The mayor of the northeast Iowa city of Dubuque is joining counterparts from across the country this week at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, underway in Providence, Rhode Island. Mayor Roy Buol says everyone there is a buzz with trading tactics on how to secure money from the federal stimulus package.

Mayor Buol says, "That is one of the big topics of discussion and what we’re trying to do as an organization is to drive as much of that stimulus money down to the local city and municipality level which is the level, really, where jobs are created and the money would make an immediate impact."

Buol says he’s still uncertain how many federal dollars Dubuque may be able to land, but he’s hopeful the city will be nailing down aid in several avenues, including road construction and conservation. "We’re actively pursuing our share of that stimulus money," Buol says. "We’ve got a lot of projects that we’ve put forward, hoping that they’re eligible for that funding."

While Dubuque is suffering from unemployment in some sectors, especially in construction and manufacturing, the mayor says the Mississippi River community is bucking many national trends during the downturn. "We’re kind of unique," Buol says. "In this economy, we’re going to be creating more jobs with the IBM announcement in January that they’ll be bringing 1300 I-T service delivery jobs to Dubuque.

Those first employees will be going to work in the latter part of July." There’s also an 89-million dollar Hormel plant under construction in Dubuque that will bring 200 jobs in January of 2010.