September 2015 Newsletter 

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Waterville Introduces New Website

Congratulations to Mayor Monserud, council and city clerk for the unveiling of Waterville’s new website!  Sneak a peek at

Accepting Applications for the Cloy Kuhse Award

Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) is seeking nominations for the 2015 “Cloy Kuhse Positive Impact Award". 

To be eligible, the recipient must be a business located in Allamakee County. ACED will receive nominations until Wednesday, September 30, 2015. Award winner announcement and ceremony will be at the ACED Annual Banquet in October. The Award Recipient will receive a one year membership to ACED, a plaque and will be added to the Award Plaque that is displayed at the ACED office.  TASC of Waukon was the 2014 Cloy Kuhse Positive Impact Award winner, and ACED looks forward to announcing another business that is making a positive impact at their annual meeting this October.

This Business Recognition award was created in 2011 to honor the late Cloy Kuhse whom was an ACED Board Director. “The award was created to highlight and recognize a business that is making a positive impact in Allamakee County as well as to honor the memory of Cloy and his vision,” ACED Executive Director Val Reinke stated.

To nominate a business, nomination forms can be picked up at the ACED office, 101 W. Main Street, Waukon and are available on the ACED website, under Economic Development.
Contact ACED at 563-568-2624 for more information.  

Blue Heron Trail Map is HERE

The Blue Heron Trail Map is now available.  You can stop in our office and pick up your copy.

We wanted to share from our local kayaker, Sandy, who emailed our office to let us know about her and her son’s experience on the Blue Heron Kayak Trail. “My son and I went last Friday.  (We) got off the trail towards the end but I knew that part enough so we made it out.  We had a lot of fun.  In case people ask, we saw beavers, beaver lodges, eagles, blue heron, other birds, ducks, turtles and fish.  It took us about 5 hours with little current, so (we) had to paddle but not hard, (because) water was low.  (The trail) would take longer if a south wind and (would require) a lot more paddling.”
Please share your kayaking experiences with us.  We would love to hear from you.

ACED Annual Meeting is set for October 15th

Plans are underway for ACED’s Annual Meeting which will take place Thursday, October 15, 2015 in Waterville.  Please mark your calendars to join us. 

ACED is working with Waterville’s city government and local business people to coordinate the event.
Our guest speaker is…

Dr. William Withers
Bill graduated from Waukon High School in 1978.  He holds degrees from Winona State University, Iowa State University, and Drake University.   Bill is the oldest of four children to Dr. Bill and Libby Withers, both still residing in Waukon.  Prior to his career in higher education, he managed and co-owned his own media company in Minnesota, inspired by his very first job as a teenager at KNEI Radio in Waukon, where he worked for long-time community leader and businessman, the late Chuck Pettingill.  His wife, Pat, still resides here today.

Currently, Dr. Bill Withers is a leadership fellow and full professor at Wartburg College. He has served many governing boards over the years and recently finished two terms on the board of directors for Iowa Public Television (IPTV).  With over two decades of management and leadership experience in both business and education, his research has been presented multiple times at the International Conference on Business in Honolulu.  He has studied and served organizations large and small over the years, including businesses, schools, and churches.  Proctor & Gamble, Ritz-Carlton, Disney, Four Seasons, Starbucks, and Southwest Airlines are among the larger organizations he’s been a part of during his work and research. Closer to home, Dr. Withers has won both teacher and advisor of the year awards, and he continues to specialize in the areas of public relations, quality customer service, organizational change, and leadership development.
ACED is excited to welcome Bill back to Allamakee County on October 15th!

Interested in serving on the ACED Board?

Current board members who’s terms are expiring are Mike Myers (Veteran’s Memorial Hospital) and Christina Drahos (Drahos & Senft CPAs).  Board members serve 3 year terms and there are no term limits.  The board strives to reflect all the geographic areas in Allamakee County.

