DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) – The City of Dubuque has received an $800,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The grant is to be used towards clean up projects within the city. The E.P.A. specifically refers to these sites as “brownfield,” as they have previously been contaminated with hazardous waste.
Mel Pins, Executive Director of the Iowa Brownfield Redevelopment Program, said the many cities and developers avoid working on brownfield projects because of their poor reputation.
“Brownfields have a reputation that either they’re contaminated,” said Pins. “Or they’re dirty, they’re dingy, they need polish.”
The city has been tackling brownfield projects for well over a decade. Including the revitalization of the Millwork District and the Port of Dubuque.
Dubuque City Mayor, Roy D. Buol, said that this would not be possible without the help from the government and from private developers.
“People, planning and partnerships is the city’s mantra,” said Buol.
The city first began looking into brownfield projects during the economic recession. Jim Gulliford, Region 7 E.P.A. Administrator, praised the city for continuing its work; even during its hardest times.
“And things took a turn for the worst. And in many places, that’s the sign of the end,” said Gulliford. “But that wasn’t the sign of the end here in Dubuque.”
Dave Lyons, Sustainable Innovation Consultant for the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, said that Dubuque will always continue to work towards improving its city.
“The City of Dubuque, as always, rolled up its sleeves and said, ‘If there is an opportunity here, then let’s figure out a way to apply it locally,'” said Lyons.
Pins said that the city is a leader in the country for these types of projects.
“You’re not just a success for yourself as a community, you are an example within the State of Iowa, and quite frankly you’re an example nationally,” said Pins.
There are numerous projects across the city that will be considered for renovation. Some of those projects is the expansion of the Bee Branch Creek, the Washington Neighborhood, South Port and the North End.