The COVID-19 pandemic has not prevented the Jackson business community from growing. Jen Berti, vice president of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, updated the Mayor and Board of Aldermen on business growth during the Board’s study session Nov. 2.
She noted the following:
• Sappington Pro Outdoor moved from its old location to the former Ashley Furniture building. That means moving from a 17,000 to a 53,000 square foot building. There has been some interest expressed in the old Sappington building.
• The old Country Mart is now officially Harps Food Store.
• SEMO Crawfish, 3582 East Jackson Blvd., opened June 16, but had its ribbon-cutting scheduled for Nov. 5.
• Best Western Plus opened in July at East Jackson Boulevard and Old Orchard Road.
• Scooter’s Coffee opened Aug. 17 at 601 E. Jackson Boulevard.
• Domino’s Pizza opened at its new location at 2370 E. Main Street Aug. 24.
• The Man Cave Haircut & Shave, 1335 Old Cape Road, opened Aug. 31.
• Seed & Sow Growth Co. at 131 W. Main St. opened in September. It offers personalized tutoring, online learning support and safe small-group instruction.
• Machos Tacos at 515 W. Main St., opened Sept. 24.
• Sounds of Mind Counseling at 810 E. Jackson Blvd. opened in September.
• Lorenz and Lorenz moved from Cape to a Jackson office.
• Blazin’ Car Wash is under construction behind the Century 21 building near Walmart. It is expected to open in early 2021.
• DB’s BBQ will open early next year just west of Jackson on Highway 72.
• Fuel on West Main Street next to Ford & Sons Funeral Home will offer food, drink and live music. The opening date is to be determined.
• Construction is well underway on the new K-Coe Isom building on Main Street.
• Construction has begun on the new Saint Francis Primary and urgent care facility at 2130 E. Jackson Blvd.
These new businesses will create at least 140 new jobs.
In addition, sales tax receipts are up 11 percent in Jackson this year.
• MIRMA presents grants: Patrick Bonnot, representating MIRMA Risk Management, presented grant awards valued at $2,508.62 to the Jackson Police Department for a car dash camera and to the Jackson Parks and Recreation Department for chainsaw protective chaps.
• UJRO: The Board had previously tabled a motion regarding the renewal of a contract between the City and the Uptown Jackson Revitalization. The Board removed the motion from the table and approved the two-year contract and annual fee of $25,000.
• Fee increases: The Board approved a new fee schedule for the Civic Center, beginning Jan. 1, 2021.
Meeting room rentals increased $10. Wedding reception packages will increase from $650 to $700 and birthday party packages will increase from $85 to $100. Full gym rentals will increase $100.
• Public hearings set: A public hearing was set for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, to consider the proposed 2021 City of Jackson Annual Budget, which also includes rate adjustments for city utilities.
A separate public hearing was set for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, to consider a request by Lisa Boyd to vacate a portion of the Short Street public right-of-way in the Southwestern realty and Improvement Co. Subdivision.
• Utility poles: The Board amended the Code of Ordinances regarding utility pole attachment licenses and authorized an agreement with Big River Broadband, LLC, of Cape Girardeau, allowing the company to install fiber optic cable onto City utility poles.
• Low water crossings: The Board authorized the payment of $108,909 to Cochran Engineering of Farmington to provide engineering services for the West Mary Street Low Water Crossing Replacement Project.
• Crosswalk: The City authorized a new crosswalk on Parkview Street in City Park. It will be 225 feet west of Hubble ford.
• Mural: The City approved a license agreement with McQuaid Enterprises, LLC, of Jackson, for the company to maintain and repair the City’s mural on East Main Street.
• City insurance: During study session, the Board discussed changing insurance providers. If the City stayed with United Healthcare, and made no plan changes, there would be a 20.9 percent increase in the cost.
The City is considering switching to SoutheastHEALTH’s “narrow network,” which would offer the same benefits at the same costs as this year’s contract with United. The downside is that Saint Francis providers would be out of network.
The decision will be made at the next Board meeting on Nov. 16.
• New dugouts: During study session, the Board heard about a proposal from the Jackson R-2 School District to build concrete dugouts at softball field No. 5 in Jackson City Park and donate them to the City. The School Districts uses that softball field. The estimated value of the dugouts is $20,000. The Board will formally accept the donation Nov. 16.