Official Notices

Substandard Structure Assistance Available

For those Spencer residents that have received notification from the City of substandard structure(s) on their property, the City of Spencer is offering two different programs to assist citizens in making necessary repairs.  

The Paint Assistance program is available to owner occupied property owners for paint to be used on substandard structures referred to in the enclosed notice.  Applications are available at City Hall, 418 2nd Avenue West or by clickin on the Paint Assistance program.  If approved, homeowners will be reimbursed for paint up to $100 maximum per property, based on the size of the building(s), after the work has been completed and verified by the City, and upon your submission of paint sales receipts.

The Spencer Cares program is an income based funding program that is available for painting or other repairs that are required by the city to bring the substandard structure on your property into compliance. The maximum amount of funding per request is $750.   Applications are available at City Hall, 418 2nd Avenue West or by clickin on the Spencer Cares link. 

For questions, please call Kirby Schmidt (Ext. 217), Robyn Larsen (Ext. 225) or Theresa Reardon (Ext 213) at Spencer City Hall, (712) 580-7200.

Sidewalk Grant Program

In 2012 the Spencer City Council made it a goal to make Spencer a more walkable community. A sidewalk grant program was developed and put in place in January of 2013. The program attracted over 190 applicants for sidewalk replacement or installation of new sidewalk throughout the community.

For those residents needing sidewalk repairs or new sidewalk, a Spencer Sidewalk Grant is available again this season. This grant pays for the calculated amount of concrete required to replace or install a public sidewalk adjacent to their property.
A new feature of the program, this year, is that applicants can choose to have the cost of the sidewalk project assessed and included in their property taxes over a ten year period of time. In this case, the City will hire a contractor to complete the job.

If you were approved last year and did not get the job completed, you may re-apply and choose to have the City hire a contractor to complete the project. Applications are available at City Hall.

Feel free to call or stop in at City Hall, 580-7200 and ask for Craig or Mark for more information.

Grass and Leaves

Tagged bags of grass and leaves will be picked up Fridays of each week. Residents will need to call into the transfer station to be picked up ---prior to each Friday. 712-580-7270

Tall Grass and Weed Notice

Control of Vegetation - Public Service Announcement

April 2016

The City of Spencer has adopted an ordinance that requires our citizens to maintain grass and weeds to a height of no more than eight inches (8”) on private property and on the public right-of-ways adjacent to their land. An exception to this restriction can be granted for certain areas within the community such as natural or wooded areas, native prairies, or land used for agricultural purposes. If a portion or all of your land is being used for one or more of these uses, you can contact City Hall (580-7200) and city staff will assist you through the application process.

When a tract of land or street right of way is found to have vegetation in excess of eight inches in height, a sign will be posted on the property by the City giving notice of the violation. If after seven (7) days the property has not been brought into compliance, the City will hire a contractor to mow the property and a statement of charges will be sent to the owner. If the charges are not paid within thirty (30) days, the charges will be certified with the county and collected with and in the same manner as general taxes.

Mowing is the only allowed method of maintaining the street right-of-ways in Spencer. The use of fire or herbicides that are formulated to destroy grasses is not to be used within the street right-of-ways. The use of herbicides to control plant growth on private property is not prohibited. Controlling vegetation on private property with fire is allowed only by permit by the Spencer Fire Department (580-7240).

If you have any questions regarding the maintenance and control of plant growth within Spencer, please contact City Hall during regular business hours by calling 580-7200, or by email at

For more information, look at Title 4 –Chapter 2; Control of Vegetation in the City Code under Public Notices on this website.

Transfer Station Hours


YEAR ROUND Hours will be as follows:
7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Saturday


All Commercial Businesses and Contractors are required to STOP at the front office and pay for garbage or construction materials brought to the Transfer Station.

There is a charge for ALL Construction Materials brought to the Transfer Station by Residents, Commercial Businesses and Contractors.

The grass/brush site located north of W. 18th Street at 18th Ave. West is open 24 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week.

Hazardous Household Materials Collection Site

The Northern Plains Regional Collection Center located at the Transfer Station, 3101 West 18th Street, will officially open this Thursday, September 27, 2012 for collection of Household Hazardous Waste.

