It has been a long time coming, but it is about to begin. The remodeling of Jackson’s Fire Station No. 1 at the corner of Hwy. 61 N. and Hwy. 72 is about to take a giant step forward.
The Jackson Police Department once shared the building with Jackson Fire Rescue, but JPD moved out in the spring of 2020 when its new building next door was completed.
The former home of JPD (the west side of Station No. 1) has remained vacant as plans were made to determine the best use of the space when JFR expands into the whole building.
Consultant George Harris had presented architectural drawings to the Board of Aldermen during a study session on Feb. 21 of this year. At that time, the architect still had work to do on specifications for materials.
Harris updated the Mayor and Board of Aldermen on the progress of the remodeling at their Oct. 2 meeting. Harris reported that an advertisement for bids and the awarding of the contract will be completed by the end of this year. The construction/renovation work is expected to take 12-15 months to complete.
In other action
• Christmas party: the annual Christmas party for elected officials, appointed officials and city employees was set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Jackson Civic Center.
• Municipal election set: A bill was passed calling for a general municipal election on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, to fill the offices of the Board of Aldermen. Up for election will be the seats currently held by Paul Sander (Ward 1), Dave Reiminger (Ward 2), Michael Seabaugh (Ward 3) and Joe Bob Baker (Ward 4).
• Kimbeland pump station: The aldermen approved revised change order No. 2, correcting the project engin-eer’s scrivener’s error in the substantial and final completion dates. This change order was granted to RIHC Contracting of Perryville for work on the Kimbeland Pump Station Improvements Project.
• Concrete improvements: The aldermen approved change order No. 3, in the amount of $2,000.01, to Mike Light Cement Finishing, Inc., of Perryville, for work on the 2023 Concrete Pavement Improvement Program. Forty feet of curb and gutter had been inadvertently left out of the invoice.
• Litz Park pavilion and restroom: The aldermen supported a grant application with the Department of Natural Resources to help pay for the Litz Park Pavilion/Restroom Building Project. If the grant is approved by the DNR, the City will pay 50percent of the cost in matching funds.
• Sunset Drive bridge: The Aldermen authorized an Off-System Bridge Program agreement with MoDOT to help fund a replacement bridge over Hubble Creek at Sunset Drive (off of U.S. Hwy. 61 N.).
• Resubdivision: A resub-division of lot 1 of Green Meadows Commercial Park No. 5, as submitted by Ap-pleton Valley Farm, Inc., was approved.
• Employee insurance: During study session, it was announced that city employee health insurance will continue with Southeast-HEALTH. Premiums for 2024 will decrease between 1% and 1.5%.
• Abandonment of Royal Drive: The aldermen discussed the possible abandonment of Royal Drive, a street that exists on paper only in Forest Acres Subdivision. No city utilities exist in the right of way and none are planned to be placed there.
• East Jackson Boulevard street lights: Don Schuette, director of electric utilities, gave an update on the East Jackson Boulevard Lighting Project. The project will be bid in four phases, beginning at I-55 and working westward. The fourth phase, running between the entrances to Walmart and Aldi, will be bid as an alternate, and will be completed if it can be fit into the budget.