Howard County Happenings

Spiff Slifka spoke to the Lime Springs Community Club on April 19 about things happening in Howard County.
She handed out a brochure from Northeast Iowa’s Bluff Country—not to be confused with Southeast Minnesota’s Bluff Country. “This brochure has taken one-and-a-half years to get done. There hadn’t been a brochure like this for about 20 years.” She explained the brochure features six counties in Northeast Iowa including Allamakee, Buchanan, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek.
“People from Wisconsin don’t care about Howard County or Winneshiek County.” She said they are just looking for things to do. Since the brochure has all kinds of activities, eating places and places to stay overnight, when a person is staying in Winneshiek County they may decide to head over to Howard County and check out Lidtke Mill, Laddy’s Bar and Grill or go canoeing in the Upper Iowa River.
She is hoping that by working with the other counties, Howard County will get more visitors.
The group who put the brochure together also has a website http://www.visitiowa.org
• In other business she said Economic Development has been busy. “Right now, there are eight applications out for the Revolving Loan Fund. That doesn’t mean they will all turn them in, but hopefully a majority will.”
Slifka also said Duane Johnson of Lime Springs was voted to be the second vice-president of Howard County Economic Development at its annual meeting.
She explained how HCED, Cresco Industrial Development Corp. and the Chamber are uniting to work better together. “We will all be losing our jobs and will have to reapply,” Slifka said.
• Alco is not progressing as fast as  expected (originally opening day was first of January), but the opening day is set for July 28. Slifka added, “Employment applications will be available at the Welcome Center in Cresco.”
• Most of the cities in the Howard County Farmers Market will open the Saturday after Memorial Day. Dorene Burnikel will be the Market Manager.
• The Howard County Farmers Market is unique in that all the towns in the county are participating. Another event to bring the county together is the county barbecue competition.
Since it is just being organized, Chester will be the first town to participate during its festivities on June 12-13. Each town will have a separate extra item to cook. For Chester it will be the barbecuer’s take on Cowboy Stew. “Lime Springs of course will use corn as its theme,” she added.
The next barbecue event will be at the Howard County Fair. Then the competition will begin for the other towns in the county. Each will hopefully have a barbecue with points awarded for showing up and placing. The points will be tallied at the 2011 Fair and the winner announced.
Organizations sponsoring the event are each town, Farm Bureau and Fair Board.
“The first two years will be free to vendors to get them interested in participating. First, second and third places will get paid,” Slifka explained.
• Earl Johnson asked about the bio-mass company and Slifka replied Dave Sovereign was working on the project and it seemed to be moving forward.
• She also asked the group what Lime Springs wanted from Economic Development in the future. Members should contact her if they can think of anything.
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