JACKSON, Mo. -- The Jackson Board of Aldermen Monday night approved a balanced $18.8 million budget for 2002, one Mayor Paul Sander characterized as "pro-active" while preserving "the financial integrity of Jackson's future."
Not counted in the amount are more than $2.5 million in "pass throughs" that will pay for water and sewer improvements under revenue bonds approved in 1997.
The budget includes a 3.5 percent average salary increase for city employees.
The 2002 figure compares to a budget of $16 million in 2001. The majority of the increase will pay for improvements to the city's electrical distribution system that already have been paid for.
In other business Monday, the board authorized the city to begin condemnation proceedings against two landowners who thus far have refused to sell the city easements on their property south of the city.
Water line easements
For the past year, the city has been acquiring the 13,000 feet of easements it needs to build a water line stretching from Highway 25 to the Industrial Park south of the city.
City administrator Jim Roach said negotiations with the two landowners are continuing.
A verbal agreement has been reached with one, he said.
"Hopefully we won't have to go through this," Roach said.
The two remain of five landowners who initially opposed Jackson's plan to acquire easements for the water line.
State statutes allow cities Jackson's size to acquire easements within 10 miles of their boundaries. Jackson wants to connect two water lines that dead end, providing a loop that will increase capacity and water pressure on the south side of the city.
In a condemnation proceeding, a circuit judge would decide whether the city had the right to condemn the property. If so, the judge would appoint commissioners who would put a price on the land to be taken.
The easements Jackson wants are about 20 feet wide. The two remaining properties each constitute about 3,000 feet of the land Jackson wants easements on.
335-6611, extension 182