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On-street parking issues brought before Board of Aldermen

Several issues regarding on-street parking were brought before the Mayor and Board of Aldermen during study session March 18.

Janice Unger complained that there are times when her car cannot get between parked cars on Highland Drive in the Indian Hills Subdivision because cars are parked on both sides of the street.

“Fire trucks cannot get through,” she added. She said she had spoken to the police department and was told, “I’ve heard it’s tight.” She said she thought the situation was a lawsuit waiting to happen for the City of Jackson.

Unger asked if parking could be limited to one side of the street, as it is near the intersection of Highland and Gerald Street.

City Administrator Jim Roach said the parking situation has been reviewed with the police, fire and public works departments. All agreed that the traffic situation was “tight” but their vehicles could make it through.

Roach said parking was limited to one side of Highland near Gerald Street because the angle of the intersection caused sight restrictions if cars were parked there.

Highland is 27 feet wide. At the time it was built, 27 feet and 30 feet were the standard widths.

There appears to be plenty of off-street parking in the area (an average of 2.5 spaces per home), but the City seemed to be hesitant to restrict on-street parking there, because residents prize on-street parking in front of their homes.

On a related issue, Charles Hutson complained that the 1100 block of Shawnee was partially blocked by a landscaping company that parked commercial vehicles and trailers on both sides of that street, making it difficult to get through to the traffic light at Shawnee and East Jackson Boulevard.

City officials promised to look into the issue.

As a continuation of a Feb. 20 discussion, City officials presented accident counts at the intersection of East Main and Georgia streets. The Board of Aldermen had discussed the possibility of eliminating parking on Georgia Street north of East Main to make room for a left-turn lane on Georgia Street.

The number of accidents were minimal most years: 2014 – 3, 2015 – 1, 2016 – 2, 2017 – 8, 2018 – 3, 2019 – 0. “There were more accidents in 2017 when the roundabout was being built,” explained Roach.

The Board of Aldermen had decided on Feb. 20 not to eliminate the parking after business owners and landlords said they didn’t want to lose the on-street parking next to their businesses.

In other action:

• Agreement with Ameren: The Board approved a contract with Ameren Missouri relative to purchasing and receiving electric utility services under the Third Revised Wholesale Distribution Service Agreement.

• Easements: The Board accepted the dedication of municipal easement deeds relative to the Williams Creek Interceptor Sewer Project.

The Board also accepted the dedication of a utility easement and a deed of dedication for Harmony Lane from Stephen J. Wilson.

• First Call for Help: Denise Wimp gave a presentation on her agency, First Call For Help. “We’ve been around for 19 years. The City of Jackson has been a partner since the beginning,” she said.

First Call for Help is a free information and referral program about social services in Southeast Missouri. If you need help and don’t know where to turn, call 573-334-HELP (4357) or toll free 866-914-4357 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The majority of calls Wimp handles are from people needing financial help. She refers them to agencies that offer the help they need.

First Call for Help is funded by the cities of Jackson and Cape Girardeau, United Way, Community Caring Council, SoutheastHEALTH and Senior Citizens Services Fund Board. It serves a five-county area.

• Use tax education: Emily Colbert of Bold Marketing updated the Board on efforts being made to educate Jackson residents about the use tax question on the April 2 ballot. Efforts are winding down as election day draws near.

• Design-build: A city ordinance was updated to include design-build projects.

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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