Dubuque Riverfront Planning

February  19, 2014

      Residents of Dubuque can help plan the future of a key section of "riverfront" property. Tonight the city will hold a public open house as it begins working on a master plan for Chaplain Schmitt Island.

      Associate city planner, Kyle Kritz, says the island now has a variety of uses, including a casino, hotel, restaurants, athletic fields, and Miller Riverview Park. 

      "At one time, it was the city's landfill. At one time it actually had the city airport on it. So there's been a lot of changes to the island over the years."

      And the goal of the master plan is to decide what "uses" should stay, which ones might be expanded, which ones should move elsewhere, and what new uses might be added. But Kritz says there are some "challenges" to keep in mind.

      "It's outside the city's protective floodwall that's along the entire riverfront. It's an island in the Mississippi, so it's subject to period flooding - portions of it."

      In addition, there's limited access to Chaplain Schmitt Island - just 16th Street, and Highway 61 that crosses the island and the Mississippi River, on its way to southwest Wisconsin.

      The open house runs from 6:30 until 8 pm at the Hotel Julien Dubuque. Kritz says a master plan for the island may be completed by late summer.