February 2018 Newsletter
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Why are we doing a housing study?
A housing study will describe the current housing situation, identify your strengths and challenges, map out your issues, help identify your priorities, either confirm or deny suspicions, and give you the data. 

It is a tool for grant writers and program eligibility.  It provides the data you need to complete a grant application is found in the housing study.  Some programs require a housing study to be eligible for funding. 

It is a tool for economic development.  The study indicates readiness for business, needs for housing developers, and marketing quality of place. 

The study is a tool for planning and zoning.  Guides adequate or appropriate lot sizing and setback requirements, as well as, identifies potential areas of change or growth. 

It is a tool for local government leadership.  The study develops a housing inventory, supports incentive opportunities, and identifies issues and targeted areas. 

The study is also a tool for nonprofit housing organizations.  The study describes housing situation or problem for potential assistance, supports the development of intervention strategies, validates any need for fundraising for local efforts, provides some evaluation for existing programs and builds community awareness.

Where are we in the housing study process?
  • Gather & Analyze Existing Data - completed August 2017
  • Host a Countywide Task Force Meeting - completed September 2017 
  • Host a Countywide Task Force Meeting - completed October 2017
  • Go live with Countywide Housing Survey - completed November-December 2017
  • Host Community Meetings - See Schedule for February & March 2018
  • Host a Countywide Task Force Meeting - April 2018
  • Host Public Input Meetings - April & May 2018
  • Final Document - May & June 2018
Here is a list of the Community Meetings:
  • Monday, February 5, 2018, 7 p.m., Lansing City Council Meeting
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 6 p.m., Waterville City Council Meeting
  • Monday, February 12, 2018, 10:15 a.m., Allamakee County Board of Supervisors Meeting
  • Monday, February 12, 2018, 7 p.m., New Albin City Council Meeting
  • Tuesday, February 13, 2018, Noon, Waukon Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, Location TBD
  • Monday, February 19, 2018, 7 p.m., Waukon City Council Meeting
  • Monday, March 12, 2018, 1 p.m., Harpers Ferry City Council Meeting
  • Monday, March 12, 2018, 7 p.m. Postville City Council Meeting

High School Career Workshop Slated for February 9

Allamakee County Economic Development, Val Reinke; NICC-Waukon, Dekote' Curtin; and Waukon High School, Amy Wasson have coordinated a High School Career Workshop on Friday, February 9, 2018.  Waukon High School requires juniors and seniors to attend.  Invitations are extended to Kee, MFL Mar-Mac and Postville to attend.

The goal of this event is to introduce students to local employers and employment opportunities.

This year's workshop speakers:

  • Melissa Hammell, Owner/Operator, Simply Salon
  • Stacie Cooper, Real Estate Agent, Sweeney Real Estate
Education/Human Services
  • Bethany Ellingson 
  • Hannah Stieber, Teacher, Kee High School
Health Sciences
  • Dannette Hermeier, Nurse, NICC
  • Amanda Leiran, Radiologist, Veterans Memorial Hospital
  • TBD, Lineman, ACREC
  • Beau Bennett, Auto Mechanic, Kious Kountry
Information Technology
  • Steve Hanson, Director of Business Development, Northeast Iowa Telephone Company 
  • Karen Randall, Computer Networking Specialist, Keystone AEA
Ag/Food/Natural Resources
  • Troy Peterson, Agronomist, Waukon Feed Ranch
  • Kyle Halverson, Sales, Waukon Implement
Everyone is Cordially Invited to the
Waukon Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet
The Waukon Chamber of Commerce will be awarding nominees from the community for Business of the Year and Person of the Year honors. The Chamber will also be handing out awards to honor businesses and organizations for their Years of Service these awards are handed out in increments of five years.
This year’s banquet will be catered by BE Catered and they will be serving Grilled Ribeye Sandwiches and Shrimp Alfredo with all the sides.
If you wish to attend please RSVP to Stephanie Dugan at 563-568-4110 or email by February 16th.
Hot Off the Press!
Upper Iowa River Paddler's Guide

