City of Jackson Mayor's Review
April 17, 2017
This week I start my second term as Mayor. The first two years have flown by and I am sure the next two years will, as well. I would like to reflect on what the Board of Aldermen, city employees, businesses, and citizens have accomplished over the last two years. In addition, I will share a few words on our key goals for the future.
In the area of infrastructure, the City passed an $11 million bond issue to enable the upgrading of the water system over the next 9 years. Street infrastructure saw a major milestone project completed with building of the Roundabout at E. Main St. and Hope St. Also, a street extension and stop light were constructed at E. Jackson Blvd and S. Old Orchard as well as a new bridge and pavement widening on S. Old Orchard Road. Finally, the railroad crossing at S. Hope St. and Jackson Blvd. was reconstructed.
The City purchased property for our next two electrical substations, to be located east and north of the city, as well as completed other equipment upgrades to ensure quality service to our growing city.
The Civic Center was completed and opened for business. The Civic Center Donation Committee raised an impressive $500,000 for additional needs of the Civic Center. Through a collaborative project involving the Southeast Missouri Medical Center, the Jackson R-2 School District and the City of Jackson, the Clark Sports and Recreational Complex was created including a baseball stadium and additional land for park and sport facilities expansion. The city trail system was greatly expanded, resulting in fantastic citizen response.
The Jackson Retail Initiative, to increase the city’s retail business, began with the contracting of the Catalyst Commercial Group as a consultant and the hiring of Jen Berti as Director of Retail Business. Retail business additions were strong, including several in Uptown Jackson. Voters passed a liquor ordinance update to enable certain Jackson retail establishments to be on a level playing field with larger cities.
Home construction has been exceptionally strong, including two new developments that involved annexation of land into Jackson.
Regional cooperation resulted in area planning initiatives and projects with the City of Cape Girardeau, Area Chambers of Commerce, and Cape Girardeau County. The JIDC completed a 50,000 sq. ft. spec building within the city limits to attract new industry or present industry expansion.
Major plans were established for the accomplishment of our future priorities. These included the plans for the new Jackson Police Station and increased patrol staffing. Planned revisions are being made after agreements with Cape Girardeau County to consolidate jails and dispatch centers within the county facilities. The challenge now will be the funding of the new station and operating costs. The Board of Aldermen will be reviewing all funding options including the present surplus accounts of the city, ongoing expense spending and sales tax levels. A combination of these funding options will be finalized this year so the project plans can move forward.
A community survey will be used to help guide the Board on the city’s priorities and to gauge the satisfaction level of our citizens with the services of Jackson. The City Park will see the addition of a major bathroom as well as new bleachers and a press box at the girls’ softball field, in cooperation with the Jackson R-2 School District.
The City’s traffic plan will be updated with major emphasis on improving the Shawnee Blvd and E Main St. and the Oak Hill Rd. And E. Main St. intersections. The water system improvement projects will continue. Wastewater planning will be completed and the sewer trunk line expansion will begin in the west part of the city.
The retail expansion project will continue with, hopefully, additional retail establishments being recruited to Jackson. Continued cooperation among the area government entities will promote the region’s industrial expansion, expanding jobs and our local economy.
I am excited about Jackson’s future; I hope you are, too. Thank for your continued support.
Dwain L. Hahs