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Homecomers coming to Uptown last week of July

File photo

Remodeling inside the old courthouse and the orange fencing on the courthouse lawn to keep people away threatened to cause problems for Jackson’s Homecomers celebration this year. Organizers were not sure if the entire layout of the event would have to be changed.

“This year has been kind of a question mark for us in a lot of ways,” said Larry Koehler, a member of the Altenthal-Joerns American Legion Post 158 in Jackson, which sponsors Homecomers.

Speaking to the Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen during study session May 15, Koehler explained, “With the construction at the old courthouse, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to set up the stage there or not. If we could not, that would create a lot of problems. We want to keep the vendors and the stage together at the end of the street [High Street]. If we had to start moving a lot of stuff, that would have put a load on our electrical department to take care of that.

“We have been fortunate, in that the county commissioners have assured us that the area in front of the courthouse where we put the stage will be available for Homecomers week. That relieved a lot of pressure on us, and it will pretty much be Homecomers as usual.

“The dates this year will be July 25-29, the last full week of July,” Koehler announced.

A special permit request allows for the following:

The stage will be set up on the Saturday morning before Homecomers.

Some street closures will begin Sunday afternoon for carnival rides to start setting up. Additional street closures will happen after 5 p.m. Monday.

After Homecomers ends Saturday night, the streets will be cleared by 8 a.m. Sunday. The stage will be removed Sunday morning.

One other change this year: restrooms in the old courthouse will not be open to the public this year, so additional porta-potties will be set up for Homecomers. In the past, some were set up at the corner of Barton and Main streets. Additional ones will be set up either there or at the corner of Court and Main streets.

Homecomers has been an annual event since 1908. It was held originally to celebrate the construction of what is now the old courthouse, Koehler said.

In other action

• Power plant HVAC: A $12,225 bid from Langford Mechanical and Sheet Metal of Jackson was accepted and a contract was authorized to replace the power plant control room HVAC rooftop unit.

• City pool: An $8,250 quote from Capri Pools & Aquatics of Evansville, IL, was accepted and a contract was authorized to purchase and install a chemical controller at the municipal swimming pool.

In addition, $1,725 worth of chemicals and a chemical feeder were purchased from the same company.

• SEMPO: The appointments of Jackson Mayor Dwain Hahs and City Administrator James Roach to serve on the board of directors of the Southeast Metropolitan Planning Organization was approved. Also approved was the appointment of Rodney Bollinger, director of administrative services, as an alternate.

• Main Street Pedestrian Safety Study: The aldermen accepted the Main Street Pedestrian Study that was prepared by Lochmueller Group of Saint Louis.

• Rezoning: Two public hearings were set for 6 p.m. Monday, June 5, to consider comprehensive rezoning requests.

The City is requesting that 403 and 409 E. Main St. and 108 S. Georgia St. be rezoned from I-2 (heavy industrial) to C-3 (central business) to allow for the sale or repair of the homes on those properties. (They are currently a nonconforming use.)

The county is requesting that 204, 207, 208 and 212 Cherry St. and 211 and 219 N. Missouri St. be rezoned from R-4 (general residential) to C-3 (central business), as they have been converted into parking lots.

• Sunset Drive bridge: The aldermen supported a resolution to apply to Mo-DOT for financial assistance to replace the Sunset Drive bridge (off Hwy. 61 North) over Hubble Creek.

• Sewer: The aldermen accepted the dedication of sanitary sewer easement deeds from the Brandes Family Protection Trust, the Kirby J. Hahn Revocable Trust and the Leon Eftink Voluntary Trust relative to the South Old Orchard Road lateral sewer project.

• Police officer training: Assistant Police Chief Alex Broch introduced the aldermen to Trey Parker, a police recruit who was sent through the police academy by JPD. He attended the academy Jan. 3-May 11.

Parker was hired prior to being POST certified. JPD paid him a salary as he attended the academy, and after graduating, he was commissioned as a police officer May 12.

This is a new recruiting incentive, similar to those used by the cities of Cape Girardeau and Sikeston and Cape and Scott counties.

• Park Board: Parks and Recreation Director Jason Lipe reported on the May 8 Park Board meeting.

He noted that more than 100 people volunteered to help clean City Park on Park Day April 29. “We finally broke the Shane Anderson curse; it didn’t rain on Park Day,” he jested. Anderson is the former Parks and Recreation director; it rained nearly every year on Park Day when he ran the department.

The Soccer Park is in phase 2 of improvements to add three fields. The irrigation and electricity have been installed. The next step will be getting the ground ready for sod. The fields should be ready for use in the fall.

Swimming pool renovations are being designed.

Twenty sets of bleachers were delivered on May 3. Once all of the concrete pads are in place, the bleachers will be installed.
The new Union Street restroom should be delivered in mid-August. Once a definite date is received, a schedule will be set for demolition of the old restroom.

Koehler Engineering has done the site survey for the playground and pavilion to be installed at the Civic Center.
Fencing and basketball goals in the city parks will be replaced in time for basketball tournaments July 1.

• Fire Rescue Training Center: Jackson Fire Rescue will bring a resolution for approval at the June 3 meeting to allow joint use of Jackson’s Fire Rescue Training Center with other fire departments and the Career and Technical Center firefighter students.

• Community Safety Event: Fire Chief Jason Mouser discussed a community safety event to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 3, near the new bridge over Hubble Creek in the middle of City Park.

There will be fire trucks, food trucks, a smoke house, extrication and rescue demonstrations, and other events throughout the day for the whole family to enjoy, he said.

• Walk Jackson: City Engineer Anna Bergmark discussed Walk Jackson, a program which started May 21, in honor of Public Works Week.

Participants from the public may start at any time and win prizes for taking part. The grand prize is a two-hour pool party at the municipal pool.

• Road striping: To help reduce speeding on Greens-ferry Road, a double yellow line will be painted down the middle. This will be contracted out this summer.

East Main Street may also be re-striped because the old striping is wearing out, and West Main Street may be striped and have parking spots repainted to help reduce traffic speed there.

“Both of those (double yellow lines down the middle of the road and wider parking spots on each side) create a visual narrowing of the roadway,” Bergmark said. “Some of the reading I’ve done shows that striping can reduce people’s average speed by 2-7 mph.”

She asked for a head-nod approval from the aldermen before proceeding with contracting out the work.

• Water meter replacement project: Public Works Director Janet Sanders said the City has been working for years to move water meters from inside of private homes into the yards. “We currently have 1,000 left,” she said. It is now down to the point where the City may be able to afford to have the project contracted out and completed. If it’s not contracted out, the work “will continue to go on for years,” she said.

A task order will be brought to the aldermen at a future date to authorize Horner and Shifrin to work up specs for this project and see if it is affordable to proceed with hiring out the work.

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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