Dubuque officials seek ideas on Island's future - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque officials seek ideas on Island's future

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

The city of Dubuque is looking to expand Chaplain Schmitt Island. The island is currently home to Dubuque's Mystique Casino, along with Mystique Community Ice Center, restaurants, a marina, and more. A public input meeting was held Wednesday night at the Hotel Julien in Dubuque to discuss the future of Schmitt Island.

Kyle Kritz is the associate city planner for the city of Dubuque. He said the city of Dubuque City Council has made the creation of a master plan for Chaplain Schmitt Island a top priority.

"What they are looking at to find is, are there uses that are not on the island that would be beneficial to have them or are there uses that would be better served that are off the island and something else in there place." Kritz said Wednesday evening.

Consultants with Cuningham Group, a group hired to lead the project by the city of Dubuque, shared preliminary ideas for improvements to the island and took public comments about what the community would like to see on the island.

Andrew Dresdner is an urban designer with the Cuningham Group.

"We see it as a pretty special place that future users of the island, whether they are recreational, housing, or entertainment can play off the fact that it is an island and play off the fact that as a particular environment that you simply don't have elsewhere in the city." Dresdner said.

Dresdner said the consultants see further development to the south side of the island along the highway. He said preliminary ideas Cuningham Group have for that area included mixed housing, retail and restaurants related to the marina and to the river.

Dresdner said all ideas presented during Wednesday's public input meeting are still in preliminary stages. He said developing the island is a challenge.

"It's an island. It grows and it shrinks with the flood waters. Much of the island, about 175 acres is in a flood plan or another and another chunk of the island is in a flood way," Dresdner said, "so there are challenges."

Information gathered at Wednesday's session will be used to draft a plan that will be delivered to Dubuque's City Council later this year.

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