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Daycare proposal dies on 1-7 vote

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A request by Brian Powell to change the city ordinance to allow six children in an in-home daycare (in a residential district) without a special use permit from the city died on a 1-7 vote by the Jackson Board of Aldermen May 2.

The city ordinance currently allows four children. Changing it to six would have allowed all in-home daycares in Jackson to increase the number of children in their care from four to six, matching the number allowed by the state before a state license is required.

The matter had been tabled at the April 18 meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen after a public hearing was held in which six people spoke in favor of the change and nine spoke in opposition.

On May 2, the aldermen removed the item from the table and voted it down. The lone vote in favor of the change was cast by Alderman Michael Seabaugh.

In other action

• I-55 substation: A change order extending the deadline to Tom Beussink Excavating, Inc. of Jackson, was approved for grading and site preparation work on the I-55 electrical substation project. Although the project is 95% completed, weather has caused some delays.

• Civic Center sign: A change order was approved to Coast to Coast Signs, LLC, of Scott City, for the Civic Center sign. The date for completion was extended due to new information regarding the location of the right of way along East Deerwood Drive.

• Homecomers: A liquor license was granted to the Jackson Elks Lodge #2652 to operate a beer stand in Uptown Jackson during Homecomers July 26-30.

• July 4: The aldermen accepted the bid of All American Fireworks, LLC, doing business as Gladiator Pyro of Poplar Bluff, in the amount of $13,250 per year to provide a fireworks display on July 4 for the next three years. It was the only bid submitted. A contract was authorized.

• Eat Smart in Parks: The City of Jackson has been awarded an Eat Smart In Parks grant through the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services. This grant is a $4,000 reimbursement grant for purchasing equipment and marketing materials at the city pool.

• Wastewater system rate study: The Board of Aldermen approved the 2022 Wastewater System Rate Study Update as prepared by Horner & Shifrin, Inc., of St. Louis.

• Kimbeland pump station: A $2,042,345 bid from Robinson Industrial, Heavy & Commercial, Inc., of Per-ryville was accepted and a contract was authorized for work on the Kimbeland Pump Station Improvement Project. Change order No. 1 was also approved, lowering the cost to $1,841,951.

• Mary Street low-water bridge: The dedication of a temporary construction easement deed from Noah Wea-therby for the Mary Street Low-Water Crossing Replacement Project was accepted. “This takes care of the easements for the pro-ject,” commented Mayor Dwain Hahs.

• Memorial Day: Alderman David Hitt informed the board that American Legion Post 158 will host a Memorial Day Celebration at 9 a.m. Monday, May 30. The guest speaker will be Libby Johnson, director of the new VA Health Care Center in Cape Girardeau.

• East Main Street repairs: The aldermen briefly discussed constituents’ concerns regarding the East Main Street repair (causing it to be reduced to one westbound lane) and the detour on Adams Street (to go east).

Public Works DirectorKent Peetz said the detour route was selected to keep it short. Other projects in the area will also impact traffic in the area and this was considered the best solution. “We looked at it a lot of different ways,” Peetz said. “We’re doing our best to keep traffic flowing through there safely and to keep the workers safe also,” he said.

• Courthouse fountain: Alderman Paul Sander reported that various levels of improvements are being considered for the fountain in front of the old county courthouse, ranging from minor improvements to a complete renovation. Once costs are known for each level of improvement, Sander will have more to report.

• Electric line: Don Schu-ette, director of electric utilities, reported that the Wedekind 73 feeder line is being upgraded with 14 pole replacements and upgrades made to the remainder of the poles. Four bids have been received. The matter will come to the aldermen for a vote at the next meeting.

• Sunset Drive bridge replacement: The aldermen discussed replacing the Sunset Drive bridge at Hwy. 61 N. One possibility is to move the bridge so it aligns with Francis Drive, but that would require a longer span, and since it would be a new entrance onto Hwy. 61, it would require MoDOT’s approval.

The current site might allow for a cheaper way to replace the Sunset Drive bridge foundation using a geosyn-thetic reinforced soil integral bridge system. Pre-engineering work is needed to decide upon the best location. The aldermen will consider approving the pre-engineering work at a future meeting.

• Ballot language: City Attorney Curtis Poore reported on the ballot language being prepared to request a bond issue for wastewater improvements that will be put on the August election ballot. “The goal in doing so is to keep it as simple as possible while including everything necessary under the law for voters to consider,” Poore said. “We’ve got it as simplified as we possible can.”

“There will need to be a good campaign to explain to the public what this is to do,” added Peetz. “It’s targeted at the wastewater facility to work for additional treatment capacity and to upgrade aging 30-year-old infrastructure.”

At the May 23 meeting, the Board will vote on the ballot language and decide whether to put it on the Aug. 2 ballot.

• Walk Jackson! Program: Peetz gave a brief presentation on the Walk Jackson! Program that had begun a couple of years before the COVID-19 pandemic and then was shut down the last two years.

City Engineer Anna Berg-mark is in charge of the program. “Instead of checking mileage and collecting [painted] rocks, she is going to do more of a social media campaign,” Peetz said. For more details, see the mayor’s column on page 5A.

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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