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story.lead_photo.caption Jessica Haslag, left, and KRCG meteorologist Zach Paul survey the tornado damage near the historic Dallmeyer House at the corner of Marshall Street and East Capitol Avenue while touring the historic district Saturday afternoon, May 25, 2019. Photo by Kris Wilson / News Tribune.

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With property owners debating whether to repair, sell or demolish tornado-damaged buildings, the Historic City of Jefferson is organizing a group of individuals interested in reinvesting in damaged historic homes.

Several historic homes were damaged May 22 when an EF-3 tornado swept through Jefferson City, including those in the Capital Avenue Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District and along Jackson Street.

HCJ contacted property owners in the disaster area, asking what their plans are for their properties, HCJ President Donna Deetz told the Jefferson City Historic Preservation Commission on Tuesday. Some owners who have damaged properties and have received checks from insurance companies plan to sell or demolish their properties, she added.

If an owner is interested in selling the home or is considering demolishing the property, Deetz said, individuals in the HCJ-organized group could step in to provide alternatives or purchase the home.

"If they've already gotten their insurance payment and they're going to have to pay $30,000 to take it down, would they be willing to sell it for $30,000? That sort of thing," said Deetz, a commissioner on the Historic Preservation Commission. "We can save it and we don't have these holes along East Capitol Avenue."

If a building is declared a dangerous structure and must be repaired or demolished, that is "not an item that this commission can take action on," Jefferson City Neighborhood Services Manager Jayme Abbott said. This means property owners who own historic homes deemed dangerous structures would not need the Historic Preservation Commission's approval to demolish.

As she is notified of dangerous structures, Abbott said, she plans to email the commission in case a commissioner or HCJ wants to provide technical assistance.

HCJ is also offering advice to property owners wanting to rehabilitate their homes, Deetz said.

Those interested in contacting HCJ can visit historiccityofjefferson.org.

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