The Upper Iowa River Paddlers Guide has been released!  This guide is a must-have for beginning paddlers and may provide ideas for new adventures to the experienced paddlers.  The paddler's guide will provide information for locations of publically owned river accesses, trip ideas, amenities, safety information, canoe and kayak rental, and all secondary roads to assist river users in reaching their destination.  The guide has been made available at your local tourism and economic development offices, chamber of commerce’s, county conservation offices, and is available online at

Grab yourself a paddlers guide and find yourself an adventure surrounded by the natural beauty of the Upper Iowa River! The Upper Iowa River Paddlers Guide is the first large project completed by the Upper Iowa River Alliance a 501(c)3 working to “Promote, protect, and Enhance the Upper Iowa River.  The guide was made possible by funding from the Allamakee County Economic Development & Tourism, Allamakee County Community Foundation, Depot Outlet, Howard County Conservation Board, Howard County Community Foundation, Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) – Iowa Byways Sustainability Project / Driftless Area Scenic Byway, Iowa Tourism, Winneshiek County Community Foundation, Winneshiek County Conservation Board, and Winneshiek County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Secret to Maximizing Your Vacation Time This Year
"So much to do, so little time.” While the phrase may sound like it perfectly describes our lives, research shows there actually is time.

Americans universally say that vacation days are important to them, yet 54 percent of workers aren’t using their hard-earned vacation time. Project: Time Off research found that workers are taking nearly a full week less of vacation than we did in 2000, resulting in a stockpile of 600 million unused vacation days.

The secret to achieving your travel goals this year, while maintaining your excellent employee status, is planning. Planning is the most important step in making vacation possible and, according to Project: Time Off, a majority (52%) of workers who set aside time each year to plan for travel take all their time off, compared to just 40 percent of non-planners. Planners also tend to take longer vacations: While three-in- four (75%) planners take a week or more at a time, non-planners take significantly fewer days—zero to three—than planners at once (42% to 18%).

The benefits of planning extend beyond days spent away from the office for rest and rejuvenation. Planners report greater happiness than non-planners with their relationships, health and well-being, company, and job. Their bosses are probably happier, too, since they’re in the loop on when you’re going to be out and can prepare accordingly.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to take back your calendar and put vacation at the top of your list of priorities. Planning for vacation can be achieved in three simple steps:

1. Determine how much time off you earn and identify the vacation policies at your workplace.
2. Get to dreaming! How do you want to spend your time off this year?
3. Plan out your days with Project: Time Off’s vacation planning tool and share with your manager, your colleagues, spouse—everyone!

This year, don’t let your vacation days be part of a statistic. Put the fear of missing out behind you and turn your bucket list into a to-do list by starting to plan now.

Need some ideas?
Allamakee County, Northeast Iowa invites you to Effigy Mounds National Monument (80,000+ visitors/year), Yellow River State Forest (9,000 acres to greet you), Driftless Area Scenic Byway (100 miles of amazing, voted most scenic byway in the state), and Great River Road (36.2 miles of WOW)! Call 563.568.2624 or email

Read more about the importance of planning at

2018 Iowa Travel Guide 

The Iowa Tourism Office released the 2018 version of the Iowa Travel Guide, the state’s official travel guide that inspires potential travelers with thousands of Iowa vacation ideas. The 2018 Iowa Travel Guide includes 130 pages dedicated to showcasing Iowa’s authentic and unexpected destinations, including Iowa’s best spots for donuts, kid-friendly museums, must-shop Main Streets, an Iowa baseball road trip, Iowa-made products and the artisans who create them, and much more. 

