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Park projects making good progress

File photo

Progress is being made on the new pickleball court in Jackson’s Litz Park. The Mayor and Board of Aldermen heard an update on the eight-court facility during study session July 19.

The 130 x 130 foot asphalt base has been laid and fencing and gates have been installed. Next, the playing surface will be painted with an acrylic paint that is often used on tennis courts, and nets will be installed.

The SEMO Pickleball Club has paid for the blacktop. The club has raised more than $60,000, but needs another $30,000 to complete the project. The City may kick in some of that.

The City had budgeted funds to pay for the fencing, but the Club has already paid for it, “So we have money for cost sharing,” said Mayor Dwain Hahs.

In other action

• Sign for Civic Center: Coast to Coast Signs will install a 20-foot tall sign that is 14 feet wide at the top with a 5 x 10 foot electronic display on Deerwood Drive near the Civic Center to draw attention to the Civic Center.

• Dog park: Plans for a dog park west of the Civic center are progressing. The project has been sent to Strickland Engineering.

• Brookside ball park: Work on the new baseball field at Brookside is also moving along. An entrance road has been installed, and will receive blacktop in August. Concrete for two sidewalks have been poured. Work on the backstop began last week. The next big addition will be lights. The field will be game ready next spring. There is talk of naming the field after Barbara Lohr.

• Anderson retiring: Parks and Recreation Director Shane Anderson announced that he will retire next February after he completes 24 years.

• Tax rate: The Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen set a public hearing for 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16, to consider the proposed 2021 parks and recreation, general revenue, cemetery and band tax rates.

• Financial statement: The semi-annual financial statement ending June 30 for the City was approved. You can read it on page 8B of this week’s issue of  The CBJ.

• SROs: The Board approved a new memorandum of understanding with the Jackson R-2 School District regarding school resource officers. It was necessary because the School District has a new superintendent.

• Court costs: The Board approved an amendment to Chapter 53 of the Code of ordinances regarding court costs.

• Ethics: The Board readopted Chapter 1, Article VIII of the Code of Ordinances regarding ethics.

• Sanitary sewers: The Board approved a $148,427.40 change order to CE Contracting, Inc., of Ste. Genevieve for work on the Williams Creek Sanitary Sewer Extension Project, Phase 2.

The Board also accepted the dedication of a sanitary sewer easement deed from W & L Enterprises, LLC, relative to the Williams Creek Sanitary Sewer Extension Project, Phase 2.

The Board approved the abandonment of force main and lift station easements that are no longer needed in the Glendale Subdivision, Unit 1, as requested by Donna Wilfong.

• Rescind historic landmark designation: During study session, the Board considered a request to rescind the historic landmark designation for Old McKendree Chapel & Cemetery.

There are a number of repairs and improvements planned for the historic site, and the Association Board that is overseeing the work does not want to go to the Historic Preservation Commission every time it needs to make a repair.

The only historically accurate building on the site is the church itself.

The Association is dedicated to preserving the site as historically accurate as possible, but some improvements, such as vinyl fencing and stone steps, are not historically accurate, but are necessary to preserve the site.

• Water tower: Because paint is popping off, one ofJackson’s water towers will have to be sanded down to bare metal and repainted, requiring a retaining system, which is a large, enclosed curtain to capture the dust so it can be disposed of properly. This extra procedure will cost the City more, thus requiring an addendum to the water tank maintenance contract with Utility Service Co., Inc.

• Use tax: City Attorney Tom Ludwig presented a draft of sample ballot language if Jackson wants to ask voters to approve a use tax on the November ballot. The language must be approved by Aug. 26.

• Electric study: Industrial Circuit 21 on the city’s power grid has been having “a few anomalies” according to Don Schuette, director of electric utilities. He plans to “bring in some outside help” to “figure out what’s going on.” The City doesn’t have the equipment or data collection equipment to assess the problem properly. With outside help, the problem should be located quickly, he said.

On a related topic, Schuette updated the Board on a new substation being built near I-55 on an acre of land. It will serve the East Main Street corridor and Old Orchard Road. The projected cost is $3.2 million for the design work and the equipment in the substation. The majority of the project should be done in a year and a half; it may take a year to receive transformers. The entire project is expected to be completed in early 2023.

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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