Other board members who are serving are Sharon Kubitz (Ewing Real Estate), Mike Krukenberg (Freedom Bank), Bill Nation (Harpers Ferry), Matt Cole (Alliant Energy), and Larry Schellhammer (County Supervisor).
If you are an ACED member and are interested in serving on the board, please contact Executive Director, Val Reinke at 563-568-2624 or email, before September 30th.
FYI:  Ballots will be sent early October.

Corn Days Pops in the Heat

The annual Waukon Corn Days were held on August 14th through the 16th.  The three day event was jam-packed with fun activities for all ages.  The annual corn feed and parade drew hundreds of people out on Friday evening despite the hot evening temperatures.  Saturday saw a multitude of activities from craft vendors, kids games, car show, toilet bowl races, wine and beer tasting and street dance – and yes – who could forget all of the good food.  A highlight of this year’s event was the crowing of the Corn Days Royalty:  Kateliegh Wilson, Miss Corn Days and Allie Bieber crowned Little Miss Corn Days.  Sunday saw area families enjoying activities at the City Park.  Hats off to the Corn Days Committee on an outstanding community event!

Scenic Bluff Ride scheduled for Sept 12

The first Bluff Country ATV/UTV Ride will be held September 12, 2015.  The Harpers Ferry Boosters Inc is the sponsor of the approximately 45 mile ride which will meander over the beautiful bluffs and hills of Allamakee County.  A participant needs to provide: a valid driver’s license, be at least 18 years of age or 16 with an ATV education certificate, have an Iowa DNR sticker on their unit and proof of unit insurance.  These items will be checked at registration. 

Bluff County Ride applications are available at: application.html
Local  ATV / UTV dealerships
If you have questions, please contact Dean at or call 319-269-2345.
Grab your Culinary Passport

The Driftless Area Scenic Byway Board is excited to announce that a new byway publication is now available for culinary tourists.  The “Eat Your Way Along the Byway” culinary passport has been developed to provide visitors and area residents with a personal guide to unique dishes and beverages that the locals consider “must haves” along the byway that traverses through Allamakee County.  Included in this booklet is information about 16 food and drink establishments ranging from restaurants, cafes and diners, to wineries, creameries, bakeries and meat markets.  The passport will inform you about what food or drink each byway culinary business is “best known for” in addition to providing other popular menu items.

Passports can be picked up here in our office as well as Main Street Lansing or any one of the 16 participating businesses which include:  Club 51, Amish Hill ‘n’ Country Candies, Paint Creek Bulk Foods ‘n’ Bakery, Empty Nest Winery, Fiesta Vallarta, WW Homestead Dairy, Waukon City Club, West Side Café, Calhoun Creamery, Milty’s, Nutmeg’s Bakery & Café, Safe House Saloon, Shep’s Riverside Bar & Grill, New Albin City Meat Market, Harmon’s High Chaparall and Wings Supper Club.  Passports can also be obtained by contacting Northeast Iowa RC&D in Postville or by downloading the passport online at

You have one year to complete your passport (September 5, 2016).  Participants who wish to partake in the culinary passport tour will collect stamps with any purchase from the participating businesses listed in the booklet.  If partakers collect stamps from at least eight of the food and/or drink establishments, they can send in their passport to receive a Driftless Area Scenic Byway window cling along with a chance to win prizes from participating businesses.

For more information, please feel free to contact Ardie at the ACED office at 563-568-2624.

October is Manufacturing Month
Allamakee County manufacturing businesses:  Iowa State University has reached out and offered a program for us to celebrate manufacturing businesses in our county.  If you are interested in celebrating manufacturing month, please give Val a call at 563-568-2624 or email her at  Manufacturing businesses of Allamakee County will be invited to a Manufacturing Day Event on Friday, October 2 at noon.  Watch for your invite in the mail!
Here is a video link promoting manufacturing!

