A progress report for Jackson

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

To keep citizens up to date on the city's progress in 2011, here is a summary taken from the annual accomplishments report that was just completed. This report encourages each city department to look at what was accomplished during the previous year. The city has been compiling this report for the last 10 years, and it is a very informative document.

During 2011, the passing of the fire protection sales tax has allowed for the construction and operation of the city's Fire Station No. 2 to better serve our citizens. In addition, the fire department applied for and received grants for three thermal cameras and a brush/rescue truck.

The Federal Communications Commission mandated that our communication system switch to narrowband radios by 2013. In order to achieve this mandate, the fire department applied for and received a $90,000 grant to replace its communication devices. It also received a much coveted grant in the amount of $630,000 for a new ladder truck.

The city completed a second electrical 34.5 kV distribution line, which greatly increased the electrical system's reliability. Our transmission line was at thermal capacity, so this new line gives us more flexibility to manage loads and deal with peak usage. The electric department was again recognized by the American Public Power Association as an RP3 (Reliable Public Power Provider) facility.

Nordenia's expansion into our North Industrial Park and an economic development block grant for infrastructure improvement have been major accomplishments in the area of economic development. Nordenia is moving the new equipment into the building, and it is fascinating to tour and learn about this industry. Including the $500,000 grant for this project, the city was the recipient of grants totaling almost $2 million.

Speaking of progress, the city of Jackson wants to recognize three new commercial projects: Mercato di Rodi, McDonald's and Mobil/Southern Convenience Store.

Mercato di Rodi is a new facility on East Main Street designed with a European bistro flair. The beverage dispenser offers many different options and the soup and sandwiches are great. When you stop to get gas, go inside to see it. When you do, you'll find reasons to go back.

The newly remodeled McDonald's on East Jackson Boulevard stayed open during a three-month project, which created major upgrades to the inside and outside of the facility. It looks more spacious, even though 50 seats have been added. One nice addition is an area with high bars and stools for quick dining inside.

Mobil/Southern Convenience Store (formerly Jackson Bait and Tackle), at the intersection of Independence and North High streets, has recently reopened under new ownership. It was closed for three months while the new owners remodeled. This new gas station/convenience store offers an extensive food and beverage menu plus a "beer cave."

Stop in and patronize these businesses, as well as all our local Jackson businesses.

Barbara Lohr is the mayor of Jackson.

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