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Peosta, Iowa

Peosta is a city in Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, and an exburb of the city of Dubuque. It is part of the Dubuque, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 651 at the 2000 census, but in 2007 its population was estimated to be 1,129. Peosta is the seventh-largest city in Dubuque County, but it will likely soon pass Farley, and Epworth to become the fifth-largest. The community is home to a large industrial park, the largest campus of Northeast Iowa Community College, and a handful of new commercial businesses. However, the city is increasingly becoming a bedroom community, much like nearby Asbury, made up of spacious new subdivisions.

Peosta has experienced a 72.6% increase in population from 2000 to 2007, making it the state's 6th-fastest growing city (with 1,000 people or more) during that period.


Peosta is named after the leader of a local Native American tribe that once lived in Dubuque County. Chief Peosta, of the Mesquakie tribe, was a close friend of Julien Dubuque, one of the first European settlers in the area. Dubuque was also the founder of the City of Dubuque, Iowa, and was allegedly married to Chief Peosta's daughter, who was reportedly named "Potosa," after whom the name of Potosi, Wisconsin, was incorrectly attributed.

For most of its history, and even as recently as 1990, Peosta was a quiet rural town of around 100 people. The groundwork for later growth was laid in the 1960s, when the new 4-lane U.S. Highway 20 opened along the city's southern edge, providing quick access to Dubuque. The city was also aided by the opening of Northeast Iowa Technical Institute (later NICC) in 1979. However, it wasn't until the city's industrial park began to flourish in the 1990s that the population began to soar. Peosta grew from a tiny 128 people in 1990 to over 1,000 today, and it continues to climb rapidly. This 820% growth in 16 years has helped attract new businesses and services to Peosta as well. The city now boasts two elementary schools, its own community center, hotel, church, industrial park, and expanding neighborhoods.

Law and government

Peosta has a mayor-council form of government, employing a full-time city clerk, and part-time city council (mayor and 5 at-large city council members). The city clerk is Karen Snyder, the current mayor is Jim Weydert, and the council members are: Dick Avenarius, Tom Ingles, Dennis McDonald, Brian Recker, and Ray Stephan. The city council meets at 7 P.M. on the second Tuesday of the month at the Peosta Community Centre.

Peosta has 3 city departments: Public Safety (police & fire), Public Works, and Parks & Recreation. The Parks & Recreation Dept. operates the Peosta Community Centre and Peosta's city park.

In the Iowa General Assembly, Peosta is represented by Senator Tom Hancock (D-Epworth) in the Iowa Senate, and Representative Ray Zirkelbach (D-Monticello) in the Iowa House of Representatives. At the federal level, it is within Iowa's 1st congressional district, represented by Bruce Braley (D-Waterloo) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Peosta, and all of Iowa, are represented by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R) and Tom Harkin (D).


Peosta is located at (42.449157, -90.846420).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.5 km²), all of it land.


Peosta is home to a large and growing industrial park. The city's manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping companies form the main part of the economy. Most of the companies in the city are relatively new, which has led to a significant number of commuters driving to Peosta's employers from Dubuque, Asbury, or Dyersville. Some of the larger employers in the city include: Captive Plastics, First Gear, Mi-T-M, and the Swiss Colony. Also, Northeast Iowa Community College employs hundreds of people at its Peosta Campus.


As of the census of 2000, there were 651 people, 223 households, and 183 families residing in the city. The population density was 482.9 people per square mile (186.2/km²). There were 223 housing units at an average density of 165.4/sq mi (63.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.92% White, 0.15% African American, 0.31% Asian, and 0.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.77% of the population.

There were 223 households out of which 49.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.3% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.5% were non-families. 14.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.24.

Age/gender spread: 34.9% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 38.2% from 25 to 44, 14.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $56,250, and the median income for a family was $56,797. Males had a median income of $38,500 versus $23,516 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,499. About 1.2% of families and 1.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.7% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.


All public school students living in Peosta are zoned to schools in the Western Dubuque Community School District. Elementary school students are zoned to Peosta Elementary School (in Peosta) for grades K-5. Middle school students are zoned to Drexler Middle School in Farley, Iowa, and high school students are zoned to Western Dubuque High School, in nearby Epworth, Iowa.

Like many other rural communities in Iowa, Peosta also has a private school. Seton Catholic Elementary School- Peosta is one of three buildings that comprise Seton Catholic Elementary School, and is affiliated with the Archdiocese of Dubuque. For grades 1-2, students go to the building in nearby Epworth, for grades 3-5, students attend the building in Peosta, and for grades 6-8, students go to the building in Farley. For high school, parochial students attend Beckman High School in Dyersville, Iowa or Wahlert High School in Dubuque, Iowa.

For higher education, Peosta benefits from a campus of Northeast Iowa Community College, which includes large nursing, welding, business, and computer programs, among other majors. Most of the students at the school transfer to other 4-year colleges, including many to the 3 large colleges in Dubuque (Clarke, Loras, UD).


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