Work moving along on old Linda’s Fashions building

Asbestos removal Feb. 18Asbestos was removed last week from the former Linda’s Fashions store, in the middle of the 100 block of E. Lincoln Way in Jefferson.

That task is on the checklist of things to be done before the city of Jefferson sells the building for retail redevelopment.

The work was done by Site Services of Algona, low bidder at $7,300.

According to city building official Nick Sorensen, asbestos was found not only in materials used to wrap pipes, but also in the caulk on the outside of the windows.

He explained that the city is receiving brownfield* funds from the Environmental Protection Agency for the work.  Brownfield funds will reimburse the city for one-half the cost of removing the asbestos, as well as the full cost of the asbestos testing and inspection there and an environmental survey at the former Alliant site south of Jefferson Telecom. Cost of the studies was $2,300.

A 3-foot hole in the roof has been patched and heat is running in the building to dry it out. The city plans to put on a new roof this spring at an expected cost of about $30,000. The city hopes to sell the building and recoup the cost of repair.

Jefferson Matters: Main Street volunteers have agreed to provide whatever volunteer labor they can.

The city took possession of the building late last fall to stop a rapid deterioration as it sat vacant on the real estate market. Jefferson is one of only two towns in Iowa with all four sides of a vintage downtown square intact. It was feared the building would collapse before a buyer was located. City administrator Mike Palmer has said there is an interested buyer, once the basic repair on the building is completed.

*The brownfields program is designed to help states, communities and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainable reuse brownfields. If the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of a property may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant, it is considered a “brownfield.”  Former gas stations are another example of brownfields.

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