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East Dubuque Works To Revive Its Economy

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DUBUQUE, Iowa - Some city leaders in East Dubuque, Illinois, are pushing to revive the community's economy.

The town of about two thousand people sits right across the Mississippi River from Dubuque. Once known for strip clubs, the city council banned those businesses in 2010, leaving several vacant buildings behind.

East Dubuque Mayor George Young says a few years ago some former city council members made it their goal to clean up the city's image. But he says that forced several bars out of business and now the goal is to revive this small community.

Along Highway 20 in East Dubuque, crews are working on a new barbeque restaurant set to open next month. On Sinsinawa Avenue, a few new retail stores are popping up. That includes a new business called Tri-State Pool and Spa.

"We just opened our doors and within the past couple of months I've only have a couple days off work," said Tri-State Pool and Spa owner Luke Tigges. Tigges says he hopes other retailers join him along East Dubuque's main drag.

"You just have to get the right retail shops down here. You have to get the right people with the right business attitude with the right business plan," Tigges said.

Mayor Young says the city needs to do what they do best; more night-life with live music and dancing. He believes that's the way to bring life back to these empty buildings. Tigges believes there are already enough bars, and doesn't want the city to recreate its past.

"There's been vomit outside on the front doors one time. There was broken glass once. The last thing I need is one of my customers to pull up here and get a flat tire," Tigges said. asked Mayor Young if city leaders are considering once again allowing strip clubs in downtown East Dubuque. He says at this point that's not being discussed.

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