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National company may build facility in Jackson

An unnamed national company is looking to expand, and Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET is working to secure that expansion for Jackson, John Mehner, director of MAGNET, told the Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen during study session March 2.

Mehner said there were certain details about the company that could not be made public at that time, but it was important for the Aldermen to approve a Chapter 100 property tax abatement as an incentive for the company to build in Jackson.

When a national company looks to expand, it often considers locations where it already has a presence. To compete against other locations, Jackson can offer incentives to make the company want to move here. By providing a ready labor force and economic incentives, Jackson could move to the top of the list.

Missouri statutes allow cities, counties, towns and villages to issue revenue bonds to finance the costs of warehouses, distribution facilities, research and development facilities, office industries, agricultural processing industries and services facilities which provide interstate commerce.

Mehner said the company considering expansion falls under two of these categories: office industries, services facilities which offer interstate commerce.

Revenue bonds do not require voter approval. They do not obligate the city in any way. They are payable solely by revenues received from the project. The city applies the proceeds from the sale of bonds to purchase, construct, improve or equip an eligible project. In exchange, the company promises to make payments that are sufficient to pay the principal and interest on the bonds as they come due.

MAGNET is suggesting a partial property tax abatement—perhaps 50 percent—over 10 years. That means 50 percent of the property tax will still be collected, and after 10 years, 100 percent of the property tax will be collected.

And 50 percent of property tax on an improved property will be more tax collected than 100 percent of the tax on a vacant property.

MAGNET is also seeking sales tax exemption for the company on materials needed to construct a new facility which will be larger than 10,000 square feet. Once established here, the company may construct additional buildings in the future.

If the company expands in Jackson, it will mean at least 30 new jobs, Mehner said.

The Aldermen will decide on the Chapter 100 proposal at their next meeting March 16.

In other action:

Bed and breakfast: The Board of Aldermen approved  a special use permit for a bed and breakfast in an R-2 (single-family) residential district at 736 Greensferry Road, as requested by Christine M. Pagano.

A neighbor had raised questions about traffic hazards on Greensferry Road during a public hearing Feb. 19. City staff reported that there have been zero accidents in the past five years, and a speed trailer recorded that the average speed of cars at that location was 30 mph, which is the posted speed limit.

Appointment: The Board approved the mayor’s appointment of Joe Touchette to the University of Missouri Extension Office Council.

Water system: The Board approved a $9,316.47 change order to Nip Kelley Equipment Co., Inc., of Cape Girardeau, for its work on the Water System Facility Plan Implementation Project — Phase 2, Project 2A.

South Orchard Road Water System Interconnection Project: The Board approved an $11,040 task order to Koehler Engineering and Land Surveying, Inc., of Cape Girardeau, to provide inspection services for the South Orchard Road Water System Interconnection Project.

Deerwood Dr. and Hwy. 61 N: The Board approved a $12,900 traffic study at Deerwood Drive and U.S. Hwy. 61 N. to be done by the Lochmueller Group, Inc., of St. Louis. It is hoped that the results of this study will speed up the process of getting MoDOT to install traffic signals at this intersection.

• Easement abandonment: In study session, the Board discussed a request from Saint Francis Medical Center to abandon a sanitary sewer easement at 2122 E. Jackson Blvd. There are no utilities in that easement, which runs through the middle of the property (and the current building on that property). Saint Francis wants to raze the current structures and build a new facility on the property.

Water System Facility Plan Implementation: Lisa Fennewald of Horner & Shifrin requested that funds be shifted from one part of this project to another because bids came in low and an additional water main can be done sooner.

The overall cost of the project remains the same.

The project on East Main Street by Co-Op originally involved removing the railroad tracks, replacing pavement and water main work. However, with work going on at the roundabout on East Main Street and Shawnee Boulevard, it was decided to do only the water main replacement and do the railroad track removal and storm sewer work at another time. Doing only the water main work will allow traffic to continue to flow through this construction area.

Accessory dwellings: During study session, it was decided not to change the code of ordinances to allow accessory dwellings (mother-in-law apartments) in single-family neighborhoods.

“I like where we’re at,” said Alderman David Reiminger.

“I do too,” agreed Alderman David Hitt.

Allowing utility vehicles on roadways: The Board again discussed allowing all-terrain vehicles and utility vehicles (ATVs and UTVs) to be operated on city streets. It was decided that ATVs and golf carts would not be allowed, but a draft ordinance allowing UTVs will be considered at a future meeting.

City Manager Tom Ludwig reported that Perryville allows UTVs on city streets and has had no major problems.

There will be some restrictions as to their use, such as the minimum age of the driver must be 21 and have proof of insurance; UTVs must be driven during daylight hours; they will not be allowed on state highways except to cross them where the speed limit is 45 mph or less.

Not all the aldermen thought this was a good idea.

“I don’t see that we need this,” said Hitt.

“We’re opening a can of worms,” added Reiminger.

“I would be opposed,” said Alderman Katy Liley.

A draft resolution will be discussed March 16.

North Farmington pavement: It was agreed that doing a coring project to determine the pavement thickness and sub grade of Farmington Street was a good idea before repaving Farmington between Oak Street and Route D.

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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