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City to join County in grant application to get roads paved

The Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen were asked by the County to join in a 50-50 grant to get Charles Meier Road (County Road 330) and part of Seabaugh Road paved. This paving and widening of the gravel roads will make it easier for trucks to enter and exit the nearby industrial park that contains ARI Jackson, Coca-Cola and Signature Packaging.

In 2007, voters passed a half-cent sales tax to pave and maintain county roads, County Commissioner Paul Koeper told the mayor and aldermen at their May 6 meeting. This tax revenue has allowed about 90 miles of gravel roads to be paved. But now, as the roads have aged, more of the funds are spent on maintaining the roads and less on paving new stretches.

County Road 330 was originally scheduled to be paved in 2014. But that has been delayed, and it will be another three or four years before the County will pave that road.

The County then decided to apply for a Delta Regional Authority grant to pave County Road 330 from Highway PP to County Road 335, and the unpaved portion of Seabaugh Road. The DRA provides these grants to help promote industry.

The County was successful in getting a previous grant to pave a county road in order to aid industrial growth.

About 500 feet of County Road 330 and all of Seabaugh Road are within city limits, so the County is asking the City to pay for half of the cost of paving those portions (with the grant covering the remaining cost). The County will pay for half of the cost of paving that portion of County Road 330 that is outside of city limits (and the grant will pay for the other half).

The heavy-duty pavement will be 24 feet wide and 9 inches thick to withstand the truck traffic that uses these roads. In addition, there will be improvements made to the drainage.

MoDOT is on board, Koeper added. MoDOT will provide a culvert on Highway PP and provide some asphalt and fill dirt.

The total project cost will be $265,000. DRA will provide $132,500 if the grant is approved. MoDOT’s portion will be $2,080. The County’s portion will be $71,730 or 55 percent after MoDOT’s portion is taken out (because 55 percent of the road is in the county). The City’s portion will be $58,690.

By having three entities involved (city, county and MoDOT), there is a better chance the grant will be approved.

Once the grant application is submitted, it will take about two months to hear if it’s approved.

In other action:

• Reliable power: The City was presented a certificate of excellence in reliability from the American Public Power Association. (See  related story in this issue.)

• Public hearing: A public hearing was held to consider the rezoning of an unaddressed 3.34 acre tract of property at the east end of Ridge Road north of 4002 Ridge Road and adjacent to I-55 from C-2 (general commercial) and CO-1 (enhanced commercial overlay) districts to R-2 (single family residential district) as submitted by Litz Brothers, Inc.

A representative of Litz Brothers explained that originally the property was zoned R-2. All of the property around it is R-2. A buyer is interested in purchasing seven to 10 acres inside city limits and putting one house on it. This acreage will be combined with the adjoining vacant six acres.

No one spoke in opposition.

The Board later unanimously passed the zoning change.

• Purchase transformers: The Board accepted the $82,122.38 bid of Cape Electrical Supply of Cape Girardeau for electric distribution transformers.

• Depository agreement: The mayor was authorized to sign a depository agreement with Southern Bank.

• Board appointments: Mayor Dwain Hahs and City Administrator James Roach were appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Southeast Metropolitan Planning Organization. Director of Administrative Services Rodney Bollinger was appointed as an alternate.

• Fireworks: The City agreed to pay half of the cost of the July 4 fireworks display, not to exceed $6,000.

• Paving: The Board accepted the $157,290 bid from Jokerst, Inc., of Ste. Genevieve for the 2019 Asphalt Pavement Improvement Program.

• Minor plat: The Board approved a minor plat of a resubdivision of lots 60, 61 and 62 of Terrace Park Estates, as submitted by Gerald E. Stoverink and Catherine M. Stoverink.

• No Parking: The “Parking Prohibited Schedule” was amended by adding a designation on the city parking lot at 124 East Adams St.

• Hitt honored: It was announced that Alderman David Hitt was honored by Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe with a senior service award. Hitt was nominated for his many years of service to the community by State Rep. Barry Hovis.

• Medical marijuana ordinance: At its previous meeting, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen discussed zoning issues in regard to medical marijuana. During its study session May 6, the Board discussed issues regarding the criminality of possession.

“We tried to do this so that it was as sensible and straight-forward as we could do it,” said City Attorney Tom Ludwig. “We left the criminal marijuana ordinance in place.”

With the legalization of medical marijuana in Missouri, there will be people in Jackson who are in possession of marijuana who are not breaking the law.

“What I did was take our current marijuana ordinance and I put an additional paragraph in there that says that it’s not unlawful for a qualified patient or a primary care giver to be in possession of medical marijuana as long as they have a prescription for it. So that’s all this ordinance is,” explained Ludwig.

The proposed ordinance will be brought to the Board for approval at its next meeting on May 20.

• Electric line relocation: An electric transmission pole near the intersection of I-55 and Highway 61 has to be moved 70 feet to the south due to the construction of the diverging diamond project. In order to move the pole, which is on a steep hill, a platform will need to be built for trucks to access it.

• Recycling: Plastics that are numbered 3-7 are not marketable and will no longer be accepted at the Recycling Center. Plastics No. 1 (mostly water bottles) and No. 2 (mostly milk jugs and detergent bottles) are still accepted. “We need to discontinue receiving plastics 3 through 7,” said Roach.

• Citizen input: During non-agenda citizen input, Jackson resident Tom Gleeson complained that his alderman, Tommy Kimbel, did not respond to his phone calls. Kimbel asked what number Gleeson called, because he never got the calls.

Gleeson also complained about a several properties that he thought were eyesores. Alderman Joe Bob Baker said the City is working on an ordinance to deal with the problem.

Gleeson’s third complaint was about dead animals on the roadway. He was told that city crews will pick up road kill on city streets; MoDOT usually takes care of the problem on state highways such as East Jackson Boulevard.

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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