Dubuque city leaders consider scaled down Five Flags renovation plan

Dubuque city leaders are considering spending millions of dollars to renovate a place some say is in dire need of repair.
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:26 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Dubuque city leaders got a tour of the aging Five Flags Civic Center on Monday night to see for themselves the areas that could use a change.

The mayor, city council, and other city leaders were involved in the visit, which came before a planned work session.

City leaders are considering spending millions of dollars to renovate the place, and may have even found a way to pay for it.

This latest effort to renovate the center is just the latest in a growing timeline of attempts to update the center.

Lack of bathrooms was at the top of a long list of flawed and outdated features of the Five Flags Civic Center.

Dubuque’s Leisure Services Manager Marie Ware said Porta Potties are even brought into the building for bigger concerts.

Ware pointed out all the problems in need of addressing during the visit, including small seats, incessant buzzing from overhead lights, leaks in the ceiling and group showers. She referred to it as, “truly a 70′s facility.”

Earlier this year, Dubuque City Council members considered setting a date for a referendum to approve funds to update the building.

In April, the cost of the project was estimated to be almost $90 million dollars.

In June, the council decided to delay scheduling a vote.

Currently, the council is looking at spending about $24 million on updates. The plan discussed during Monday night’s work session would use money from the urban renewal fund.

That money needs council approval, not a referendum, and city leaders said it would not affect property taxes.

No action was taken during the work session, but the overwhelming sense was that something, finally, needs to be done.