Winneshiek County

Winneshiek County

A blend of old and new, visitor and resident, tradition and modern, recreation and nature - all of this and more describes Winneshiek County.


The beautiful bluff country near Bluffton offers scenic views of the Upper Iowa River. Visit area trout streams and Siewer's Spring Trout Rearing station near Decorah. Winneshiek County offers tourists hiking, picnicking, canoeing, fishing, and winter sports in addition to museums, festivals and other attractions.


Visit Winneshiek County and discover the timeless beauty of nature, and the blend of tradition and culture. Northeast Iowa Community College at Calmar and Luther College of Decorah demonstrate the cultural diversity of the area as well as offer excellent educational opportunities.


Towns include Burr Oak, Calmar, Castalia, Decorah (the county seat), Ft. Atkinson, Jackson Junction, Ossian, Ridgewayand Spillville.


Winneshiek County Development, Inc.

Winneshiek County Development, Inc. is here to help prospective businesses, small businesses, large businesses and agriculture-related businesses.  Located in Decorah, Iowa in the heart of Winneshiek County, our goal is to promote economic growth in our unique corner of the state.  When an entrepreneur is planning to start or relocate a small business in Winneshiek County, WCDI is the preferred first stop. Existing businesses often need assistance to adapt to changes that have occurred since their start-up and Winneshiek County Development, Inc. is here to help.

For more information, click below.

News Headlines

Housing Program Meeting Being Held

Posted: Wed, May 6, 2015

Housing Program Meeting Being Held
Tuesday, May 19th at 11:00 a.m.
Oelwein Chamber and Area Development
25 West Charles, Oelwein, IA

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) is hosting a meeting regarding housing programs that are available in Northeast Iowa.  Guest speakers include Jeremy Babcock and Steve Benne with Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), Jerry Floyd and Rita Eble from the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) and Kathy Pfiffner from USDA.

Hot Topics include:

  • IEDA Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Program (WHTIP) is to provide financial incentives for the development of housing.
  • IEDA Owner Occupied Rehabilitation to assist with rehabilitation assistance for low-to moderate income homeowners in their community.
  • IFA First Time Homebuyer or Qualified Veteran program to assist with down payment and rehabilitation assistance.
  • USDA-Repair and Rehabilitation Program to assist applicants with 1% loans and those 62 and older with grants for homeowner rehabilitation.
  • USDA Direct and Guaranteed loan programs for help in purchasing homes.
  • USDA Multi-Family Housing to assist with rental assistance in rural development financed apartments.
  • UERPC Housing Trust Fund Programs-Funding available to assist homeowners and landlords with rehabilitation assistance.
  • UERPC-Housing Choice Voucher program provides rental assistance to those under 50% of HUD’s income guidelines.


This meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at the Oelwein Chamber and Area Development office at 25 West Charles Street, in Oelwein.  If you are interested in attending this meeting or would like more information please contact Mary Huinker at 563-864-7551 ext. 111 or by emailing Lori Brockway at lbrockway@uerpc.org.

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FREE Informational Session on Financing Sources for Businesses

Posted: Fri, May 1, 2015

Clayton County Development Group in Elkader the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in Cedar Rapids and Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission in Decorah are holding an informational session on various sources of financing for start-up & existing businesses.  SBA, a federal government agency devoted to assisting small & medium-sized businesses, will have a representative discussing business loan options, and Clayton County Development Group and Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission will have a representative discussing RLF funds available for businesses.  The 1-1/2 hour session, including questions & answers, will take place on Tuesday, May 12th starting @ 5:30 PM at Clayton County Office Building at 600 Gunder Rd. in Elkader, Iowa.  Register today to attend contact Darla Kelchen at 563-245-2201.

WHAT:       Free informational session on sources of money for businesses
WHO:        New/start-up and existing business owners/managers
WHEN:      Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 starting @ 5:30PM & wrapping up by 7PM
WHERE:    Clayton County Office Building 600 Gunder Rd. Elkader
COST:        Free

Join Clayton County Development, Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission and SBA to learn more about the options available for financing your business.  Also, discussed briefly will be government contracting opportunities and free counseling along with low cost training resources available for businesses.  Get your questions answered.  Register by contacting Darla at the CCDG office at 563-245-2201.

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Office Car For Sale

Posted: Mon, April 27, 2015

UERPC is seeking car bids for a 2007 Malibu, LS V6 package, 141,993 highway miles, grey, four-door, cloth interior, very clean. Minimum bid is $2,400.

Please submit sealed bids to Executive Director, Rachelle Howe, UERPC, 325 Washington Street, Decorah, IA  52101.  Bids will be opened at 12:00 Noon on May 7th. You do not need to be present at opening of bids.

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To All Local Area Contractors or Developers

Posted: Thu, April 23, 2015

To:             Local Area Contractors or Developers
From:        Sarah Snitker, Program Administrator
RE:           Information on 2 Upcoming Meetings

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) will be holding an informational meeting for local contractors or developers interested in higher education of their craft.  This meeting will be instructed by Bill McAnally and discuss high performance building information and ways to make homes more energy efficient.  

Bill has more than 35 years of experience in the construction industry.  He was a building contractor for over 15 years specializing in new home and light commercial construction.  During this time he focused on energy-efficient and healthy building methods.  Bill was also a carpentry instructor for Iowa Central Community College for 17 years, eventually serving as Department Chair of Industrial Technology.  Bill now operates Bill McAnally Consulting.

This meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 8:30 A.M. at the Upper Explorerland Conference Room, 134 W. Greene Street, Postville, IA.  This meeting will be free of charge.  

For any contractors interested in bidding or working on projects within the City of Lansing through the Lansing Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program, this meeting is highly encouraged as it will discuss ways in which work will have to be done for these projects.  

UERPC along with USDA, IFA and IEDA will be hosting a housing incentives meeting to discuss options for housing incentives available in our area. This meeting will discuss the Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Programs, all HOME assistance programs and also about loans and grants available through USDA. This meeting will be held at the Oelwein Economic Development Office at 25 W Charles Street in Oelwein on Tuesday, May 19th at 11 a.m.

If you are interested in attending these meetings or would like more information please contact Sarah at 563-864-7551 ext. 101 or by email at ssnitker@uerpc.org.  

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