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Jackson’s wastewater bond issue request passes

The wastewater treatment plant’s round clarifiers in the foreground will be updated to improve their efficiency at a cost of $1.1 million and the oxidation ditches in the background will be improved at a cost of $1.8 million as part of the $10.1 million bond issue passed by voters Aug. 2. Photo by Gregory Dullum

Jackson’s plans to repair, modernize and add capacity to its wastewater treatment plant can go ahead unhindered. Voters overwhelmingly approved the city’s 10.1 million bond-issue request Aug. 2.

A total of 2,369 votes were cast on this ballot issue. Yes votes outnumbered No votes 1,857 (78.39%) to 512 (21.61%). Because it was a bond issue request, the matter needed at least 58% approval to pass.

During the Aug. 1 meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, Public Works Director Kent Peetz received a thank-you from four of the aldermen for the many talks he gave to inform the public of the need for this bond issue (including tours of the wastewater treatment plant).

With the passage of this issue, the 33-year-old wastewater treatment plant will get the improvements that it needs to more effectively treat wastewater and increase its capacity to meet the needs of this growing city for the next 10 years.

Eventually, the City may need to expand the wastewater treatment facility by adding more oxidation ditches and clarifiers in vacant land the city owns north of the current plant.

But for now, the following improvements, paid for by the bond issue, will meet its needs: sludge treatment upgrades ($4.2 million), building additions and upgrades ($948,000), Plant SCADA ($65,000), plant structure rehabilitation ($279,000), oxidation ditch upgrade ($1.8 million), screw pump rehabilitation ($1.1 million), splitter box wier ($40,000), clarifier rehabilitation ($1.1 million), flow monitoring ($100,000), 8-inch water line extension ($370,000) and plan amendment ($15,000).

The passage of this bond issue means sewer bills will go up slightly to repay the bonds. The average household that uses 5,000 gallons a month will see its rates increase from $31.41 to $34.56, or about a dime a day. The average business that uses 20,000 gallons will see its rates go from $83.16 to $91.48.

Other election results:

  • U.S. senate: Eric Schmitt came out on top of the Republican slate of 21 candidates for U.S. senate, to replace the retiring Roy Blunt. Schmitt received 378,275 votes (64.693%). Following behind Schmitt were Vicky Hartzler with 144,469 votes (22.074%) and Eric Greitens with 123,982 votes (18.944%). Schmitt will face Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine, Liberetarian Jonathan Dine and Paul Venable of the Constitution Party in November. Valentine received 158,583 votes (43.161%), defeating Lucas Kunce, who received 140,953 votes (38.363%), and nine other Democrat candidates.
  • State auditor: Republican Scott Fitzpatrick garnered 378,275 votes (64.693%) to defeat David Gregory, who received 206,452 votes (35.307%). Fitzpatrick will face Democrat Alan Green and Libertarian John A. Hartwig, Jr., in November.
  • U.S. Representative: Incumbent Republican Jason Smith handily defeated challenger Jacob Turner in District 8. Smith received 78,317 votes (81.958%); Turner received 17,240 votes (18.042%). Smith will face Democrat Randi McCallian and Libertarian Jim Higgins in November.
  • State representative: In District 147 (Cape Girardeau), John Voss received 1,616 votes (40.040%) to become the Republican candidate in November. He defeated Elaine Edgar, who received 1,236 votes (30.624%) and Nathan Thomas, who received 1,184 votes (29.336%). Voss will face Democrat Andy Leighton and Libertarian Greg Tlapek in November.
  • Circuit clerk: Republican Charleen (“Charlie”) Biester lost her bid for reelection as circuit clerk in Cape Girardeau County. Ashley Schuessler eked out a victory with 3,684 votes (40.31%). Biester received 3,515 votes (38.46%) and Daniel Leim-bach finished a distant third with 1,941 votes (21.24%).

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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