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City updates ordinance on cemeteries

Getting buried in the City of Jackson may have become a little more costlier for Jackson residents, but there is now an option to have cremated remains inurned in a columbarium above ground instead of being placed 6 feet under.

For the first time in more than 15 years, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen approved amendments to the city ordinance regarding city cemeteries on Aug. 17. For the most part, the changes involved adding information about the new columbaria and changing the pricing structure.

There is no longer a price difference between residents and nonresidents for plots. The prices are as follows: an adult or child plot is $500 and an infant (under 1 year of age) plot is $250. Columbarium niches are $750, no matter age or residency.

There are fees for digging graves. The fee is $350 for a resident adult or child and $700 for a nonresident adult or child; $175 for a resident infant and $350 for a nonresident infant; and $300 for a cremation burial.

The fee to open a columbarium niche  for a resident is $100; for a nonresident, it is $200.

In addition to the above fees, the city shall receive an additional fee of $75 for a casket or cremation burial or a niche opening/inurnment performed on a weekend or holiday.

The use of wooden grave vaults or wood boxes is prohibited. All cremation burials/inurnments in graves/niches must be in containers that are permanently resistant to decay or deterioration.

The City constructed a gazebo near the columbaria for ceremonies. There is a $100 setup fee to use the gazebo.

There is also a fee of $500 for the disinterment of any grave burial or $200 for the disinterment of any cremation burial or the disinurn-ment of any niche inurnment.

In other action

• Tax rate: No one from the public spoke at a public hearing to consider the proposed 2020 general revenue, parks and recreation, cemetery, and band tax rates.

The Board later approved the tax rate on $100 assessed valuations: general revenue, $0.5862; cemetery fund, $0.0757; park fund, $0.1230; and band fund, $0.0757.

• Rezoning of Wicks property: A public hearing was held to consider a rezoning request at 2705 Hilltop Dr. from R-2 (single-family residence) to C-2 (general commercial). No one spoke in opposition. Sam Wicks explained that he wanted the rezoning so he could separate utility meters between a shop building and the house on the property. He wished to be able to use the shop and rent the house. The aldermen later granted his request.

• Appointments: The aldermen approved the mayor’s appointment of Sara Appel as an alternate member to the Historic Preservation Commission and Brent Wills as a regular member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

• Historic architectural survey: The aldermen accepted the proposal of RDG Planning & Design of Omaha, NE, in the amount of $25,000 to conduct a historic architectural survey. The Board also authorized a contractual agreement.

• Proposed residential/agricultural development: During study session on Aug. 3, the Board discussed a residential/agricultural development planned for Greensferry Road. The property straddles the city limits with a portion inside the city and a portion outside.

City staff had no objections, if the house is built within city limits, to be served by Ameren, because it would be a “needless expenditure to bring city electric out there” to this remote area, according to City Attorney Tom Ludwig.

There were also no objections to having a well dug on the property instead of hooking up city water because of its remote location. “We are not in a position to provide him with those things,” said Ludwig. If the house is built within the city limits, it will be eligible to be served by Jackson city trash, police and fire service.

During the Aug. 17 Board of Aldermen meeting, the Board approved these requests.

• Low-water crossings: The Board acknowledged receipt of a letter from the Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association of Columbia, and a memo prepared by Smith & Co. Engineers of Poplar Bluff regarding the low-water crossings in City Park.

During study session, the Board discussed replacing the low-water crossings at Hubble ford and Mary Street.

City Engineer Clint Brown said Smith & Co. estimates it will cost $360,000 to replace Hubble ford with a one-lane bridge. Aldermen Katy Liley and Paul Sander both discussed the possibility of making sure the bridge has a pedestrian walkway included in its design. Sander suggested that plans also include steps giving pedestrians access to the creek.

• Pavement improvement: The Board accepted the $298,789.75 bid from and awarded a contract to Mike Light Cement Finishing of Perryville for work on the 2020 Concrete Pavement Improvement Program.

• On-street parking: The Aldermen discusses eliminating some parking on Farmington Street just north of Main Street to allow the center line to be moved to the middle of the street and help turning movements at that intersection. Letters will be sent to affected property owners and tenants.

• Sewer easement: Old Bethel Baptist Church has requested an easement to allow for sewer service to the church for its recently installed restrooms. It is 13 feet from the nearest manhole to the Bethel Baptist Church property line.

• Emergency plan: Fire Chief Jason Mouser reported that there is an opportunity for a grant to pay for a comprehensive update of the Emergency Operations Plan. Although updates have been added throughout the years, the last comprehensive update was done 12-13 years ago, he said.

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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