Jackson projects making progress

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Editor's note: Today starts a weekly column by Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Scott City mayors.

Since this is the first column I have written for the Southeast Missourian, you might want to know a little more about who I am. I am a retired schoolteacher, having taught 28 years at the Cape Girardeau Vocational School (now the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center). During that time I was active as a volunteer for many youth organizations and on many school and civic committees, including serving 11 years on the Planning and Zoning Commission for the city of Jackson. After retiring I was elected to the Jackson Board of Aldermen and served for five years. When then-mayor Paul Sander decided not to run again, I filed for the mayor's position. I have served as the mayor of Jackson for four years now.

While I take great pride in our city, I must confess that I do very little to run the city. That is accomplished by a board of eight dedicated aldermen -- I only vote in case of a tie. The actual work is done by 120 loyal, efficient and hard-working employees. They are willing to tackle any job and take great pride in their work.

The city has two major projects going on right now. While neither project is very glamorous, each is necessary.

The second 34.5 kV electric transmission line is nearing completion. This will relieve our main transmission line along East Jackson Boulevard that is overworked during periods of extreme heat or cold.

It is also good to have this additional line in an emergency situation, such as a disaster bringing down the lines and interrupting our electric transmission.

The completion of this project will be a major improvement for the reliability of our electric system.

Also, our electric system has been recognized with the RP3 (Reliable Public Power Provider) award.

The second project -- an additional fire station -- required a vote of the citizens to approve a tax increase for ongoing operational costs.

Fire Station Committee members met often and worked diligently for two years to get their recommendations ready to present to the board of aldermen and Jackson citizens. The following people were on the committee: fire chief Jason Mouser and Alderman Mark Dambach (co-chairs), Alderman David Hitt, Alderman Larry Cunningham, city administrator Jim Roach, assistant city administrator Larry Koenig, assistant fire chief Randy Davis and Capt. Greg Hecht.

The committee did its work well. Its recommendations were approved by the board and the issue was put on the ballot. The necessity for the additional fire station was well publicized and was approved by the voters in November. The project is now in the design phase.

Today is another voting day. Please make the effort to get to the polls and cast your vote. By voting, you make your opinion count.

Barbara Lohr is the mayor of Jackson.

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