Jackson continues to be the fastest growing community in Southeast Missouri with a population of more than 15,000 and robust business development, Brian Gerau, president and CEO of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, reported to the Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen Sept. 5.
When business is good, sales tax receipts go up. Retail sales tax in Jackson has experienced 39% growth in the last five years, from $224 million to $312 million.
The following businesses opened in Jackson in 2023: Big Boiz Crawfish Boiled Food Stand; Country Financial Michael Hines Agency; Dimples Ice Cream Truck; Innovative Products Rainbow Vacuum Sales and Service; Inspire Craft Mall; JK MMD Investments, LLC (doing business as Good Day Farm Marijuana Dispensary); Joseph Moore Book Sales; Joyce’s Beauty & Blading; KW Que, LLC, Food truck; Links by Leigh Permanent Jewelry; Little Things Boutique, LLC; Living Water Christian Counseling Services, LLC; Marsala Pringle Artist; Mrs. J’s Food Shack Mobile Truck; Oehl Farms Beef Sales; Paul Miller (doing business as Miller Honey Vendor); Paw Talk Dog Training Academy; Solar Lounge & Boutique Tanning Services; The Ice Box Shaved Ice Sales; Sugar Chic; Heavenly Pools; Circle Fiber; Daniel’s Roofing; Juniper Creek; Redefined Health; and Wes Langston Photography.
The Chamber is “working hard to develop” the vacant land at I-55 exits 99 (East Jackson Boulevard) and 102 (East Main Street), Gerau said. Exit 102 would be a “prime location for a truck stop, and we know that would generate some sales tax for the city,” Gerau said. “I think we have reached out to almost every truck stop known to man and have sent them information and tried to set up tours and appointments with them to really showcase what Jackson has,” he said. In addition to truck stops, restaurants, big box stores and movie theaters have been contacted.
There have been some delays at Exit 99 because MoDOT has been appraising the land around the diverging diamond interchange. When the appraisal is completed —perhaps by late fall — the land may go up for bid, Gerau said. Once that land is up for bid, additional hotels, restaurants or retail stores may come to Jackson at that location.
In other action
• Brian Meier special event: The aldermen authorized the use of outside speakers from to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at 542 W. Independence St., for a benefit for Brian Meier, as requested by Jackson Elks Lodge #2652. (Meier recently died of brain cancer. His obituary is on page 4A.)
• Firefighters grant: The aldermen accepted funding through the 2022 FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant to replace a fill station used to fill self-contained breathing apparatus cylinders. The grant is for $80,000. The City’s matching part will be $8,000.
• Water line easement: A water line easement deed from Regions Bank was accepted for the East Jackson Boulevard Water Line Replacement Project.
• Change orders due to scheduling delays: Three change orders were approved extending the time on projects.
A change order was granted to Nip Kelley Equipment of Cape Girardeau, extending the time frame for completing the Union Street restroom in City Park.
Capri Pools & Aquatics of Edwardsville, IL, was granted time extensions for the purchase of chemicals and the installation of a chemical controller and a chemical feeder at the city pool.
• Playground at Civic Center: The aldermen accepted the proposal of Play & Park Structures of MO, of Park Hills, in the amount of $56,019.47 for playground equipment at the Civic Center. A contract was authorized.
• Asphalt preventative maintenance: The aldermen accepted the bid of Corrective Asphalt Materials, LLC, of $34,041.60 to purchase an asphalt rejuvenating agent for the Asphalt Preventative Maintenance Program.
• Annwood Estates: Public Works Director Janet Sanders told the aldermen that after studying the traffic situation in Annwood Estates that led to a recent accident, staff is recommending that stop signs be added to two-way stops on the east end and at the entrance to the subdivision, to make them four-way and three-way stops respectively. Residents had requested the additional stop signs. They also requested that the speed limit be lowered from 30 to 20 mph, but staff recommends that the speed limit stay at 30 mph to be consistent with other subdivisions in town. The matter will come before the aldermen for a vote Sept. 18.
• Quail Creek bridge: The aldermen discussed modifications to the Quail Creek Bridge. The city built the bridge on private property to gain access to a lift station, and while it maintains the bridge, it doesn’t own it.
The bridge could use additional railings for safety and extra signage letting drivers know it is a private road. The property owners must approve the changes. Discussions will be held with them.
• Event power Uptown: The aldermen discussed the availability of electricity in Uptown Jackson for special events such as Homecomers and Oktoberfest.
• Asphalt Improvement: During study session, the aldermen discussed a change order to the Asphalt Paving Improvement Program to repair damage on Missouri Street where a tree was removed and a new section of sidewalk was put in place.
• New website: The aldermen were updated on the new city website.