You Will Need To Call Ahead To Schedule An Appointment. Appointments Will Be Available From 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. For More Information or to Schedule an Appointment call 712-580-7277.

Transient Merchants and Solicitors

As we approach the Clay County Fair, please be reminded of Chapter 3-1 of the Spencer, Iowa, City Code, regarding Registration of Peddlers, Solicitors & Transient Merchants.

This ordinance pertains to the licensing and registration of “transient merchants” (persons who bring into the City any goods or merchandise for sale); “solicitors” (persons who solicit from house-to-house or place to place or upon the public streets or other public property); and “peddlers” (persons carrying goods or merchandise for sale from house to house or place to place or upon public streets or other public property).

The confines of the Clay County Fairgrounds are exempt from these regulations.

Persons wishing to register under this ordinance must apply at the City Clerk’s Office, 418 2nd Avenue West, at least 24 hours before they intend to begin operations. The process includes an application form, $25 application fee and $5 per day of registration. A cash or equivalent bond of $500 is also required. The bond shall not be cancelled or refunded until 30 days after the expiration of the registration. A police check will be done on each applicant.

For registration information or a complete copy of Chapter 3-1 of the City of Spencer Code, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 418 2nd Avenue West, Spencer, Iowa 51301 or call (712) 580-7200, FAX # (712) 580-7236.

Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing: Important Lightning Safety Warning

The City of Spencer would like to inform our citizens of a concern regarding Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) utilized as gas piping in residences and commercial buildings in Spencer. Many fires around Iowa have been linked to lightning strikes, either by direct or indirect strikes and failure of CSST tubing due to the strikes.

CSST tubing has been installed in millions upon millions of homes across the U.S. The reason for its popularity is simple economics- the CSST product is less expensive and requires far less time and skill to install. The problem- CSST tubing has a very thin wall and is very vulnerable to a fire if it is not installed correctly. When electrical energy from lightning is conducted through CSST tubing, electrical arcing can be created between the CSST and any grounded metallic object as the lightning energy seeks a ground source. The arcing can create a hole in the pipe with a blow torch effect with an endless gas fuel source more than sufficient to ignite nearly any type of structure. What should you do if you think CSST tubing was used in your home or business?

Find out if CSST tubing is present in your residence or business.

  • If your home or business was built after 1990 there’s a good chance CSST tubing was installed.
  • The tubing is usually easily identifiable by its flexibility property and its yellow exterior plastic coating.
If CSST tubing is present:
  • Call a licensed electrician to verify whether the CSST tubing is properly bonded to a ground utilized by the electrical service of that building.
  • Look at the manufacturer’s name on the yellow coating and do some research into proper installation methods for that product.
  • Call a licensed mechanical contractor to review installation methods utilized and have any deficiencies corrected.
  • Call the City Hall at 712-580-7200 and ask to speak with the Electrical & Plumbing inspector on installation methods and building codes.
For additional information regarding CSST, you may access the State Fire Marshall's website containing the bulletin.

Open Burning

Open burning within the corporate limits of Spencer is not allowed by ordinance.

To dispose of leaves, grass clippings and other lawn waste or any household waste by burning is illegal. You may be subject to a fine.

Other means of disposal are available. You may bag and tag items, which the City will haul away or you may take your lawn waste items only to the designated tree and leaf site located 1 mile north of the intersection of West 18th Street and 18th Avenue West. Please observe all rules posted at the site. Questions may be directed to City Hall at (712) 580-7200 or the Fire Department at (712) 580-7240.


Trees located in a street right-of-way, or privately owned trees that contain branches that extend out over a public right-of-way, need to be trimmed so that the lowest branches are at least ten feet above a public sidewalk, (or the street parking if a sidewalk does not exist), and at least fourteen feet above the traveled portion of a street or alley. This does not require a permit.  The City will be inspecting trees starting June 1st in the East Forestry District; the area of town that is on the west side of Grand Avenue and north of the railroad tracks, to determine which properties have trees that need to be trimmed.

The City of Spencer is requesting that you undertake a visual inspection of your own property to see if there are branches over the street, sidewalk, alley and public right-of-way that need to be trimmed. If you have any questions regarding the administration and enforcement of these and other city ordinances, please contact City Hall at 580-7200 or check out our website at