Allamakee County Lodging Guide - A Must Have!
Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) is excited to announce the Allamakee County Lodging Guide. This guide is available to view or download at “After experiencing a very busy 2017 tourism season, ACED realized just how important it is to know how many heads in beds we can accommodate in the county,” commented Val Reinke, Executive Director.
ACED staff member, Terri Lindley spent hours compiling the information.  "We share this guide with our tourists, but we would like to encourage our business owners and residents to be aware of this guide, too. The online version is super because we can keep our costs down and the information is easy to update,” added Reinke.  Please contact Terri with any updated information (i.e. added/deleted accommodations, sold unit, new phone number, etc.) 
Lodging information made easy by ACED!  Go to to discover your best Allamakee overnight experience. 
Calendar of Events Made Just For You
“It is critical to have an encompassing Calendar of Events at our fingertips!” commented Executive Director Val Reinke.  The ACED Office contacts dozens of businesses and organizations monthly for event details.  This information is then shared on ACED’s Calendar of Events at, Northeast Iowa Tourism Association’s website, and Travel Iowa’s site
ACED encourages residents, visitors, and businesses to utilize this calendar to invite everyone to PLAY in Allamakee County.
Renter's Guide in the Works
Attention Landlords!
Allamakee County Economic Development (ACED) developed a questionnaire for landlords (LL) who have residential and/or storage units, so a quick reference rental/landlord guide could be included in ACED’s website. Many times we receive calls or people walk in looking for rental housing.  It is our intention that this guide will outline what you offer.  For instance, if someone is looking for pet friendly housing they would be able to look at the guide to see which properties accept pets and which do not, allowing them to limit their search.
We realize that many landlords may use third-party Property Management services or just choose not to be listed publicly.  However, we ask for your personal contact info and it is not made public on the published form.  You can choose whether or not you want your phone number listed.  We do ask that you list either a phone number or an email address so you can be contacted.
Please visit the following link and complete the questionnaire if you have not already done so. Please email your completed form to, mail to ACED/Terri, 101 W. Main St., Waukon, IA 52172, or call 563.568.2624. Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30-4:30.
Help us…Help YOU!
Allamakee Revolving Loan Funds Available
The purpose of the Allamakee County Revolving Loan Fund is to provide financial assistance to private for-profit businesses or to non-profit organizations including tourism development located within Allamakee County for the creation of and/or retention of employment. 
This includes a low-interest loan up to 30% of the total project for a maximum loan of $40,000.00.  Funds will be utilized for the purchase of real estate, construction, machinery, building rehabilitation and working capital.  For more information, please go to:
If you are looking to expand, buy or start-up a business, please contact Val Reinke, Executive Director, Allamakee County Economic Development by calling 563.568.2624, or stopping in at 101 West Main in Waukon.   Office hours are Monday-Friday8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
If you have questions or comments, please call 563.568.2624, email, or stop in at 101 West Main in Waukon.  Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

ACED is hosting a Marketing Class
151 Marketing Ideas for Northeast Iowa Businesses 
Effective marketing is the key to success for any business.  Everything else you might do may be truly outstanding, but if customers and prospects don’t hear about it in an effective way, another opportunity has been lost.  Properly designed, marketing helps, (a) to retain the customers the business already has, (b) sell more products and services to your customer, (c) sell more often to current customers, and (d) helps to attract new prospects (an effective selling process then converts prospects to customers, but that is a topic for a another workshop.) 
Effective marketing begins with the proper understanding of buyer motives for buying your particular product or service category.  Those motivations may be surprising!  (Price, quality and service are not motivations – they are points of comparison).  Without a clear understanding of your buyers’ motives to guide your marketing strategies and decisions, your marketing messages will not produce the desired response from your current customers or prospects. 
This workshop will help you to understand your business and your customers from a new perspective.  While that new perspective is fresh on your mind, you will to create a new marketing message that will move you closer to your desired results.  This is a hands-on and practical workshop changes participants’ approach to the marketing process and helps them to use effectively, the list of marketing message options that is provided as part of the workshop.  You will also receive a list of over 151 ways to get your message out.
Date:  Tuesday, February 27, 2018 
Time: 9:00 a.m. to Noon 
Location: Iron Ridge Church, 512 9th St SW, Waukon  
None if you do attend, but thousands of dollars in lost opportunities if you don’t! 
Register:  Call 563.568.2624 or Email

