Celebration Stroll will celebrate facade restoration project

A Celebration Stroll event to celebrate the 13 facades involved in the Community Development Block Grant – Façade Rehabilitation project in downtown Jefferson will be held on Monday, Nov. 13, beginning at 5 pm on the Bell Tower Plaza. The public is invited to attend the festivities.

Introductions will be made on the plaza followed by a walk along the interior of the square to view the facades. Architects Peter Franks and Matthew Miller will stroll along to make short comments on each façade. Pinnacle Construction’s project manager Austin Kay and construction crew Mike Nicolini and Jeff Boe will be recognized at the event along with other sub-contractors for the project.

City administrator Mike Palmer, building official Nick Sorensen, the Jefferson city council, the building owners and business owners were instrumental in this project of historic preservation in the downtown.

The group will stroll east on Lincoln Way to the Greene County Historical Museum, then back to Addie’s, Unger Insurance, around the interior of the square to view Royal Jewelers, John’s Appliance, Masonic Hall, Muir Embroidery, MacDonald Insurance, Fudge’s Flowers & Gifts, Meythaler Photography, Ace Hardware, Doc’s Stadium and the building that housed the former Treasure Chest. The event will end at Doc’s Stadium where Jefferson Matters: Main Street board members will host light refreshments and a cash bar will be provided.

GCNO file photo

Pictures from various stages of construction from June 2017 following the Bell Tower Festival to date will be shown on the TVs. At Doc’s Stadium there will be a chance to visit with those involved in the project and congratulate the building owners.

The buildings are not expected to be completed by Nov. 13, but the decision was made to host this celebration before the holidays while the weather may still be conducive to a stroll. Watch for info if weather issues arise.

Jefferson Matters: Main Street is the host for this celebration party and encourages the public to attend. Jefferson became a Main Street community in 2012 with a mission to work together to strengthen, support and energize Jefferson’s downtown through historic preservation.

Façade rehabilitation was always a goal of the board of directors and the city of Jefferson. This $1 million CDBG Façade Rehabilitation project has made a huge impact on the downtown and hopefully spurs on more improvements. The board wants to extend congratulations and appreciation to those involved.

Work began in the summer of 2015 to determine which building owners were interested in being involved in such a project. Informational meetings were held with the Jefferson city council committing to provide the $250,000 match and a number of owners deciding to pursue this grant with the required $250,000 match.

The experienced architects of Franks Design Group were procured and began meeting individually with the owners and Region XII Council of Governments grant writer Fred Kesten. The grant was submitted with the match and the notice of the $500,000 grant awarded to Jefferson in May 2016.
Designs were finalized through the fall of 2016 with construction bids out in the spring of 2017. Pinnacle Construction was awarded the contract with construction beginning after the Bell Tower Festival.

Progress has continued steadily with plans still to complete the project by the end of the year. The weather in Iowa will determine how quickly it can be finished.

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