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Sink hole is discovered near East Main Street

A sink hole was recently discovered on the north shoulder of East Main Street between Old Orchard Road and the I-55 off ramp. The hole measured 18 feet wide and 16 feet deep.

City crews filled the hole with 19 cubic feet of concrete (it took two cement trucks).

Clint Brown, an engineer with the City of Jackson, told the Mayor and Board of Aldermen May 7 that it was important to check for other sink holes in the area.

“The first step is to determine what’s going on under the pavement,” he said. This would be done using ground-penetrating radar. If there are other voids under the pavement, the City will then have to decide what to do about it.

The City will bring a proposed agreement to the May 21 Board of Aldermen meeting to purchase a ground-penetrating radar for $24,200.

“This is not something that can wait,” Brown warned.

In other action:

• RV Parking: City Attorney Tom Ludwig brought a proposed ordinance to the Board in study session to deal with a problem of recreational vehicles parked on city streets. Current law states the vehicle must be moved every 72 hours. One homeowner moves his a few inches every three days to be in compliance with the letter of the law but not the spirit.

The City has considered banning all RV parking on city streets, but RV owners complained that they need to park there temporarily to load and unload them, and some residents who live on short, dead-end streets called “stub-out streets” park their RVs on the street with neighbor’s permission. In these cases, the RV does not interfere with traffic and bothers no one.

The proposed ordinance would not allow RV parking on city streets except for a short period of time not to exceed 48 hours in a seven-day period.

“A different set of regulations for stub-out streets would be impossible to enforce,” Ludwig said.

“We’re penalizing people on stub-out streets because of one owner,” complained Alderman Joe Bob Baker. “I’m not voting for this.”

“I have the same problem,” chimed in Alderman Dave Reiminger. “This is not what I want to see done.”

Mayor Dwain Hahs reminded the aldermen that under current city ordinance, it was illegal to park on stub-out streets. That was not going to change.

“I think we’re better off to do nothing,” suggested Baker.

“I’d like to see another option,” Alderman Wanda Young said.

The idea of allowing RV owners who live on stub-out streets to park their vehicles on those streets was suggested, but Cunningham opposed that idea because stub-out streets are still public streets. “I do not like it a bit,” he said.

Ludwig cautioned, “Beware of a law that says only certain people can use certain public streets.”

It was decided to look at what other cities have done to keep RVs from parking permanently on city streets.

• Jim Maevers parking lot: Developer Jim Maevers informed the Board that by working with the mayor and legal council, they have come to an agreement regarding his request for a plat at the location of the old Save-A-Lot building. There were issues regarding the “street” that runs between Dexter BBQ and Jackson Tire becoming a major road and what it would do to rights of way and setbacks as it passes through Maevers’ property.

Maevers still had some changes he would like to see to the agreement, he told the Board. He would like to have some input on where curb cut will be, and, a clarification of who is responsible for parking lot/street repairs if it takes years for the road  to be developed through the parking lot.

The plat will come to the Board for its approval May 21.

• Liquor license: The Board approved  a retailers of malt liquor (beer) by the drink 5% license for Sassy’s Diner at 437 W. Main St. Sassy’s will replace Jackson Deli at that location.

• Police station: The Board approved of paying Koehler Engineering $9,140 to providing surveying, soil boring and an environmental site assessment for the new police station site west of the current police/fire complex. (Alderman Phil Penzel abstained from voting.)

An amendment to the zoning code is coming that will remove the use of the property as a commuter parking lot.

The Board heard a presentation on the design/build method for the new police station. This is the first design/build project Jackson has done. The first step is for the City to issue a request for qualifications from design/build candidates. The City will pick the top two candidates, interview them, and ask for a request for proposal from each one. The winning candidate will be selected Nov. 8.

• Abandonment of Jef-ferson St.: The Board set a public hearing for 6 p.m. Monday, June 4, to consider the abandonment of East Jefferson Street between South Hope and South Ohio Street, as submitted by Immaculate Conception Church and school.

• Sunset Point: The Board approved a minor plat of Sunset Point Subdivision as submitted by Todd & Janice Lumsden.

• Ramsey Branch: The Board approved an agreement with Ramsey Branch Subdivision that allows it to place a sign in the median of Ramsey Branch Boulevard.

• Wastewater: The Board heard part two of a report from Horner & Shifrin, Inc. about increasing  sewer rates for Jackson residents.

“You’re going to run into shortfalls if you don’t raise your rates,” the Board was told.

There are risks to delaying improvements to the sewer and wastewater treatment system. Construction costs keep going up; the longer the City waits, the greater is the risk of system failures; the City could fail to meet regulations if improvements are put off too long; and it’s possible a building moratorium could come so that improvements could not be made.

• City Parks: Parks Director Shane Anderson updated the Board on what is happening in the parks.

For the first time in five years, the weather has allowed a painting project on Park Day. Bleachers were painted at the armory and legion ball fields.

The City has contracted with Gladiator Pyro for the July 4 fireworks show. The $12,000 show is slated to last 30 minutes and include “really high ones.”

Swimming pool hours may be shorted from 1-7 p.m. to 1-6 p.m.

More than 100 prom photos were taken on the new pedestrian bridge installed over Hubble Creek in City Park.
The pre-fab restroom for City Park is being fabricated at this time. Site preparation will be done in June and the restroom will be set up in July. It will be open by the end of July.

Block dugouts are coming to softball field No. 5 as a donation project.

The soccer field is getting astroturf, also as a donation project.

Ball fields will be constructed at Brookside Park east of the Veterans Memorial. An access road and gravel parking lot will be constructed mid to late summer.

•  East Main/Shawnee: The Board was reminded during study session that two consultants had recommended a lighted intersection at East Main Street and Shawnee Boulevard instead of building a roundabout.

“I have a hard time getting on board with a lighted intersection,” objected Alderman Wanda Young.

Alderman Cunningham said that a roundabout at that location would be too small for semi-trailer trucks to maneuver through.

At the next meeting, the Board will consider authorizing an appraisal for work at that intersection. Construction is at least three years away, said City Manager Jim Roach.

• Neighbor complaint: A Jackson resident complained about his neighbor, who is running a business out of his home in a residential area. He said his neighbor burns excess material in a burn pit about 10 feet from his fence and it “puts out the blackest smoke” which comes into his yard. When the fire department asked the neighbor if he was burning anything illegal, he said no and the firefighters walked away.

There are several junk cars parked on the neighbor’s lot in plain view. Sometimes he does wood work and the smell of lacquer is strong, the neighbor said.

“It’s a salvage yard, that’s what it is,” the resident told the Board of Aldermen. He said he is concerned that these activities could depreciate the value of his home and what is burned may be unsafe.

“Have a nuisance officer give me a call first thing in the morning and we’ll take care of it,” City Attorney Tom Ludwig told Captain Scott Akers.

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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