Dubuque council OKs ice center, NW Arterial projects, agreement for business expansion

The following notable action was taken by Dubuque City Council members on Monday.

Mystique Community Ice Center project

Action: Council members voted, 7-0, to approve the plans and specifications for work at Mystique Community Ice Center.

Background: The two projects approved, projected to cost $2,650,000 to $4,150,000, are part of a larger initiative to repair structural settling occurring at the ice center. The facility was built on top of the former site of a landfill, and the unstable ground is causing portions of the building to sink. The project involves the removal of the ice rink and some bleachers and the installation of a deep foundation structure to prevent further settling. Future projects also are planned to remediate other portions of the building.

What’s next: City officials anticipate a contract for the project will be awarded in May, with construction beginning in June. As a result, the ice center will be closed from June 1 to Nov. 1.

Northwest Arterial project

Action: Council members voted, 7-0, to approve plans and specifications for a project to reconstruct large portions of the Northwest Arterial.

Background: The $8.9 million project includes the rehabilitation of the arterial’s southbound lanes and the reconstruction of the northbound lanes from U.S. 20 to John F. Kennedy Road. It also includes the reconstruction of the arterial’s intersections with Asbury Road and Pennsylvania Avenue. The eastbound, left-turn lane at the JFK intersection also will be extended.

The project’s cost will be covered almost entirely via state funds, with about $75,000 in city funds being used.

What’s next: City officials estimate construction will begin in late May, and work this year will focus on the reconstruction of the intersections and the rehabilitation of the southbound lanes. The second phase of the project is estimated to begin in April 2023 and will include the reconstruction of the northbound lanes. The estimated final completion date is August 2023.

Dubuque Screw Products agreement

Action: Council members voted, 7-0, to approve a development agreement with Dubuque Screw Products and Scherr Real Estate LLC for the planned expansion of the Dubuque Screw Products manufacturing facility at 6500 Chavenelle Road.

Background: Dubuque Screw Products intends to construct a 28,000-square-foot expansion at a cost of $2.5 million in order to meet growing demand. Once completed, the business will hire 10 new full-time employees, bringing the total staff up to 64.

Under the development agreement, Dubuque Screw Products will receive 10 years of tax-increment-financing incentives totaling up to about $330,000.

What’s next: Company officials currently plan to begin construction on the expansion in June and have it finished by mid-November.

Panhandling ordinance repeal

Action: Council members voted, 7-0, to repeal an ordinance prohibiting “aggressive panhandling.”

Background: The ordinance, adopted in 2009, prohibits behavior described as “aggressive panhandling,” including touching someone without that person’s consent, following or blocking people’s movements, continued solicitation after a request has been rejected or ignored, or other behavior “that would cause a reasonably prudent person to feel threatened, intimidated or fearful.” The repeal of the ordinance was recommended by City Attorney Crenna Brumwell after the city received a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa arguing that it was unconstitutional. In a memo to City Council, Brumwell said there are no recorded instances of a citation being issued under the ordinance.

What’s next: The repeal of the ordinance will go into effect once the notice is published in the Telegraph Herald.