About Our Presenter, Jon Fields, Ph.D.
“I combine my hands-on business experience with the high level academic and theoretical business information taught at the university level, and make that information useable in the real world.”
- Jon Fields –
   3x Business Owner
+ 3 Business Degrees
= Effective Business Coach
Ph.D. - Purdue University  (Consumer Behavior)
MS     - Purdue University  (Hospitality Marketing and Tourism)
BS     - UW – Stout  (Hotel, Restaurant Management–Sales)
15+ Years of University Teaching Experience
Business Courses Taught at the University Level:
RSVP sooner rather than later by emailing or calling 563.568.2624 Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.  And, yes, it is FREE.
If you want to chat about this class, no problem, just let me know. 

Congratulations to Driftless Area Education & Visitor Center for being chosen to host the upcoming EITA (Eastern Iowa Tourism Association) meeting on Wednesday, May 2, 2018!  This is a great opportunity for our Eastern Iowa neighbors to experience Allamakee's outdoors up close with live animals, interpretative displays, 2 viewing decks of the Mississippi River and a great group educational experience.
Empty Nest Winery is hosting a Murder Mystery on February 24. 
Visit for details.
Thursday, February 1
 Winter Clearance Sale – St. Pat’s Thrift Store
 Fullmoon Snowshoe Hike - Paint Rock trail,
 Allamakee Atv/Utv Club Meeting - Wings, Dorchester
 Hook & Needle Club - Robey Memorial Library
 Ladies Luncheon - Spillway
 Tai Chi - Harpers Ferry Community Center
 Tech Tutor - Robey Memorial Library
 World Read Aloud day - Robie Memorial Library

Friday, February 2
 Winter Clearance Sale – St. Pat’s Thrift Store

Saturday, February 3
 Winter Clearance Sale – St. Pat’s Thrift Store
 Prom Dress Sale Event – Waukon Banquet Center
 5th Annual Rabbit Rama - Shep's Riverside Bar & Grill
 BINGO - Harpers Ferry Legion Hall
 Comedy Night - TJ Hunters Lansing
 Madigan's Winery Tasting - Madigan Winery, Lansing
 Soup & Sandwich supper - Waterville Fire Dept.

Sunday, February 4
 Winter Clearance Sale – St. Pat’s Thrift Store
 Prom Dress Sale Event – Waukon Banquet Center
 Madigan's Winery Tasting - Madigan Winery, Lansing

Monday, February 5
 Winter Clearance Sale – St. Pat’s Thrift Store
 Chess Club - Robey Memorial Library
 Lansing City Council Meeting
 Unemployment Outreach Representative
 Waukon City Council Meeting

Tuesday, February 6
 Winter Clearance Sale – St. Pat’s Thrift Store
 Adult Coloring - Robey Memorial Library
 Stay & Play, 11am- Robey Memorial Library
 Tuesday Story Time - Robey Memorial Library
 Waterville City Council Meeting

Wednesday, February 7
 Winter Clearance Sale – St. Pat’s Thrift Store
 Brown Bag ‘n’ Books: Adult Story Time - Robey Memorial Library

Thursday, February 8
 Winter Clearance Sale – St. Pat’s Thrift Store
 Pinterest Projects: Wine Cork Keychains - Robey Memorial Library
 Tai Chi - Harpers Ferry Community Center
 Tech Tutor - Robey Memorial Library

Friday, February 9
 Winter Clearance Sale – St. Pat’s Thrift Store
 Veterans Town Hall Meeting with Representative Kristi Hager – AC Courthouse Board Room
 7th Annual Blind Wine Tasting Event - Empty Nest Winery
 Countywide Career Workshop - Waukon High School

