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Street and sewer projects forge ahead in Jackson

The Jackson Mayor and Board of Aldermen took action Dec. 4 on several projects that will improve city streets and sewers.

The Board authorized two agreements with the Missouri Department of Transportation affecting Route D and Highway PP within Jackson city limits. MoDOT will repave both highways and widen the shoulders by two feet. (MoDOT requested an agreement with the City because these stretches of roadway are within city limits.) The improvements will be done with no cost to the City.

MoDOT also will repave West Main Street from Farmington Road to Highway 34. This stretch of Main Street has been under the jurisdiction of MoDOT since 1958. After the repaving is completed, jurisdiction will be turned over to the City.

“We get a brand new street at no cost to us,” City Administrator Jim Roach had told the Board of Aldermen during a study session Nov. 20.

When work was recently done on Washington Street near City Park, it was dicovered that there were issues with the subsurface under the pavement. The Board approved a $61,740.21 change order with Asa Asphalt of Advance to fix those issues before repaving that street.

The Board approved a $2,640 change order to Ace Pipe Cleaning Inc. of Kansas City as part of the 2017 sanitary sewer lining project. Sanitary sewer lines are coated to prevent leaking.

In study session, Chris Koehler of Koehler Engineering told the Board that he did not recommend removing the  East Main Street stop signs at Oak Hill Road to allow the Main Street traffic to flow freely through that intersection.

The speed limit east of that intersection is 45 mph, but it is 35 mph to the west. Without the stop signs, it’s unlikely that traffic would slow down, making the street more dangerous, he said. And traffic on Oak Hill Road would have a difficult time turning onto Main Street if the intersection were no longer a four-way stop. That would increase driver frustration and could lead to more risk-taking and a greater chance for accidents.

He recommended that the four-way stop signs remain in place until traffic signals are installed at that intersection.

The Board accepted a municipal easement deed from the Leslie D. and Rosemary A. Smith Revocable Trust relative to the Williams Creek Interceptor Sewer Project.

The City must comply with Department of Natural Resources requirements regarding the discharge of storm water into its creeks, including Hubble Creek, Goose Creek and others. Water must be tested and reports made on a regular basis. If contamination is found, the source must be located and the problem remedied. The City has been doing the work in house, but the work load is so heavy that the City wants to hire a consultant to do this work. A selection committee is negotiating with a company for its services and an agreement is expected to come before the Board for its approval at the next meeting.

In other action:

• MAGNET: The Board extended the City’s contract with Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET. Jackson contributes approximately $27,000 to $30,000 a year to that organization, which represents Cape, Jackson and Cape County as it does industrial and large commercial recruitment, bringing jobs to this area.

In a related action, Mayor Dwain Hahs was appointed to serve a one-year term on MAGNET’s board of directors.

• City Park restrooms: Parks Director Shane Anderson updated the Board on the progress of the new restrooms to be built near the softball fields.

“The utility and site work was done by our department,” he said. This produced a cost savings over hiring outside companies to do the work.

“Next week we start to receive bids,” he added. The bids will be opened Jan. 25, 2018, and the contract will be awarded Feb. 5. In late February, the color and design will be selected. The rest-rooms should be “open for business” in May, in time for softball league play, he said.

• Minor plat: The Board approved a minor plat of King-Warren Place Subdivision as submitted by John W. King, Sheila King and Bill King Rentals, LLC.

• Humane Society contract: The Board approved an agreement with the Humane Society for it to provide shelter for animals brought there by Jackson nuisance officers or by residents living within Jackson city limits. The City pays part of the cost of keeping the animals at the Humane Society.

• Sidewalk repair: At the last Board of Aldermen meeting, Jackson resident Tom Sperling had complained that he had to pay $950 in 2000 to repair the sidewalk in front of his property (that was beyond his property line) while neighbors of his are getting their sidewalks repaired for free by the City today.

It was explained that prior to 2005, it was the City’s policy for residents to pay for sidewalk repair in front of their properties. In 2005, the City changed an ordinance to allow the repairs to be made as part of street repair projects at no cost to property owners.

City staff recommended that the 2005 change not be made retroactive. The Board of Aldermen agreed that making the change in 2005 was for the good of the city, but it would not be a good idea  to refund to residents the cost of repairs that they made before the change took place in 2005.

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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