"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to: navigation, search

DUBUQUE IN-FUTURO. In 1978, the City of Dubuque's Industrial Task Force realized there was a lack of land in the area for industrial development. In addition, the downtown freeway development meant displacement for firms in the area and a resulting loss of hundreds of jobs. An engineering firm was hired to study the possibility of developing INDUSTRIAL PARKS at four sites. Of these, Radford Road was considered the best. (1)

To obtain funding for the industrial park west of the city, the city needed a nonprofit corporation as a co-sponsor. In 1980 the Dubuque City Council approved the idea of forming such an organization Dubuque In Futuro had the power to apply for and receive grants, gifts and bequests from the State of Iowa or federal government, City of Dubuque, or other donors. It was also able to contract with the City for services and enter into agreements with the City and other governmental bodies. (2)

With twelve members and a board of seven people, Dubuque In Futuro could implement with the City or on its own sponsor projects for the needs of low to moderate-income citizens or to improve housing and employment conditions to better the community. It could also own, develop, lease, sell, or mortgage real estate and personal property. Using its assets, the organization was able to incur indebtedness and sell industrial revenue bonds secured by its revenues. (3)

In 1994 Karen O'ROURKE and the Center for Public Ministry that she led filed a suit against the City of Dubuque claiming that it had falsified documents sent to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and misspent funds. In 1995 the federal government sued the city and Dubuque In Futuro alleging the misuse of $20 million in federal money. (4)

By 1995 the City of Dubuque had given In Futuro millions of dollars and, according to a Telegraph Herald editorial, "that's the last taxpayers see of the money in the sense of any public accountability." According to the editorial, even after a deal was signed, In Futuro did not inform taxpayers how their money was spent. (5)

By 1998, the year a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit against the city, Dubuque In-Futuro projects included the development of the Dubuque Industrial Center, Dubuque Corporate Center, redevelopment of the J.C. Penney and S.S. Kresge buildings, construction and leasing of a building for the Eagle Point Corporation, and the construction and leasing of a 21,000 square-foot spec. industrial building. (6)

In 2000 Dubuque In-Futuro was renamed DUBUQUE INITIATIVES.



1. "Dubuque In Futuro," Julien's Journal, January 1997, p. 62

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Editorial, Telegraph Herald, June 16, 1995, p. 4

5. Ibid.

6. "Dubuque In Futuro..."