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Jackson to seek input on comprehensive plan

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The City of Jackson is updating its Comprehensive Plan, a roadmap for the City to direct its growth and development over the next 20 years, and it is seeking your input.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen briefly discussed the plan during study session Oct. 3.

The Comprehensive Plan will outline the existing conditions of the city, describe goals and objectives for development, and include an action plan for achieving them.

A community workshop is planned for 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Jackson Civic Center, 381 E. Deerwood Dr., Jackson.

This workshop will introduce the planning process and ask for public input regarding their concerns before recommendations are crafted.

The following evening will be a business workshop from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Jackson Civic Center. This will be an opportunity for business owners and operators to express their concerns.

The City has contracted Houseal Lavigne Associates to update the plan. The current plan, also developed by Houseal Lavigne, has been used by the city since 2009.

To access the project website, visit and click on the “Help Shape Jackson’s Future” link.

Included on the website is an online questionaire, a mapping tool that allows specific locations of interest or concern to be highlighted and a DIY workshop kit for groups who would like to get together with family, friends, neighbors or organizations to hold a mini workshop of their own.

In other action

• Public hearings: Three public hearings were held.

The first was to consider the voluntary annexation of property at 385, 389 and 391 Timber Lane, as submitted by JWRPM Properties, Inc.

Chris Collier spoke in favor of the annexation, saying the properties have problems with their septic systems. He wants them to be annexed into the city to make city sewer available. No one spoke in opposition.

The second hearing was to consider a special use permit for a towing business in a C-2 (general commercial district) at 1405 S. Farmington Rd., as submitted by Land Escapes, LLC. Two residents spoke in opposition, citing safety issues and its proximity to their residential area.

Applicant Pat Morgan spoke in favor, but he said he had originally planned a 400-foot buffer of trees between the business and the residential area, and that would no longer be possible because dirt needed to be moved as parts of the property had to be raised 6 feet, and that buffer area would be graded to acquire the dirt.

The lack of a tree buffer led the aldermen to unanimously turn down his request later in the meeting.

The third public hearing was to consider a special use permit for shipping containers as a long-term storage in a C-2 (general commercial) district at 957 W. Independence St., as submitted by Brennon Todt. With no opposition expressed, this request was granted later in the meeting.

• Utility easement: The aldermen abandoned a utility easement at 2024 Watson Dr., as requested by the Bill C, and Shelly L. Zellmer Trust.

• LIHEAP: The City entered into an agreement with the Missouri Department of Social Services Family Support Division to provide federal funds to residents who qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

• Paving: A change order was approved in the amount of $57,857.39 to Paving Pros, LLC, of Oak Ridge, for work on the 2022 Asphalt Pavement Improvement Project. The increase in cost was due to unsuitable subgrade.

• Concrete: Change Order No. 2, in the amount of $17,593.20 to Fronabarger Concreters, Inc., of Oak Ridge, was approved. This change order was needed to approve the final quantities for the 2022 Concrete Pavement Improvement Project. Additional work was needed to complete the project due to changes since the original estimate.

• Trail: A $101,000 task order was approved to Smith & Company Engineers of Poplar Bluff to provide engineering services under the Hubble Creek Recreation Trail Project, Phase 3.

• Soccer park: The $62,437.50 bid from Fronabargers Concreters Inc., of Oak Ridge was accepted and a contract was authorized for work on the Soccer Park Phase 1 Drainage Improvement Project.

The aldermen also approved a Park Memorial & Donatioin Form from the Jackson Area Organized Soccer Association for a donation of field improvements at the soccer park and approved a Memorandum of Understanding with JAOSA.

JAOSA will build and maintain a large soccer field (that can be divided into two smaller ones) and a smaller field next to it on land the City purchased from JIDC. The value of this donation is $154,000.

• Savers Farm Subdivision: A Memorandum of Understanding between the City and Cape Land & Development, LLC, was approved. This allows the developer to develop Subdivisions 8 and 9 within the city limits, although the only access is through other parts of the subdivision which are outside of the city limits.

• Elks parking: A Memorandum of Understanding with Elks Lodge No. 2652 B.P.O.E. was approved, allowing overflow parking from City Park events to use the Elks parking lot across the street.

• Employee insurance: Todd Obergoenner from Swinford & Associates discussed employee medical insurance with the aldermen during study session. He said there is a 0.8 percent increase in premiums, which is for all practical purposes a “flat renewal.” He recommended no changes in the health plans and no increase in premiums to employees.

• Holiday Extravaganza: The aldermen were informed during study session that one bid was received for installing the holiday lights in City Park for the Holiday Extravaganza. Lite Designs and Guttering bid $10,744.80 for 2022, $11,013.42 for 2023, and $11,288.76 for 2024. Staff recommended awarding the bid to Lite Designs & Guttering based on the price, prior history of quality service. The price includes labor for lighting the new traffic bridge over Hubble Creek (the city pays for the lights).

• Citizen concerns: During non-agenda citizen input, several Jackson residents complained about speeding on Greensferry Road, Independence Street and Michael Anna Street. JPD will be alerted to speeding on city streets and the Street Department will check the potholes on Michael Anna Street, which were also a concern. Independence is a state highway; to lower the speed limit there, citizens could petition MoDOT, they were told.

A representative from Oktoberfest requested that more power pedastals be installed Uptown so more vendors could be part of Oktoberfest, but she was told there is limited ectrical power to supply the area.

To make more electricity available would require infrastructure improvements, which Don Schuette, director of electric ultilities, will investigate.

Another resident complained abut a large trailer parked on the street near his home.

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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