Calling owners of vacant homes: Jefferson needs you to answer, Paxton says


Greene County’s lead economic-development official says he’s getting at least a phone call a day from people seeking rental housing in Jefferson.

He has few options for them with the current housing crunch, Paxton told the Greene County Development Corp. Board of Directors Tuesday during a regular meeting at the Sierra Theatre.

While developers, notably Huxley-based JCorp, have planned to increase housing stock in Jefferson this year, the demand is there for accommodations in the here and now, particularly with affordable rental units.

“I’m getting really tired of telling people, ‘I don’t know what to do for you,’” Paxton said. “There are no rentals. There aren’t any.”

He’s having to tell potential Jefferson residents to consider Carroll or Boone if they can’t find a home or apartment in Greene County, Paxton said.

But part of the answer may be, well, just around the corner of down the street in Jefferson.

Tom Heater, the city of Jefferson’s most recent top building official, says there are about 60 vacant homes in the city.

Paxton says these homes are empty for a host of reasons. He is calling on homeowners—or people who know the identity of the owners—to contact him so the homes can be renovated and turned into rental units for people filling the growing number of jobs in Greene County.

“I think we’ve got this hidden asset that’s sitting there,” Paxton said.

In other economic development news:

  • Paxton says a manufacturer that will employ about 30 people has narrowed its search to three cities, including Jefferson. The company is scouting locations in the city, including one on U.S. Highway 30.
  • There is interest in housing development in Scranton, Paxton said.
  • Community leaders in Jefferson have started discussions about developing an outdoor recreation complex.
  • Jefferson City Councilwoman Lisa Jaskey, a member of the Greene County Development Corp., announced that she will start as the controller Monday for Wild Rose Jefferson.

“It was just a great opportunity, and an opportunity I can’t pass up,” Jaskey said. I know what Wild Rose stands for. They’re an Iowa company. I will be very proud to work for Wild Rose.”

Jaskey, 56, also said Tuesday that she plans to seek re-election to the council.

  • The GCDC is developing new commercial and retail maps to show potential new businesses and residents potential for growth in Greene County.


Courtesy of Douglas Burns, The Jefferson Herald 5/14/15 and the Daily Times Herald 5/26/15.

Greene County Development Corporation Ken Paxton Daily Times Herald Greene County Jefferson Housing Shortage Jefferson Herald

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