Sixty-one cities and six counties within Northcentral Iowa formed the Mid Iowa Development Association Council of Governments (MIDAS) on June 24, 1971, and hired the first staff on March 2, 1972. MIDAS Articles of Agreements were filed with the Secretary of State on October 9, 1974.

The agency was created in response to the common interests of governments (particularly for infrastructure, housing, transportation, recreation, and economic development) and the need for cooperative approaches to solve area-wide issues.  This voluntary and cooperative venture is intended to help local governments improve their capability to implement services by defining regional issues, problems, and opportunities; setting priorities and formulating policies, plans, and implementation programs; and achieving efficient and effective action on area-wide matters through communications, coordination, and cooperation. It should be noted that the agency is not another layer of government, does not have legal authority to bind its members, nor can it force adherence to any given plan or policy. The agency's purpose is to build capacity within all sixty-six member jurisdictions, and if their individual capacities can not be sufficiently built, then provide regional service solutions on their behalf.