April 14, 2016 by Matthew Rezab
The Jefferson city council unanimously voted Tuesday to purchase the building at 200 E. State St., making it the third dilapidated downtown structure bought by the city since May 2015.
The city purchased properties at 111 E. Lincoln Way (formerly Linda’s Fashions) in September and 205 N. Wilson Ave. last May.
After some negotiation with a California bank that currently owns the property, the city was able to secure the new purchase for $100.
The building, built circa 1880, anchors the northeast corner of the Square.
City Attorney Bob Schwarzkopf told the council the $100 will be recouped through taxes that are still owed on the property.
“When you do your normal tax progression, they’re going to owe the taxes for this year, so we’ll be getting our money back with that,” Schwarzkopf said.
Councilwoman Lisa Jaskey said she doesn’t have any concern that the city could lose money after renovating these historic buildings.
Earlier in the meeting, the council unanimously approved a bid of $30,400 from Grell Roofing of Fort Dodge to have the roof of Linda’s Fashions replaced by the end of May.
“One advantage city government has is that we can take the long view,” Jaskey said. “We’ll recoup our costs eventually over time. There has already been some interest in the Linda’s Fashions building. In the shape that it was in before, it scared everyone away.”
City Code Enforcement Officer Nick Sorensen said he recommended replacing the roof on any downtown property the city purchases.
“This one will probably be a lot easier than Linda’s Fashions,” Sorensen said. “It does need a new roof. My recommendation is you put a new roof on every single building up (in the town square). Every building has roofing issues and that’s where the buildings start deteriorating first.”
Councilmen Dave Sloan and Gary Von Ahsen said the city has no plans to rent the buildings once the renovations are complete. The idea is to sell the buildings to a business.
“This way really helps the city maintain control over buildings in the historic district,” Jaskey said.
Courtesy of The Jefferson Herald, 4/14/16.