Alta, Iowa – City of Alta

Welcome to Alta

Catch the Energy

Welcome to AlTA

Founded because of the expansion of the Chicago-Illinois Railroad, Alta is the highest point on the railroad in Iowa.  Railroad engineer, John I. Blair, named the railroad depot "Alta" in 1870 in honor of his daughter, Altai Blair.  The incorporation papers were filed for "Incorporated Town of Alta, Buena Vista County, Iowa" on November 11, 1878 at the State Land Office at the Capitol in Des Moines. Proximity to rail transportation helped Alta develop into a solid farming community.

Settlers began to take residence in Alta in 1869.  One of the first commercial structures in the town was the railroad depot, followed by a post office.  In 1872, a land company laid out the town of Alta.  The original plat consisted of four blocks.  Hearing of this new settlement, P.G. Peterson of Chicago moved to Alta to start a hotel and help establish a good town.  Soon after, a group of tradesmen and businessmen followed from the Chicago area bringing several businesses to the rapidly growing community.  These new businesses included an elevator, a blacksmith shop, a hardware store, a general mercantile, a medical practice, and a law firm.

Agribusiness is still the mainstay of our community, but new industries - like the production of electricity by sleek wind turbines dotting our countryside - have drawn a rich mix of new residents from diverse backgrounds to Alta.

More than 1800 people call Alta home today, and many others who live in the surrounding rural areas enjoy our shops, parks, and schools. We welcome you to come and explore Alta. Catch our energy!

Upcoming Events


June 7 - 8, 2019 - City-wide garage sales.  

The week of June 10 will be city-wide clean up.  Exact dates will be posted later.

Latest News & Announcements

Overnight Parking Ban Lifted

As of March 23, 2019, the overnight parking ban has been lifted in the City of Alta.


Due to the conditions of the alleys, garbage and recycling pickup will be curbside until further notice.


The City of Alta is now hiring for the following seasonal positions: Alta City Pool Lifeguards Concession Stand Manager Umpires Applications may be picked up and returned to City Hall. Any questions, please call Megan at (712) 200-2105.

Empty Lots available!!

The city-owned Eighth Addition, on the south edge of town, still has lots available! All information can be found on the website at: 8th Addition

$1 Building Permits for Residential NEW CONSTRUCTION!!

Effective July 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2019, building permits for residential NEW CONSTRUCTION are only $1! There is an application process and the Council has to approve the fee waiver, but the Council is using this as an incentive to promote new houses being built in Alta! If you have questions, please call the…


City application For any questions regarding employment opportunities, please contact the City Clerk at (712) 200-2105, or  The City of Alta is an equal opportunity employer.