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City prorates rental facade reimbursements

City prorates rental facade reimbursements

August 19th, 2017 by Nicole Roberts in Local News

The Jefferson City Facade Improvement Committee will prorate reimbursements to eligible property owners for external aesthetic improvements on rental properties for the first time.

The committee unanimously agreed Thursday to reimburse property owners at 802 E. Capitol Ave., 1103 Park Ave. and 527 E. High St. for external improvements.

Two weeks ago, the committee paused on approving applications to the facade rental program — a city program that provides incentives to property owners for external aesthetics improvements that cost more than $10,000 for single-family homes or $20,000 for duplexes. The committee wanted to seek legal counsel from the city on whether it could prorate the funds because the committee realized it did not have enough money to reimburse three properties eligible for the program.

The program, in its third year, allows the city to reimburse property owners up to half of improvement costs. The ordinance states the city “will reimburse $5,000 for single family and up to $10,000 for duplex” if the properties meet all requirements.

The combined three applications would require the program to reimburse a total of $20,000. However, the program only has $18,000 this year, meaning the committee would have to pick which property would not receive the program’s help if the committee had not prorated the funds.

This is the first time the committee has prorated reimbursements. The applicants will decide whether or not to accept the pro-rated amount, said Jayme Abbott, the city’s neighborhood service coordinator.

A duplex owned by Jonathan Sumner at 802 E. Capitol Ave. will undergo approximately $52,370 worth of improvements, according to Sumner’s rental facade application. Sumner will receive the $10,000 if he meets the stipulations of adding a truncated hip roof and soffit porch. Other improvements include replacing the windows and doors and rebuilding the front deck.

“Those improvements would be a very valuable asset to that neighborhood, much needed,” Abbott said.

A single-family residence owned by David and Carmalee Hall at 1103 Park Ave. will receive $3,200 in reimbursements if the property meets the program’s requirements and stipulations set by the committee.

Along with the already proposed improvements — which will cost approximately $11,000, according to the Halls’ application — the property has to be painted white, the vines attached to the building must be removed and the tree branches resting on the roof be scaled back.

Property owner Angie Abbott will receive $4,800 from the program for improvements to 527 E. High St., a single-family residence. Improvements will cost approximately $10,000, according to Abbott’s rental facade application.

A key stipulation set by the committee is that the building be converted back to a single-family residence. It is currently being operated as a two-apartment building. Abbott said at the last committee meeting she would change it back to a single-family unit.

The committee also said it wants the tree in front of the house scaled back, the front door and hand rails to remain, and for windows from a vintage series be used.

If the properties violate the program or stipulations set by the committee, the owners will not receive reimbursements.

The money was prorated so each property owner would receive a 23-28 percent return on their investments.

The properties will go through city code inspections, and if the buildings meet codes, participants have until Oct. 31, 2018, to complete exterior improvements to receive reimbursements.

Eligible properties have to be constructed before 1960 and be detached single-family homes or two-unit duplexes. They also have to be located in the Old Town and East Side districts, which extend from Stadium Boulevard north to the river and from Dix Road, Southwest Boulevard and Boonville Road east to Clark Avenue.

The improvements have to be visible from the street and be similar to the building’s appearance when it was constructed, as well as look similar to other buildings constructed on the same block around the same time.