For those Dubuque County residents who have always wanted more say in how government officials spend public money, now is your big opportunity.

Dubuque County supervisors are looking for input on how the county should allocate the nearly $19 million it’s getting through the American Rescue Plan Act. Local residents can sign on to a communitywide survey and prioritize where the money should go. Using a hypothetical $100, participants can designate where the money should go among 10 categories eligible for use of ARPA funds, such as workforce development, mental health, housing and broadband.

Furthermore, local businesses and organizations can pitch project proposals that could have a lasting impact and public purpose. Chosen applications will be granted money from the ARPA allocation.

An online application portal and the community survey will go live Monday, July 26, on the county website. Dubuque County residents should check it out and weigh in with feedback on where the county should spend its money. And for a lucky organization or business, this might be a chance to turn that dream project into a million-dollar idea.

It’s disappointing news to hear that the Farley branch of the Dubuque County Library District will close next week with no plans for reopening in a new space.

Currently housed in the Drexler Middle School building, it’s understandable that the Western Dubuque Schools’ space needs must take precedence. But the growth at the school didn’t happen overnight. Community leaders and library officials knew this eventuality was coming. It was March when the school district officially rescinded the space sharing agreement.

Unfortunately, no new space was secured for a library move. Instead, beginning Aug. 2, books and equipment will be put into storage.

The fact that Western Dubuque Schools are “growing like crazy,” illustrates one of the critical underpinnings of the important role libraries play in communities. Libraries are wonderful places for kids. Fostering a love of reading and building on that love through programming in a town full of young families will benefit the entire community for generations to come.

Plans call for a portable collection of books to remain available at Farley City Hall, and library programming will continue to be offered, possibly in outdoor spaces. Those are good temporary solutions. But community leaders and citizens should work together to find a permanent home for this critical community service.

A federal grant awarded to the City of Dyersville will provide a key piece of infrastructure that likely will be a conduit to future growth and development.

The $1.5 million federal CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant will help the city create and expand water and wastewater infrastructure to the Field of Dreams and to the proposed site of a youth baseball and softball tournament complex, as well as a portion of the city that could be home to future industrial projects.

Both projects hold exciting potential for the community. Development of the Field of Dreams site as a tournament complex could be a major amenity for the area. And coming off the high profile Major League Baseball game scheduled there for August, it’s an exciting time to consider the possibilities for growth and the Field of Dreams.

Development of industrial park sites has the potential to create hundreds of jobs and stimulate private investment. Having a site hooked up to water and sewer lines makes it much more attractive and build-ready for interested businesses.

It’s exciting to see this CARES Act money used as a catalyst to create further economic development. Congrats to Dyersville leaders as they take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Editorials reflect the consensus of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board.

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