Iowa Association of Counties (ISAC) Spotlights Allamakee County

ISAC Executive Director, William Peterson and Communications and Marketing Manager, Rachel Bennett visited Allamakee County during National County Government Month last April including a visit to the ACED office.  This visit not only to county government offices but to several local businesses including WW Homestead Dairy and the site of the new Driftless Area Interpretive Center was the inspiration for them to write about us in their most recent county shared magazine – The Iowa County.  To quote Rachel:  “The sights, sounds and tastes far exceeded my expectation and were well worth every moment of the trip to the northeast corner of the state”.  A great testimonial and plug for Allamakee County.

ACED Membership Reminder

If you have not paid your membership dues, please call Val at 563-568-2624.  I’d be happy to resend the information via email or create an invoice for you.
You can also find our membership information at

Alliant Energy cuts the ribbon

Alliant August 2015 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.jpg
The Alliant Energy Generating Station in Lansing held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 18th to mark the completion of their air quality improvement project, which was started one year ago.  ACED was honored to be a part of the groundbreaking ceremony and now invited back to witness the completion of the project.  The company is focused on providing efficient energy and a clean environment for its customers.  This year long project was a real boost to not only the local economy of Lansing but to all of Allamakee County.  The plant currently employs 51 people and is truly an asset to our County in so many ways as they continually give back and support many of our community and local projects.  We congratulate the Lansing Plant on the completion of this project.

Mueller Concrete Digs in at their 40th Celebration

We had the privilege of helping one of our business members celebrate 40 years in business on August 17th.  An Open House was held at Mueller Concrete Construction at their business location in Postville with many of their vendors on hand to answer questions.  There was a demonstration of the process for drilling the holes needed to set the towers that are a big part of their construction work locally and across state lines.  Congratulations to the Mueller’s on 40 years in business and for choosing northeast Iowa to locate. 
ACED is looking for properties for sale, lease or rent

We need your HELP

The ACED office needs to continue to update Location One Information Systems database.  If you have a building or site zoned industrial or commercial that is for sale, lease or rent, please contact Val at 563-568-2624 or email

Drive The Great River Road Month
September is “Drive the Great River Road Month.”  If you would like to have Great River Road information available at your business, please contact Ardie at 563-568-2624 or email
Check out September/October edition of The Iowan magazine and read the article about the Iowa Great River Road.  You will also find an ad paid for Allamakee County Economic Development in this publication!

Luau Party in Waterville
The Waterville Fire Department (WFD) will host the 12th annual car cruise/luau party on Saturday, September 12, 2015.  Registration is 10 a.m. – noon.  The cost to participate is $20 for ride and t-shirt.  There will be a silent auction and food available all day long.  The live auction begins at 7 p.m. 
Learn more about WFD:!new-page/c1ho

Harpers Ferry plans events
The Harpers Ferry Area Heritage Society is sponsoring a Harpers Ferry Area Living History Cemetery Walk on Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 12 noon to 2:30 pm.  The tour will begin at the Harpers Ferry Community Building where people will register.  The first cemetery on the tour will be the Wexford Cemetery and will start at 12:30 pm and then the tour of the Harpers Ferry “Sandy Point” Cemetery will start at 2:00 pm.  Tours will give you the history of Wexford and Harpers Ferry and area historical figures will come to life while portrayed by local talents.  Free and open to the public; donations will be welcomed.

Next the Harpers Ferry Area Heritage Society and Harpers Ferry Boosters, Inc. are sponsoring a Harpers Ferry River Boat Tour:  History & Tour of Lock & Dam #9 and a Fish Fry on Sunday, September 27, 2015 from 11:00 amto 3:00 pm.  The cost is $20.00 per person.  They will be launching from Babe’s Marina in Harpers Ferry.  Robert Vavra, Captain of the Maiden Voyage Tour Boat will pilot his boat and share the history of the Lock & Dams.  You will tour Lock & Dam #9 and be treated to a Fish Fry by Mr. Vavra.  Bring snacks to share and your own beverage if you wish.  Bottled Water will be furnished.  Space is limited to 49.  For tickets, contact Karen Soper at 563-586-2722.

 Valerie O. Reinke, Executive Director
Copyright © 2015 Allamakee County Economic Development, All rights reserved.

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