Tourism is a good thing; it brings fresh dollars into a community and it can lead to growth. When Jackson learned it was going to receive American Rescue Plan Act funds, the aldermen decided a portion of those funds would go to tourism.
Two local organizations have each requested about $100,000-$150,000 of the city’s ARPA funds for tourism projects: the Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization and Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce.
“The Missouri Department of Economic Development has come out with their proposal for matching grants for tourism,” Mayor Dwain Hahs informed the Jackson Board of Aldermen Nov. 21. “The minimum is $250,000. So we have to have at least $250,000 of spending and then we can ask for a match of $250,000,” he explained. The two separate requests are too low to qualify for a matching grant.
The city is looking at the possibility of combining the two proposals and submitting them as one project to the state on behalf of the City of Jackson in order to qualify for the grant. The UJRO and JACOC would each be responsible for completing their projects if the grant would be approved.
By acquiring this grant, the city could double the money it would have available to spend on tourism. If this doesn’t work out, the city will continue its plans to fund those proposals with its own ARPA funds at the original amounts.
In other action:
• Meeting date changes: The meeting dates for two Mayor and Board of Aldermen regular meetings and study sessions were changed because of holidays. The Jan. 2 meeting was moved to Tuesday, Jan. 3, and the Jan. 16 meeting was changed to Tuesday, Jan. 17.
• Insurance: A proposal from Standard Insurance Co. of Portland, OR, to provide services under the 2023 Employee Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance Benefit Plan was accepted and a contract was approved.
• Public hearing set: A public hearing was set for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, to consider the rezoning of 2033 W. Jackson Blvd. from an I-1 (light industrial) to a C-2 (general commercial) district as submitted by heirs of Walter and Norma Sewing. The home cannot be sold because of incorrect zoning.
• UJRO: A contract with UJRO was authorized for it to provide services to the City of Jackson.
•Roundabout: The aldermen briefly discussed the aesthetics of the proposed roundabout at Deerwood Drive and U.S. Hwy 61.
Alderman Wanda Young suggested some kind of stone work similar to the roundabout at U.S. Hwy. 61 and East Main Street.
Alderman Paul Sander said he would like this roundabout to be “the nicest one of the three” as it serves as a “gateway to Jackson.”
Alderman Katy Liley suggested that a flag be displayed like in the roundabout at Shawnee Boulevard and East Main Street.
It was suggested that city staff look at the design and landscaping of other round-abouts to get more ideas.
• Personnel policies: The aldermen also discussed the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual. Mayor Hahs suggested adding June 19 as a holiday (Juneteenth), since it is now a federal holiday that is observed by the state and county.