Dubuque city officials took a major step toward growth this week with the approval of a plan to purchase $4.2 million for the creation of a new industrial park.

After decades of lobbying for the construction of the Southwest Arterial, officials are now preparing for the growth the community could see now that the roadway is complete.

The property, located northwest of the Southwest Arterial and U.S. 61 intersection, consists of 156 acres of agricultural property that would become the city’s first land development along the Southwest Arterial corridor. With its proximity to multiple major highways and Dubuque Regional Airport, the land makes for a highly desirable location for future companies looking to build or expand in Dubuque.

The city intends to expand the tax increment financing district that encompasses Dubuque Industrial Center West and use the tax funds generated by the district — totaling $3,572,880 — along with additional land sales revenues in the TIF district to pay for the purchase.

While some neighbors expressed concern over the proposed industrial park, development in the city’s hands will be a far more transparent process, with opportunities for input that wouldn’t necessarily come with private development.

Planning for future growth has been a trait that has reaped rewards for Dubuque officials in the past few decades. Acting now to develop land in the area of the Southwest Arterial puts the community in a solid position for further development.

It’s a lofty goal when a group of volunteers sets to work raising $1 million for a community playground. When such an effort is launched in a community of fewer than 12,000 people, it’s an even more ambitious goal.

But that’s exactly what folks in Platteville, Wis., are hoping to do. The goal isn’t just an any park. Volunteers hope to build an inclusive playground, providing recreational opportunities for people of all abilities.

The 175-by-125-foot fenced playground would include features that appeal to people of all ages and abilities. It would be constructed atop rubber flooring and feature play structures attached to wide ramps to enable people with disabilities to participate and caregivers to walk with their charges. The equipment would include ladders, a zipline, an oversized xylophone, a spinner and a teeter totter. A walking path would surround the perimeter.

Accessible play areas are lacking in the community, and volunteers believe this is just the environment needed to allow more inclusive play. Just as Miracle League Park has become a beloved space in the Dubuque community, this effort in Platteville could have a similar impact and draw families from a wide area.

Three cheers for the citizens leading this effort. Anyone interested in donating or volunteering for the Platteville inclusive playground project can sign up at bit.ly/3khXQfm or email plattevilleinclusiveplayground@gmail.com for more information.

Anyone who has ever had the experience of having had a meal provided at a time of need by a kind acquaintance — or even a stranger — will not soon forget that what that kindness means. There is something about accepting nourishment from another person — or providing that nourishment, that is deeply meaningful.

And what better comfort food to provide than lasagna — a taste of home kitchens everywhere. That’s what has become a mission for Dubuque resident Victoria Scott, a volunteer chef with an international effort called Lasagna Love. Scott bakes three to five lasagnas each week and delivers them to local residents who have requested a hot meal. The initiative started in San Diego in March 2020 and since has become a nonprofit operating in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, recently expanding to Australia and Canada. More than 100,000 lasagnas have been delivered in that time, with more than 20,000 volunteers now baking and distributing meals to neighbors in need.

Scott, who recently moved to Dubuque from California, is helping launch the local Lasagna Love movement. Individuals can request a lasagna for any reason, whether that be financial hardship, food insecurity or overwhelmed parents who need a night off from cooking.

An Italian toast, alla nostra salute, to Scott for serving up lasagna love and spreading the word to expand the cause.

Those interested in requesting a lasagna or signing up to cook one for a neighbor can visit lasagnalove.org.

Editorials reflect the consensus of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board.

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