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Jackson police to receive car camera through grant

A Jackson police car will receive a new car camera, thanks to a $3,018.75 grant awarded by MIRMA Risk management.

“We like to see cameras on police officers and in their cars,” said Patrick Bonnot of MIRMA (Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association), as he addressed the Mayor and Board of Aldermen Jan. 23.
The grant covered 75 percent of the cost of the camera, which cost a total of about $4,000.

In addition, the Jackson Police Department was recognized for achieving 100 percent in officer training in 2017. Captain Scott Eackers said every officer met the criteria that was presented in a “slough of online training.”

In other action:

• Financial statement: The Board approved the semi-annual financial statement ending Dec. 31, 2018.

• Police station: The Board authorized the payment of a stipend to Kiefner Brothers, Inc., of Cape Girardeau, for $32,500 as required by Missouri statute under the design-build method to acquire a nonexclusive right to use the information in the technical proposal submitted by the design-builder.

• Diverging diamond: The Board approved a task order in the amount of $22,200 to Allen & Hoshall of Memphis, TN, to provide engineering services for the electric line relocation in the diverging diamond interchange at I-55 and East Jackson Boulevard.

• Soccer lighting: The Board approved the payment of $11,700 to Strickland Engineering of Jackson to provide engineering services for the lighting of soccer fields in Jackson’s Soccer Park.

In study session, the Board discussed soccer field lighting with Parks Director Shane Anderson. Donations will be accepted to light the second of six fields. Over time, it is hoped that all six may be lighted, but the project will be completed in phases as funds become available.

• Storm sewer: The Board approved a task order in the amount of $12,630 to HR Green, Inc., of Chesterfield, for providing engineering services under the Separate Storm Sewer System Permit Program.

• Bonds for Water and Sewer: The Board authorized the issuance of Combined Waterworks and Sewerage System Revenue Bonds, Series 2019. These bonds will pay for Phase 2 of the program. Phase 1 is complete and took three years. The program is upgrading the City’s water lines, from two-inch and four-inch up to eight-inch lines. “It’s a good program that will continue,” said City Administrator Jim Roach.

• East Main Street median break: The Board approved an increase of $1,800 in expenditures to Cochran Engineering of Union for the additional construction phase of the East Main Street median break project.

• Public hearings set: The Board set two public hearings for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20. The first will consider a special use permit for a service and education facility for individuals with disabilities in an R-2 (single family residential) district at 2245 Old Toll Road, as submitted by the Kenneth E. Storey Revocable Trust.

The second is to consider a special use permit for a parking lot for the new courthouse in an R-4 (general residential) district  at 211 N. Missouri and 207 Cherry St., as submitted by the County of Cape Girardeau.

• East Main & Oak Hill Road: The Board accepted the dedication of a temporary construction easement deed from Harold J. Werner for the traffic signal project at East Main Street and Oak Hill Road.

• Dangerous building: Alderman Joe Bob Baker mentioned that there is an apartment building on South Bellevue Street that does not look bad from the front but is in poor condition in the back of the building. “It’s terrible,” he said. “The neighbors shouldn’t have to live by that.”

Under the present dangerous building code, the City can’t do much about the situation. If the City tells the owner to fix a broken window, the owner can board it up instead of replacing the window with another window. Baker suggested that a City adopt some type of property maintenance code.

Janet Sanders, Building and Planning Superintendent, said there is a property maintenance code already written by the International Code Council that could be adopted by Jackson. “Some things we’d want to strip out of it,” she suggested. “It’s pretty strict.”

Alderman Larry Cunning-ham said he thought it would be a good idea for Jackson to develop a property maintenance code.

Use tax: In study session, the Board discussed the use tax education and outreach strategy with Dana Thomas of Bold Marketing. She said it was important that questions from the public be answered in the same way, so everyone will have the same information when voting on the use tax in April.

She stressed the importance of stating what the additional $600,000 a year in revenue would be used for. The main three things are start-up costs for curbside recycling (purchasing a truck and bins), building a new aquatic center and lighting East Jackson Boulevard between Walmart and Buchheit.

Information will be approved by the Board Feb. 4 and will start going out to the public soon after that. Information will be included in utility bills at the end of February.

Brookside ball fields: The Board was told that the City is applying for a $160,000 grant from the MDNR Land and Water Conservation Fund to help build two ballfields in Brookside Park.

The City must put up half, or $80,000 if the grant is awarded, but a baseball league has already donated $30,000 toward the ballfields. That means the City only has to put up $50,000 of its own money. It will use $20,000 from the Parks and Recreation sales tax and $30,000 from revenue received from casinos if the grant is approved.

Alderman Dave Reiminger said he thought it was a good deal for the City to put in $50,000 of its own money to get back a $180,000 grant.

These grants are very competitive. Last year, there were 40 grant requests and only eight were funded.

A resolution to approve the grant submission will come before the Board Feb. 4.

• Police station: Sanders informed the Board that Penzel Construction will need to use the southern tip of City Cemetery as a parking lot during construction of the new police station. That area has been platted for cemetery plots but those plots were never sold and the land is currently unused. No permanent structure will remain on cemetery property.

Sanders said that City staff will take as many steps as possible to make sure that City records are correct and no one is buried in those plots. “It is a sensitive piece of property,” she said.

• 911 dispatch: The Board was told in study session that it will soon be asked to pay for a portion of the new $300,000 911 dispatch office in Cape County Sheriff’s Office. The cities of Cape Girardeau and Jackson will pay half of the cost and the rest will be paid by the County. Jackson’s portion is almost $85,000.

In addition, software to run the new equipment is expected to cost $300,000. The City of Cape Girardeau will pay half of that cost and the County and Jackson will split the remaining $150,000, paying approximately $75,000 each.
There will be operational costs that have not yet been calculated.

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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