that the Federal Government erected during the early years of this century. Like most of its counterparts, it is a building in Beaux-Arts Classical Style. The public spaces of the interior continue the Beaux-Arts architectural theme, with the main lobby being the most architecturally pretentious space. In early 1975, the Old Post Office was approved for listing on the National Register of Historical Places because of its classical Federal building style.

In 1975, County voters approved spending $5.8 million to buy the old Post Office and remodel it for County offices. The first major phase of that project was completed in 1979, but the future use of the building's most significant interior space, the main lobby, was left unresolved beyond the basic intent to preserve its integrity. In May, 1979, the Polk County Board of Supervisors directed that the possibility of utilizing the lobby as exhibition space be examined and proposals be developed.

A study funded in part with a matching grant-in-aid from the United States Department of Interior, Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, under provisions of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, was completed in September, 1979, by the architectural firm of Wehner, Nowysz, Pattschull and Pfiffner of Iowa City, Iowa. After completion of the study, the firm advised that the lobby space be developed into a gallery with a maximum flexibility to allow exhibits ranging from art to history to science.

On September 30, 1980, the Board of Supervisors approved a Resolution establishing an Advisory Committee to oversee the development of the historic lobby for the purpose of presenting changing exhibits of artistic and historical material. This Committee first met on October 14, 1980, with Fred Hiatt as first chairman. In November, 1980, the Polk County Board of Supervisors voted to name the historic lobby "The Polk County Heritage Gallery." Since that time, the Gallery has continued to sponsor exhibits for the education and entertainment of both citizens and visitors in Polk County. It was originally funded through Hotel/Motel Tax funds.

For many years, the Gallery was managed by the Department of General Services and funded through that department's fiscal year operating budget. A Citizen Advisory Board of up to twelve persons, representing the civic and business communities and the fields of arts and humanities, education, and historic preservation, provided advisory assistance to the County concerning exhibit scheduling and promotion.

Today, the Gallery operates as an independent entity with minimal support provided by the County. A volunteer board, directed by Tom Greene, manages all events including providing on-site support.

Timeline of the Gallery

  • 1908
    • Building was constructed.
  • Early 1975
    • Building listed on the National Register of Historical Places because of its Beaux Arts Classical architectural style (Federal government buildings).
  • Later in 1975
    • County voters approved spending $5.8 million to buy the old Post Office and remodel it for County offices. The first major phase of that project was completed in 1979.
  • In May of 1979
    • Polk County Board of Supervisors directed that the possibility of utilizing the lobby as exhibition space be examined and proposals be developed.
  • September of 1979
    • Architectural firm of Wehner, Nowysz, Pattschull and Pfiffner of Iowa City, Iowa was hired. After completion of the study, the firm advised that the lobby space be developed into a gallery.
  • September 30, 1980
    • Board of Supervisors approved a Resolution establishing an Advisory Committee to oversee the development of the gallery.
  • October 14, 1980
    • First Gallery Advisory Committee meeting was held with Fred Hiatt as first chair.
  • November, 1980
    • Polk County Board of Supervisors voted to name the historic lobby "The Polk County Heritage Gallery."

Parking

Public Parking

At most County buildings, public parking is available free to those accessing services. At our downtown facilities, parking is more limited.

At the Courthouse and Justice Center, parking ramps and meters are available.

At the Administration Building, hourly-fee parking is available in a small lot on the south side of the building.

Additional public parking for these buildings is available at parking meters or other public parking locations.

Monthly Parking

Polk County has two (2) downtown surface parking lots.

These lots are:  
120 2nd Street
$55 Monthly
Wagner Lot (combined with 100 5th Avenue)
$60 Monthly

Currently there are no parking spaces are available for licensing. To be added to the waiting list, please contact General Services at 515-286-3215.

Note: Unauthorized vehicles parked in these lots will be ticketed and towed.