The community has spoken and it’s clear they want more opportunities for recreation in Dyersville.
While it could be due to people looking to make up for a year stolen from them by the COVID-19 pandemic, four of the voters’ top five selections born from a community visioning process involve providing spaces for the community to get together and socialize.
Dubbed the Imagine 2030 project, organizers aimed to create a collaborative, community-wide visioning process to identify five ideas to be implemented by the year 2030.
The top five selections, with highest voted first, include: more restaurants bars/adult night life, monthly community events (Movie in the Park, Car Show, summer concerts, parades, etc.), complete 12th/13th Street Bridge Project, kayaking/tubing/rapids/canoeing and the addition of a drive-in movie theatre.
Imagine 2030 is a follow-up to Imagine 2020, which began in 2008. Since then, four of the five projects selected have been completed (US 20 overpass, Social Center, bridge connecting West Side Park to Candy Cane Park, walking/bike trails), with the exception being an Alzheimer unit.
In early April, the selection committee began the difficult task of trimming the 437 community-submitted ideas down to 30 before returning their findings to the public for a vote.
Karla Thompson, executive director of the Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce, said both the community and organizers had a leg up given that this wasn’t the first time they have asked the public to help steer priorities for the city moving forward.
While Thompson said the basic process for the Imagine 2030 project was similar to Imagine 2020’s, there was one glaring difference — organizers were limited on how they could collaborate with the public due to the pandemic.
“Due to COVID-19, we had less interaction with the community in introducing it,” Thompson said. “But since this was the second time around, a lot of people already knew what it was. People loved the results of Imagine 2020, so we had a lot of participation in idea collection and even voting.”
Thompson said more votes were cast for the 2030 project and added that the quality crop of ideas made selecting the top five a difficult task.
“All the ideas were great, even the top 30 were fantastic,” Thompson said. “You never know what people’s priorities will be, but obviously more bars and restaurants are a need in the community.”
Thompson said if any community members want to get involved in any of these projects as this initiative begins moving forward, to contact her at 875-2311 or by emailing email@example.com.