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Jackson Board of Aldermen approves restroom design

The look of the new prefabricated concrete restroom for Jackson City Park received final approval by the Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen March 5.

A restroom committee made the choices, and its recommendations were made to the Board of Aldermen by Parks and Recreation Director Shane Anderson.

Although the walls and roof will be made of concrete, the structure will have the look of wood siding over a rock base with a peaked roof that looks like cedar shakes.

“The wall color is natural honey, with board & batt style siding. The rock trim is called Napa Valley. The roof is cedar-shake style” explained Anderson.

Now that the design has been approved, the contractor will order the restroom built to this specification. It will be about 12 weeks before the restroom is put in place.

It will be located near the girls softball field with a 14-stall parking lot accessible from Parkview, the street that runs through City Park.

Later this year, a walking trail will connect the restroom to the pool area to the north.

“Once we have this in, it will be well used,” said Anderson. “It’s right along a walking trail.”

In other action:

• Shipping containers: A public hearing was held to consider amendments to Chapter 65 of the Code of Ordinances to add regulations regarding shipping containers as specified allowable uses in certain zoning districts. They will not be allowed in the construction of occupied buildings.

Developer Quint Strong, who is currently building two structures in Cape Girardeau out of shipping containers, invited the Mayor and Board members to visit his construction sites in Cape. He said the idea of using shipping containers in building construction “has not completely evolved yet.” Because the steel is usually hidden from view in the final product, it sometimes makes economic sense to use it in certain buildings. “It’s broken down to high-strength steel,” he said.

No one else spoke at the public hearing. The matter will next be discussed March 19 during a Board of Aldermen study session.

• Sludge removal: The City contracted with Midwest Injection Inc. to haul away sludge from the wastewater treatment plant at a rate of 6.49¢ per gallon.

In the past, the City of Jackson hauled the sludge to farmer’s fields in huge trucks that resemble “monster trucks,” explained City Administrator Jim Roach. The City owns two trucks, and they are both more than 25 years old. It was getting time to consider replacing at least one truck, but the cost of a new one was in the range of $200,000. Instead of spending money for a new truck, it was decided to hire a company to haul it away. This approach also frees up manpower for other projects.

• Humane Society: The Humane Society had come before the Board of Aldermen on Jan. 22 to request that the annual fee of $22,000 for housing animals be raised to $28,792. The fee was based upon the numbers of animals brought to the shelter from Jackson in 2016.

Since that time, 2017 figures became available, and Jackson’s numbers of animals brought to the shelter went down.

The City administration recommended that the 2017 (lower) numbers be used in the formula to figure the fee. That brought the fee down to $26,000, which is still an increase but less than the original request.

“I think that sounds good,” said Alderman Katy Lily.

• Historic Preservation Commission: The Board agreed to change the rules for the Historic Preservation Commission so that a quorum would be three out of five members present instead of four out of five. It has been difficult at times to get a quorum present to vote on matters.

• Parking trailers on streets: In study session, the Board discussed a proposed revision to the motor vehicles and traffic code to solve a problem with a resident parking a trailer on the street in front of his home. The current code requires that the trailer on a residential street be moved every 72 hours, so the resident moves it a few feet to stay within the letter of the law while circumventing the spirit of the law.

After reviewing the proposed revision, the Board rejected it.

“I don’t know what I want, but this isn’t it,” said Alderman Larry Cunningham. It was decided to see what ordinances other cities have to address this issue and to meet with the police department for suggestions.

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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