IACC - History of IACC

IACC began in 1986 with a simple idea: "Can we make finding infrastructure funding easier for local governments in WA?" In the beginning, we had no grand vision to re-design the state's infrastructure funding system; just a desire to make a difficult-to-navigate system just a little bit easier. Simply put, how can we "connect the dots" for communities that don't deal with these issues on a daily basis?

Funding program staff from half a dozen different agencies began meeting monthly to share information about their programs and look for ways to coordinate their assistance to local governments. The group learned from each other, found ways to amplify their efforts, and chose a name for themselves. The "Intergovernmental Public Facilities Finance Committee" (IPFFC) seemed like a great name at the time, but shoulder pads, parachute pants, and really big hair seemed like good ideas as well!!

Despite the name the group began to grow, adding new members (which enabled improved coordination) and achieving some substantial wins for infrastructure financing. At this point, they got so confident that they decided to host a conference, and in 1989 the "First Annual Washington State Public Facilities Finance Conference sponsored by the Intergovernmental Public Facilities Finance Committee" was held in Wenatchee. That first conference was in June, registration was $75, and to register you could mail your check or money order directly to Charmaine Mortensen, at the Department of Community Development (which became CTED, which later became Commerce.)

Whoever decided to add "The First Annual" to the conference name was being optimistic. At the time, this was just a group of state employees meeting across agencies to share information. Everything was un-official and ad-hoc. Hosting a conference felt like an enormous risk. What if nobody came?

It turns out working collaboratively is really popular, (almost as popular as grant dollars!) So of course, the conference was a huge success. The "first annual" became the "second annual", then the third...

In 1993 the ad-hoc working group behind the conference was ready for more autonomy, with an elected board and a new name. While early discussions focused around the "Infrastructure Assistance Council for Public Works Projects" (IACPWP), this quickly became the "Infrastructure Assistance Council" (IAC). Luckily someone was able to find one more "C", and IACC was born.

In 1994, IACC gained some official recognition through an inter-agency MOU signed by agency directors. The original MOU had 13 signatories: 6 state agencies, 6 associations and non-profits, and 1 federal agency.

In 1997 IACC incorporated as an independent, Washington State non-profit organization with its own charter and by-laws. Members of the IACC board and sub-committees continued to be agency and association staff who volunteered their time.

One of the reasons for the growth and success of the annual conference is the amazing networking opportunities that take place. Between, before, after, and sometimes during presentations, there are hallway conversations about projects and funding. Bringing so many funders and technical experts together at one time allows communities to sit down with possible funders, include technical experts, regulatory agencies, and their own finance directors and elected officials. These technical assistance meetings have become incredibly popular.

The 2001 conference was the first to feature pre-registered technical assistance teams (or just "tech teams") where conference planners arranged for agency, funding, and association staff to meet with individual communities to discuss specific projects. In That first year, there were 8 preregistered tech teams, but in 2018, IACC conference staff coordinated 27 preregistered tech teams!

2001 was also the launch of infrafunding.wa.gov. The Infrafunding website became home to our Funding Program Summary, Income Survey Guidance, and Environmental Review Inventory, information about the conference, and a host of other features.

Other significant milestones:

  • 2009 was the first year that the IACC conference included an annual infrastructure awards program.

  • In 2014, IACC re-branded and got a new logo.

  • In 2016 IACC expanded beyond the conference to offer tech teams at 4 regional meetings during the summer.

  • The 2017 conference was the first time IACC offered Continuing Education Credits for water and wastewater operators.

  • In 2019 IACC began coordinating tech team meetings year round, bringing technical experts and information about funding programs to you.

2019 is our 30th anniversary of connecting communities to resources, connecting them to technical assistance, and connecting them to each other. Celebrate with us as we continue to innovate, grow, and find more and better ways to promote, fund, and build local Infrastructure in Washington State.

1993 to 2000


2001 to 2013


2014 to present