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City plans to abandon East Jefferson Street

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen are prepared to move ahead with the abandonment of East Jefferson Street between Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and School.

City Attorney Tom Ludwig presented a revised agreement to the Board on Nov. 19, which sets some limits as to when the abandonment will take place.

In study session, the Board gave the green light to bring the revised agreement between the City and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church to the Board for formal approval at the next Board meeting Dec. 3.

This agreement states that there will be no immediate abandonment of the street. The public will continue to use the street until an abandonment date is set, and that must happen within five years. The five year window gives the church time to draw up final plans, get financing and begin construction. If five years pass and this is not done, a new agreement will have to be made with the Board of Aldermen at that time.

Once the street is abandoned, construction must begin within three months.

This new agreement allows the street to remain open until three months prior to construction, and that must happen sometime in the next five years.

In other action:

• Meeting date change: The Board of Aldermen meeting normally scheduled for Monday, Jan. 21, was moved to Wednesday, Jan. 23, because of the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

• Annexation petition: The Board approved a resolution accepting the voluntary annexation petition for 0.44 acres of property at 4080 S. Old Orchard Road and set a public hearing for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, as submitted by the McKendree Chapel Memorial Association.

• Roofing bid: The Board accepted the bid and agreed to a contract with Riverside Roofing Co., LLC, of Cape Girardeau, for $15,394 to replace the roof of the Maintenance Building in City Park.

• Employee health plan: The Board accepted the proposal from United Healthcare of Maryland Heights to provide services under the 2019 Employee Insurance Benefit Plan.

• East Main & Oak Hill: The Board accepted the dedication of a temporary construction easement deed and a deed of dedication for East Main Street from Schallberger, L.P., to build a sidewalk as part of the traffic signal project at East Main Street and Oak Hill Road.

• Diverging Diamond Interchange: The Board authorized a contractual agreement between the City and the Missouri Department of Transportation regarding the Diverging Diamond Interchange on Highway 61 at I-55 (Center Junction).

• Fluoridation award: The City of Jackson received a certificate of award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its excellence in fluoridating city water and promoting oral health.

• Wastewater treatment: In study session, the Board was updated on the Wastewater Facility Implementation Project by Jim McCleish and Ed Sewing of Horner & Shifrin, Inc.

The project includes two phases, two different loans, and one bond issue that will go before voters.

The first phase primarily focuses on repairs and renovations to the 30-year-old wastewater treatment plant that handles 2.4 million gallons of water a day. The second phase will improve the collector system, which includes 114 miles of sewer lines, 17 pump stations and 32,000 feet of force main.

Nine projects are planned in the wastewater treatment plant. The engineering cost for these projects is estimated to be $1.2 million and the construction cost is estimated to be $4.6 million.

The collector system repairs are expected to cost an additional $8.5 million.

Design work is expected to begin in April 2019; a bond request will be made during the April 2020 election.

By applying for a loan through State Revolving Funds, Jackson will save approximately $5 million, City Administrator Jim Roach said.

• Hickory Street right of way abandonment: The Board denied a request to abandon the right of way for a portion of Hickory Street. Although the street currently exists only on paper, it was recommended by City staff to not abandon the right of way, for utilities may need to run there, and the street may be built one day to provide additional park access.

• Retaining wall: The Board discussed a memorandum of understanding with the County regarding a retaining wall to be built on city property. It was suggested that the railing on top of the wall match the railings used in Uptown Jackson and that the aesthetics of the wall itself match other retaining walls in IJptown Jackson or match the new courthouse when it is designed. The county will be asked to maintain the wall and the sidewalk behind the wall.

The memorandum will go to the County Commission for approval and then come back to the Board of Alder men for final approval.

• UJRO: The Board discussed a proposed contract agreement with the Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization. The major changes to the agreement are that it will be for two years instead of one year (a change that was requested to receive a grant) and the amount contributed by the City will go from $20,000 the first year to $25,000 the second year.

• Parking on Georgia Street: In study session, the Board considered the possibility of limiting parking on Georgia Street. Designated a collector street, Georgia gets narrower as heads north from Main Street into residential neighborhoods. It is 38 feet wide from Main to Kate streets; 36 feet wide from Kate to Florence; 32 feet wide from Florence to Emma and 30 feet wide from Emma to Greensferry.

City staff will examine who has enough off-street parking, who needs on-street parking the most, and recommend eliminating parking on one side of the street. When that recommendation is made, affected property owners will be notified.

The goal is to prevent parked cars from getting hit by drivers as the road narrows.

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

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