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Jackson Board of Aldermen approves new ward boundaries

Photo by Jay Forness

The boundaries of the wards in the city of Jackson have moved slightly because of population growth in various parts of the city as reported on the 2020 census.

The new ward boundaries are indicated on the map at right. The Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen approved a bill changing the Code of Ordinances to reflect the new boundaries on Nov. 15. The wards are described in detail in the ordinance (Chapter 19).

In other action

• American Rescue Plan Act funds: During study session, Mayor Dwain Hahs began discussing how the City will use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The City will receive $2.9 million from the federal government in two deposits. The funds must be committed to projects in 2022-24 and spent during the years 2022-2026.

Interest generated from the funds before they are spent can be added to the City’s general fund.

The funds may to be used for economic development, and can go to organizations; not to individuals. Some possible areas where funds could be spent may be tourism and the Chamber of Commerce, Uptown Jackson and the Jackson Senior Center.

Funds can also be used for COVID-19 related projects, such as recreational trails and improving broadband, public safety and public health.

These funds could be “transformational for the City of Jackson,” Hahs said. He would like to see the funds spent on projects that will “make a major difference.” The City also wants to get community input on where to spend the funds. “This should be our attitude as we go forward,” Hahs said.

Hahs proposed committing a third of the funds, $900,000 to $1 million, in the 2022 city budget, and the balance would be included in the 2023-2024 budgets.

The City may consider hiring a consultant to help plan the spending so it falls within federal guidelines.

• City Employee Appreciation and Christmas Luncheon: The annual City of Jackson Employee Appreciation and Christmas Luncheon was set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at the Jackson Civic Center.

• Election: The certified results of the Nov. 2 election were accepted by the Board of Aldermen.

Also, a bill proposing an ordinance amending Chapter 19 of the Code of Ordinances relative to declaration of candidacy was approved. This aligns the city ordinances with new state law. The dates to file for the April 2022 municipal election were changed by the state legislature. Filing dates are now Dec. 7-28.

• Meth: The Board amended Chapter 45 of theCode of Ordinances relative to the regulation of methamphetamine precursor drugs.

• Warranty deed: The Board authorized the mayor to execute a general warranty deed to the Jackson Industrial Development Company of Jackson for a four-acre tract of land known as Lot 2 of the Jackson Industrial Development Company Subdivision.

• Paving:  The Board approved Change Order No. 1 (final quantities) in the amount of $47,108.30 to Black Diamond, LLC, doing business as Paving Pros, LLC, of Oak Ridge, relative to the 2021 Asphalt Pavement Improvement Program.

• Employee insurance: The Board accepted proposals from Auxiant of Wauwatosa, WI, and Roundstone Management, Ltd., and authorized contracts with the two firms to provide services under the 2022 Employee Medical Insurance Benefit Plan.

• Handicapped parking: The Board approved adding a handicapped parking spot at the end of Vera Wagner Drive in Litz Park.

• Medical director/consultant: Jackson Fire Chief Jason Mouser told the Board of Aldermen during study session that his department is required by the state to have a medical director. The medical director the department had been using since 2014 was no longer practicing medicine, so a new one needs to be hired.

• Hubble Ford: During study session, Public Works director Kent Peetz discussed engineering proposals for the construction phase of the Hubble Creek Ford Low Water Crossing Replacement Project. He said the construction phase of the project is “out for bids now.”

• Electric utilities: During study session, the Board heard a report on a proposal for engineering services to replace the Wedekind 73 electric transmission poles. This electric line was built in 1981 or ’82 and is in need of general repair and maintenance.

Also, another company has come to Jackson and is requesting to hang cable on city utility poles. E. Ritter Communications Holdings, LLC, will be offered the same agreement that the City has with Big River.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at cashbook@mvp.net.

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