Funky Zebra will fill space
By RICK MORAIN
For The Jefferson Herald
The Jefferson city council on March 23 approved the sale of the building at 205 N. Wilson Ave. to RAK, LLC, a group that will place a Funky Zebra women’s clothing and accessories store at that location.
The building — located immediately north of the corner building of the Square that formerly housed Angie’s Tea Garden — was owned by the city, which has performed improvements to it over the past five years with help from Jefferson Matters: Main Street volunteers.
The sale price was $93,000, covered by a 10-year forgivable loan from the city to the buyers for that amount.
The forgiveness will be in the form of 10 equal installments of $9,300 each, beginning in 2022.
As part of the agreement, the buyers agree to rehabilitate the building, and will receive a 10-year, $57,000 forgivable loan for that purpose from the city.
The improvements are to include the retail space on the first floor and the apartment on the second floor. The first floor must be completed by this coming September, and the apartment within one year of the purchase closing.
The city acquired the building at 205 N. Wilson Ave. in May 2015, setting out that summer to rehabilitate it through a public-private partnership with Jefferson Matters: Main Street. One night, nine volunteers hauled out six tons of second-story plaster and lath in five-gallon buckets.
The building is believed to have been built sometime between 1894 and 1909. Historically, the building has been home to a music store, an auto supplies store and a harness shop.
Terms of the forgivable loans require the owners to operate Funky Zebra at that location as a clothing boutique and not sell it without the city’s consent. They will receive no property tax abatement.
Meghan Von Behren, one of the co-owners of the business, addressed the council at the meeting. She also co-owns Funky Zebra stores at Okoboji and Coralville, with good experiences in both communities.
They plan to open the store this May, staffed by two or three individuals. Hours will probably be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store will be open fewer than seven days a week, she said.
Von Behren attended Simpson College in Indianola, where she participated in basketball and softball.
In other action, the council approved two municipal bond sales that have been discussed at previous meetings.
One of the bond series provides for refunding of three existing bond series at a lower interest rate, saving the city $264,000 in interest costs, and also providing funding to help finance about half the cost of the new animal shelter. The other bond finances improvements to downtown buildings.
The overall interest rate for the bond sale is 1.95 percent. The bonds were sold on March 23.
The council approved an extension of the lease of Heartland Bank at 200 E. State St., the northeast corner of the Square, for six months.
The council approved plans and specifications for the reconstruction project of three alley sections south of the Square.
The council approved the sale of the property at 709 W. Lincoln Way for $250 to Eldon and Peggy Cunningham, who own the adjoining property.
The council approved Ben Campbell and Bryce Hoyle as new members of the Jefferson Fire Department.
Council members also recognized and applauded 22 years of service to the fire department by Dean Promes, who is retiring from that organization.
The council agreed to hire Samantha Schmidt as swimming pool manager at $15 per hour and Anna Pound as assistant pool manager at $12 per hour. Schmidt will also be working for Grand Junction as its pool manager, and will keep track of the hours she works for both communities. She has four years of experience in municipal pool management.
The council hired Joe Carey, Emily Dvorak, Jeremy Cartwright, Jennie Schuttler and Bill Labath for part-time seasonal help at the municipal golf course at $7.75 per hour. Carey, Cartwright and Labath will work primarily outside and Dvorak and Schuttler primarily inside.
The board agreed to adjust a sewer bill of $1,208.74 at 406 N. Cedar St. The property had sustained a broken water pipe.