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Leapin’ lizards! Reptile rescue runs into roadblock requesting special use permit

Dru and Tara Reeves have run a reptile rescue operation out of their home at 2745 Mansfield Place for years.

However, when visitors to their home began causing traffic and parking problems for the neighbors, someone complained to the City. Reptile rescues may make a fine in-home hobby, but when the Reeves began conducting tours and adopting out their animals, their hobby became an in-home business and needed a special use permit.

A public hearing was conducted by the Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen March 16. Numerous people spoke for and against the Reeve’s request for a special use permit to operate their reptile rescue from their home in an R-2 (single-family residential) district.

Most who spoke in favor had been to their home, toured it, adopted animals from it and learned how to care for their pet.

Most of those opposed were not against the work itself—they were opposed to the location. Many claimed the operation caused traffic congestion and some said the business adversely affected the character of their neighborhood.

The Board of Aldermen tabled the Reeve’s request and discussed the matter in study session. After a lengthy discussion among themselves, the Aldermen agreed to let the special use permit come before them again at the next meeting April 6.

In other action

• Other public hearings: Two other public hearings were held. Gregory and Caroline Yielding requested a rezoning for 402 East Adams from I-2 (heavy industrial) to C-3 (central business), so the property could be sold and developed for residential use.

Crader Tire requested a special use permit for a temporary mobile office in a C-2 (general commercial) district at 5218 Birk Lane, because its building was damaged by a tornado.

No one spoke in opposition of these two requests, and the Board of Aldermen later granted both requests.

• Water System: The Board approved a $60,100  increase in expenditures to Horner & Shifrin, Inc., of St. Louis for engineering services under the Water System Facility Plan Implementation Project, Phase 2.

The additional amount was requested for two reasons: additional work was requested by the City in the current phase, and work was moved from a later phase to this phase.

• 911 dispatch: The City entered into an agreement with the County to share 911 dispatch services at the new County Dispatch Center in the Sheriff’s Office. The City and County have shared the capital costs of construction, equipment and software. They will share the cost of operation based upon usage.

• UJRO: The City entered into a contract with the Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization to allow it to use a portion of City Hall for offices.

• Industrial revenue bonds: The Board passed a resolution supporting the issuance of industrial revenue bonds to finance an industrial development in Jackson.

• Stockpiled brush: The low bid of $32,800 was accepted from Tree-Line, LLC, of Altenburg to dispose of stockpiled brush. In the past, brush was burned by the City, but citizen complaints and stricter DNR regulations moved the City to seek an alternative means of disposal.

• Swimming pool: The Board accepted the low bid of Robert Boitnott Painting of Cape Girardeau in the amount of $28,820, to paint and rehabilitate the municipal swimming pool.

• Asphalt pavement: The Board approved a $3,740 task order to Koehler Engineering & Land Surveying, Inc., of Cape Girardeau, for its work on the Farmington Road Asphalt Pavement Investigation Project.

• Easement abandonment: The Board approved a request by Saint Francis Medical Center to abandon a sanitary sewer easement at 2122 E. Jackson Boulevard. There are no utilities in the easement of this property, and Saint Francis wants to build a new structure over this easement.

• Warren Place: The Board approved a minor plat of Warren Place Subdivision, Phase 3, as submitted by Warren Place, L.C.

The Board also authorized a contract for the sale of real estate with Warren Place for Lot No. 1, Phase 3, relative to the Kimbeland Lift Station Bypass and Upgrade Project.

• Police station: The Board was updated about the construction of the new police station. Although most of the work may be done in April, the contract end date is May 28. That will be the latest date that the police department will be able to move into its new quarters. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held after that date.

• Optimist plaque: In study session, the Board discussed a request by the Optimists to place a plaque on Pavilion No. 5 at City Park to honor Don Sievers’ service with the Optimists. The club is donating the replacement cost of the shelter (minus what insurance covered) after it was destroyed by a wind storm last June 21. (The original structure was also funded by the Optimists.)

• UTVs on city streets: After discussing with JPD Chief James Humphreys the matter of allowing utility vehicles to operate on Jackson city streets, Alderman Larry Cunningham told the Board in study session that he is withdrawing his request to allow them.

• Tobacco sales: It was discussed in study session that the city code needs to be updated to match new federal regulations regarding tobacco products. The city code limits the sale to those over 18; the new federal regulations have raised the age limit to 21.

• Parking on Farmington: The Board is considering eliminating parking on N. Farmington Road between W. Main Street and an alley a block north of Main Street. The next step is to notify affected property owners, so they may attend a future study session.

• I-55 signs: The Board discussed the desire to have MoDOT put a sign on I-55 at Exit 102 which will warn drivers that Exit 99 is closed and they should use Exit 102.

In addition, the City agreed to send a letter to MoDOT to show support for a sign to be placed under a “Welcome to Jackson” sign that would contain business logos (and be paid for by those businesses) that will tell drivers to use Exit 102 to get to them. (This sign will be posted during the diverging diamond intersection construction, which will close exit 99).

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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