Private company and connected non-profit organization compete to buy Dubuque football complex

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Editor’s Note: This story was uploaded to show that Rep. Chuck Isenhart (D-Dubuque) was on the Dubuque Soccer Wedding rings board in the past, not currently.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — A private Arizona-based company and a longtime Dubuque-based nonprofit are competing to buy a football complex in Dubuque from the Dubuque Community School District.

The two have different plans for the facility, if the Dubuque Community School District Board accepts their offers to purchase the facility. The Dubuque Soccer Alliance, which is the nonprofit trying to buy the complex, said it plans to ask the City of Dubuque for $300,000 for pitch upgrades and upgrades.

Jon Dunham, who is the vice-president of the Dubuque Soccer Alliance, said these improvements include lights and artificial surfaces for certain pitches to increase playing opportunities. He said the group had not brought these improvements in the past because he rented the land.

“Like any renter, you have certain limitations,” Dunham said. “That’s not to say we haven’t done things over the years in terms of general upkeep, like planting trees to get a quick light from the school district as landlords.”

He said the group has also added bathrooms and a concession stand with district approval, but large capital improvement projects are difficult to get approval for.

Dunham said the source of the group’s funding to purchase the land is unnamed, as of Thursday. Documents show that the group’s revenue from 2020 to 2017 was around $192,000.

Dunham said the group’s board of directors includes representative individuals who work for the city of Dubuque, the school district. Documents show in the past that State Rep. Chuck Isenhart (D-Dubuque) was also a board member.

Isenhart said in an email to TV9 that he originally represented the Dubuque Area Labor-Management Council and later became a board member. He said his last term ended in November 2021.

The school board will have the opportunity to accept the group’s submission. The city of Dubuque approved a letter to the school board urging them to accept the nonprofit’s offer.

Mark Dyer, who is owned by a private company called Court One Athletics in Arizona, said those relationships were a conflict of interest.

“It’s harmful to the community,” he said. “You know, when I look at this and see what we’re ready to offer and what they have, I can’t understand how anyone could actually say yes, we want to give Dubuque Soccer Alliance that offer. “

He said his private company wants to create a multi-sport complex with a few outdoor soccer fields without taxpayers’ money and that his project makes more sense than single-sport fields, which can only be used part of the year.

Dyer, who said he was from Dubuque, said leagues would have the option of renting the facility for games. However, it is difficult to know the specific business plan of the city when the school district has not yet accepted any offers.

Dunham, of the Dubuque Soccer Alliance, said he feared private enterprise would raise the prices people would pay to play sports. He also said the alliance’s ties to the city and the school are not a conflict of interest, but rather a version of sweat equity after working with both the city and the school. ‘school.

“The hours and hours our volunteers have put in there, the hundreds of thousands of dollars our families have contributed to make it what it is and give it the value it has, that equity is ours. “

The deadline to submit an offer to purchase the property was Thursday at 5 p.m. TV9 does not know how many groups have prepared an offer to buy the football complex. The school district could also decide not to sell the property.

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