Façade project finishing up

The $1 million Façade Rehabilitation project is coming to completion as the last of the 13 buildings are finishing up.  Ace Hardware and Muir Embroidery were two of the largest projects and the weather has allowed work to continue through the month of December.  Pinnacle Construction has been the general contractor with local sub-contracts with C & D Masonry of Rippey and Goodwin & Son of Jefferson.  Supplies for the projects have been purchased locally as much as possible.  Franks Design Group has been the architect for the project.  A Celebration Stroll was held on Nov. 13 even though the projects were not completed.

Jefferson Matters: Main Street has been chronicling the progress through Facebook posts.  An image gallery is located here on our website.  Click this link to view this gallery:

CDBG – Operation Facelift progress

This grant would not have been possible without the City of Jefferson and the City Council agreeing to match the $250,000 of the building owners involved in the project.  The City is looking to do a Phase 2 of Façade Renovations with building owners interested to talk to Peg Raney, Mike Palmer or Nick Sorensen by Jan. 22.

Special Christmas Event

The Promotion committee led by Angie Reese-Hueser brought Christmas to Jefferson in style on a cold evening with Santa & Mrs. Claus arriving in an antique firetruck from Grand Junction.  About 100 people enjoyed hot cocoa, cookies and picked up reindeer food for Christmas Eve.  Singers from Greene County High School sang carols and led all in the Snowy Pokey.  Thomas Jefferson Gardens had tags for people to write wishes and leave on their tree.  Glow sticks were given to all.  Santa & Mrs. Claus lit the community Christmas tree and the Sugar Plum Fairies from Prairie Blue Creative Arts danced around the tree.  Thanks to all who volunteered that evening and those who attended.

Jefferson is ready for the holidays

The Design Committee has been busy elves getting the downtown ready for the winter. Twelve new “Joy” banners were added around the perimeter of the square along with the “Joy in Jefferson” banners along Lincoln Way from last year. Chris Heisterkamp led this project. The twelve pillar planters were decorated with evergreens by the Flower Power volunteers led by Karen Lawton & Kathy Milligan. The banners and planters are funded through Grow Greene County funds given to the City of Jefferson. The empty storefront of the former Homestead building was decorated with a winter scene by Mikki Schwarkopf, Becci Hamilton and Susan Fray. Thanks to all of these creative volunteers for sharing their time & talents.

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 7

The Promotion Committee of Jefferson Matters: Main Street invites the public to the Thomas Jefferson Gardens for the annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 7 at 5:30 p.m. Santa will arrive spectacularly to light the Christmas tree outside in the Gardens. Carols will be sung by the roving Jazzatonics Choir of Greene County High School. Refreshments of hot cocoa and cookies will be served by committee members. The first 200 children will receive a glow stick to wear to light up the evening. After Santa lights the tree, Sugar Plum Fairies from Prairie Blue Creative Arts will dance around it. Reindeer food will be available for kids to attract Santa’s deer as he makes his way on Christmas Eve to homes in the area. Other special activities are being planned as a part of the celebration.

The Thomas Jefferson Garden’s Board will continue the tradition of tagging the tree with a special wish. One tag will be chosen to receive a Christmas prize.

Becky Greiner will provide a Christmas Tower Tunes Live Concert from 5:45 – 6:15 pm on the new 47 bell carillon. Santa Claus will meet youngsters at the top of the Mahanay Bell Tower following the tree lighting. There will be free admission to the tower courtesy of the Bell Tower Foundation. This will also provide a spectacular view of the downtown on a busy evening of shopping.

Jefferson Matters: Main Street’s Christmas chairperson Angie Reese-Hueser exclaimed, “This Christmas tree lighting tradition in downtown Jefferson continues to make wonderful memories for all ages. We hope to host another successful event.”

Challenge Grant awarded for Prairie Lakes AEA bldg.


14 Community Projects Selected for Awards

November 15, 2017 (Des Moines, Iowa) — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today awarded $933,300 in Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants to 14 communities around the state. The grants will benefit local improvement projects such as façade upgrades and restoration, upper floor rehabilitation, building stabilization and repairs and remodeled spaces for expanding downtown businesses.  The announcements were made during a ceremony held at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.  

“The Main Street Iowa Challenge grants have proven to be catalysts for the revitalization of Iowa’s historic main streets,” said IEDA Director Debi Durham.  “These projects demonstrate the ongoing financial commitment the people of our state – both our elected officials and private citizens – have made to the revitalization of our historic downtown districts. Rehabilitated downtown buildings create opportunities for new business and new residences in the core of our communities.”

The grants are administered through IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs. The funding will be distributed in the form of matching grants to the selected Main Street programs. The estimated total project cost of the 14 bricks and mortar projects is over $2.7 million.

“Each project must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash-match.  In total, these projects will leverage three times the state’s investment into bricks and mortar rehabilitation. These projects will also have a significant economic impact within each district and have a direct impact on each community’s downtown revitalization efforts,” explained Main Street Iowa State Coordinator Michael Wagler.   

The Challenge Grant program is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature.  Since the first appropriation in 2002 through 2016, approximately $6.8 million in state and federal funds have leveraged over $45 million of private reinvestment. Over the life of the program, 138 projects in 49 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state have received funding.