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National retailer interested in vacant lots if they are rezoned

The Jackson Board of Aldermen set a public hearing for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, to consider the rezoning of 2421 and 2505 East Jackson Boulevard and 2615 Hilltop Drive.

Two of the properties are currently zoned residential, and one is commercial. The request is that they all three be zoned C-2 (general commercial) and O-1 (professional office).

The request is being made by the Donna R. Rushing Revocable Trust, the Roger L. Yancey Revocable Living Trust, and the Charlotte D. Yancey Living Trust.

Houses on the properties were demolished this past summer and the land is now vacant. An undisclosed national retailer has expressed interest in purchasing the three adjoining properties that offer a total of 6.7 acres with frontage on East Jackson Boulevard.

In other action:
• Engineering services: The Board approved a task order authorizing a payment of $28,300 to Horner and Shifrin, Inc., of St. Louis to provide engineering services under the Wastewater Utility Rate Study. The vote was 6-1 with Alderman Larry Cun-ningham voting no and Alderman Katy Liley absent.

• Electric Substations: The Board voted unanimously to approve a change order in the amount of $10,755.70 to Integrated Power Company of North Platte, NE, for 34.5 kV additions to the west substation.

The Board also accepted the low bid of $147,935 from Clark & Sons Excavating of Jackson for grading and site preparation for the north electric substation. The site is about 2 acres and 12,000 cubic feet of soil will have to be removed.

• Concrete pavement improvement: The Board approved a $61,264 change order to Fronabarger Concre-ters, Inc., of Oak Ridge for its work on the 2017 Concrete Pavement Improvement Program.

“There are additions and subtractions to the contract,” explained City Administrator Jim Roach. Because the contract price was low enough, additional work could be added and stay under budget.

• South Old Orchard Road realignment: The Board authorized a payment of $8,425 to Koehler Engineering & Land Surveying, Inc., of Cape Girardeau for providing engineering services on the South Old Orchard Road Realignment Project. A sharp curve near the former gymnastics building will be straightened out.

• Joint routing and sealing: The Board accepted the low bid of $93,729.60 from Parking Lot Maintenance, LLC, of Lake St. Louis to work on the joint routing and sealing program. There were four bidders. The low bid came in under the budgeted amount. The City has not worked with this company in the past but has checked its references and staff recommended accepting the bid and awarding the contract.

• Complaint: Jackson resident Don Howard complained about five stacks of lumber and junk cars accumulating in a neighbor’s yard behind his property. “I talked to the police,” he said, but nothing has changed. “We’d like to have it cleaned up. It wasn’t like that when we moved in,” Howard said. The material has accumulated over time and it’s possible his neighbor may be selling these items on eBay, Howard said.

The Council took Howard’s phone number. The City will investigate the matter and get back to him.

• Uptown Jackson: During study session, the Board heard a report from Tyler Wolfsberger, vice president of the Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization.

Wolfsberger noted that 76 percent of funding for UJRO comes from its own fund-raising efforts (sponsorships, sales and other donations) while 24 percent comes from public and private funding. He asked the City to increase its funding from $15,000 in 2017 to $30,000 in 2018.

Roach said the City is just beginning its budget process for next year and will take the request under consideration.
Total income for UJRO in 2017 was $73,415 and total expenditures was $49,528.19. Proposed revenue for 2018 is $111,970, with proposed expenditures of $84,148.25.

Wolfsberger noted that 63 percent of UJRO’s money is spent reinvesting back into the Uptown area and 92 percent is spent in Missouri. Some products are not available locally and must be purchased out of state.

The largest generator of revenue (and the biggest expense) is Oktoberfest. This year’s event will generate an expected $50,000. The estimated expense is $33,000.

• Water System Program: The Board discussed a proposal from Horner & Shifrin to provide engineering services for the Owner Supervised Water System Program, a Missouri Department of Natural Resources program in which Jackson participates. Horner & Shifrin will update City water system maps, submit paperwork to the DNR, etc.

Main Street traffic: The Board reviewed traffic congestion at the intersections of East Main Street and Shaw-nee, and East Main Street and Oak Hill. Currently both have four-way stop signs that create “extensive queing” during morning and afternoon peak hours.

Turn lanes were added this summer at Main and Shaw-nee, and they have helped relieve some congestion there. In the long run, however, as traffic increases, they will have little positive effect.

Installing roundabouts at these intersections would help some, but the lay of the land at Oak Hill makes it nearly impossible to put a roundabout there.

A traffic consultant has recommended adding traffic signals at both of these intersections. But the recommendation does not take into account the cost of installing and maintaining traffic signals.

Roach suggested that the City staff select a design engineer, and he can hold further discussions (including a cost analysis of the various options) in the near future.

• Dangerous buildings: Changes are being considered to the City Code regarding dangerous buildings that need to be condemned. Currently, property owners and mortgage holders attend a hearing with the city administrator. When a ruling is made, the matter goes back to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Then, if there is an appeal, the matter comes before the Board of Aldermen.

It was recommended that appeals go to the circuit court instead of the Board of Aldermen. The appealing party would have to pay court costs (about $140) and lawyer’s fees. The Board will take action on this change at its next meeting Oct. 2.

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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