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Snowstorm brings area to virtual halt

vary, but about a foot of snow fell on Jackson and the surrounding area last
week, causing some businesses to close for days, disrupting mail delivery and
trash collection, and postponing numerous events.

massive winter storm was forecast to hit our area Sunday evening, Feb. 14.
However, as residents awoke Monday morning and looked outside, all that lay on
the ground were remnant patches of ice from the previous week’s ice storm.

may have been late in arriving, but when it got here, the storm struck with a
vengeance. Minute flakes began falling about 9 a.m. They soon were replaced by
large fluffy flakes that quickly blanketed the ground. At times, the snow fell
so hard that visibility was very limited and driving hazardous.

continued all day and into the night, accumulating to somewhere between 7
inches and a foot. With temperatures dropping down to zero, the bitter wind
whipped the dry, fluffy flakes between structures and around vehicles,
depositing them into deep snow drifts.

to a tremendous effort by city, county and state road crews, streets and
highways remained passable.

City of Jackson proclaimed a snow emergency at 8 p.m. Sunday night Feb. 14,
giving residents 24 hours to move vehicles off snow emergency routes. (The snow
emergency ended at 2 p.m. Thursday as the sun shone brightly and snow began

snow plows hit the streets at 6 a.m. Monday. In addition to street department
snowplows, a truck equipped with a plow was garnered from five other city
departments: solid waste, water, wastewater, cemetery and parks.

City also operates five spreader trucks that treat streets with salt or
cinders. Salt will not melt the snow when the temperature is below 15 degrees
and cinders will freeze when the mercury drops to 6°F.

has been a busy month for salt consumption. During February, Jackson has used
about 450 tons of salt. The City can only store 300 tons at a time. When trying
to get more salt, the City was told by one supplier that there is no more
available and put Jackson on a waiting list.

was used on main streets while cinders were used in some neighborhoods.

had used cinders exclusively prior to about 2010, but cinders had to be picked
up by street sweepers in March and April, so the City began using salt. It
continues to use both.

Words Director Kent Peetz said last week’s storm was unique in fourshelves at
Archive Center.

The county would
receive a reimbursement of $14,629 from the Secretary of State’s Office if the
Archive Center receives the grant. That would cover the labor and materials for
the 215 shelves and no matching funds will be required from the county.

Niederkorn said she
will be seeking additional grant funding over the next three to five years to
complete the shelving project.

• The commissioners
approved taking part in a U.S. flag collection program. The program is in
partnership with the National Association of Counties and the National Flag

The county’s flag
retirement box has been placed at the Cape Girardeau County Administration
Building’s main lobby. Flags should be folded respectfully before being placed
in the box. Local Boy Scout troops will be responsible for the proper disposal
of worn flags.

“This centrally
located drop-off provides convenience while respecting our national symbol,”
Commissioner Charlie Herbst said. “The county is proud to help our citizens to
respect our nation while disposing of old or worn out flags.”

• The commission
approved a recreational trails grant proposal to finish the trail around the
lake at Cape Girardeau County Park South.

Park Superintendent
Bryan Sander presented the grant, which will have the county contribute 40
percent of the projects cost. Sander estimates that the project will cost the
county around $49,000 if they receive the grant.

• The commissioners
rejected the only bid for tower removal and radio equipment installation.
Emergency Management Director Mark Winkler said the bid fell short of the
requirements for the proposal. Winkler said the county will go out for bids
again after rewriting the request for proposal to be clearer on the project’s

• The commissioners
approved the highway department to be able to go out to bid for regular
purchases including culverts, asphalt and road construction bids throughout the

• The commissioners
approved an emergency purchase of rock salt for the highway department.
Commissioner Paul Koeper said the county ran out of salt during the recent
snowstorms in the county. The county purchased 300 tons of rock salt for

Koeper said the
county was able to borrow salt from the City of Cape Girardeau, and some of the
purchase will replace the city’s salt.

• Commissioner Koeper
met with City of Jackson officials about County Road 435. The road is split
down the center line between the county and the city. The Jackson city street
is known as Harmony Lane.

Koeper said the
current plan is for the city to obtain right-of ways and cover engineering
costs, while the county will cover the construction work to widen the road. The
street would then be transferred to the city.

• Representatives
from Ameren Missouri spoke about the Limestone Ridge Project in front of the
county commission on Feb. 22. The new line, which is scheduled to be in service
by December 2023, is planned to connect a new substation in Perry County to a
new substation in Cape Girardeau County.

The project will
improve energy reliability and provide additional energy support to local
manufacturing facilities. The final route has not yet been finalized, but the
portion in Cape Girardeau County is expected to run parallel to existing lines.

The project is a
partnership between Ameren, Wabash Valley Power Alliance and Citizens Electric
Corporation. The Ameren representatives said they don’t need anything from the
county at this time, but will request permission to build a line across county
roads. They will also ask for coordination from the county’s highway department
during construction.

• The commissioners
approved the 2020 budget adjustments and financial statement. Budget
adjustments were approved by the commission previously throughout 2020 or were
interdepartmental line item adjustments.

• The commissioners
appointed Scott Wren as deputy coroner. Wren was recommended for the position
by Coroner Wavis Jordan.

• The commissioners
approved the purchase of a tractor for the parks department for $50,930 through
a state contract. The purchase will be made from the park’s equipment fund, as
well as using funds previously used to lease a tractor.

• The commissioners
approved the sale of two trucks from the county’s highway department.

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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