Saturday, February 10
 7th Annual Blind Wine Tasting Event - Empty Nest Winery
 Bake & Craft Sale - Salem United Church of Christ
 BINGO - Harpers Ferry Legion Hall
 Have a Heart Day – Waukon Dental
 Ice Harvest Demonstration - Village Creek State Boat Landing
 Madigan's Winery Tasting - Madigan Winery, Lansing
 Music, Laughin and a little Romancin (Comedy Night) - Waukon Banquet Center
 Radar Run & Fundraiser Dance - Green Valley Getaway

Sunday, February 11
 7th Annual Blind Wine Tasting Event - Empty Nest Winery
 Madigan's Winery Tasting - Madigan Winery, Lansing
 Pancake Brunch -New Albin Fire Department

Monday, February 12
 Allamakee County Board of Supervisors Meeting
 Beginning Farmers Networking Event
 Chess Club - Robey Memorial Library
 Harpers Ferry City Council Meeting
 Iowa Food Hub - Iowa Food Hub, West Union 6pm
 New Albin City Council Meeting
 Postville City Council Meeting
 Unemployment Outreach Representative

Tuesday, February 13
 Adult Coloring - Robey Memorial Library
 Green IA After School series - Robey Memorial Library
 Tuesday Story Time - Robey Memorial Library
 Waukon Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, Location TBD

Wednesday, February 14
 Happy Valentine's Day
 Harpers Ferry Boosters Inc meeting - Community Center
 Real Colors Workshop • Tasc Inc • Waukon, IA

Thursday, February 15
 4 year old Pre-school Roundup – New Albin Elementary School
 Auxiliary Euchre Marathon - Waukon Wellness Center
 Book Sale - Robey Memorial Library
 Night Book Club: Classic - Robey Memorial Library
 Tai Chi Luncheon - Harpers Ferry Community Center
 Tech Tutor - Robey Memorial Library

Saturday, February 17
 BINGO - Harpers Ferry Legion Hall
 Madigan's Winery Tasting - Madigan Winery, Lansing
 Wine Tasting - Empty Nest Winery

Sunday, February 18
 Madigan's Winery Tasting - Madigan Winery, Lansing
 Wine Tasting - Empty Nest Winery

Monday, February 19
 American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Mtg - Harpers Ferry
 Chess Club - Robey Memorial Library
 Essential Oils Classes - New Abin Townhouse
 Lansing City Council Meeting
 TAB (Teen Advisory Board) - Robey Memorial Library
 Unemployment Outreach Representative
 Waukon City Council Meeting

Tuesday, February 20
 Adult Coloring - Robey Memorial Library
 American Legion Auxiliary Meeting - HF Legion Hall
 Travel Series - Robey Memorial Library 1:30pm
 Tuesday Story Time - Robey Memorial Library

Thursday, February 22
 "Return of the Eagles" Presentation - Driftless Area Education and Visitors Center
 February Class: Iowa Legal Aid Tax Prep - Robey Memorial Library 5:30pm
 Tai Chi - Harpers Ferry Community Center
 Tech Tutor - Robey Memorial Library

Saturday, February 24
 Murder Mystery Dinner Theater - Empty Nest Winery
 BINGO - Harpers Ferry Legion Hall
 Madigan's Winery Tasting - Madigan Winery, Lansing
 Wine Tasting - Empty Nest Winery

Sunday, February 25
 Madigan's Winery Tasting - Madigan Winery, Lansing
 Nightcrawlers Forever Annual Benefit - TJ Hunter’s Banquet Hall Lansing
 Wine Tasting - Empty Nest Winery

Monday, February 26
 Chess Club - Robey Memorial Library
 Fresh Conversations - Waukon Wellness Center
 Unemployment Outreach Representative

Tuesday, February 27
 Adult Coloring - Robey Memorial Library
 After School with Ross - Robey Memorial Library
 Travel Series - Robey Memorial Library 1:30pm
 Tuesday Story Time - Robey Memorial Library

Visit   for more information/details on the above events.

Copyright © 2018 Allamakee County Economic Development, All rights reserved.

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