by Dennis Worden

Jackson, Mich. – The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce held a State of Community event on Friday, April 19, at Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson. The event featured updates by County Administrator Mike Overton and City Manager Jonathan Greene.

Overton provided several updates on county initiatives. He touched on the upcoming Public Safety/Jail Millage in August, an Energy Savings Project, potential plans for a trail system and usage of the old walled prison property on North St.

Mike Overton Highlights:

  1. The county is on solid financial footing.
  2. The jail millage, coming up on the ballot in August, is an important need for the county. It is over 70 years old.
  3. Energy Savings Project – received funds for the project, which provides solar energy to county buildings and parking lots (lighting).
  4. The county is also working on installing a micro wastewater treatment plant and two Geo-thermal wells.
  5. There is a Lake to Lake Trail System from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron that currently goes through Jackson County. A state grant is helping provide a potential stopping area on the trail.
  6. The old prison off of North St. is being looked at for a variety of different functions. A Farmer’s Market and other ideas are being discussed on how to use the property more for community functions. Preserving the historic walls and grounds of the old prison is a priority for the county.
  7. Updates are being made to the Jackson County Airport. A new water line is being installed and a $4 million update to the control tower has been completed.

Jonathan Greene Highlights:

  1. The city’s ‘Jackson 100 Homes’ project is really doing well. The city program of building new homes in the city limits is an aggressive and aspirational project. It is the largest housing expansion project in the city since World War II, according to Greene. The project also offers a downpayment assistance program for potential buyers.
  2. Greene provided an update on the Hayes Hotel project. Although the timeline has been pushed back, Greene was confident that the project would still begin in 2024. 84 market-rate apartments, retail, restaurant and office space are all planned for the downtown building.
  3. A federal grant has funded 7.5 million in upgrades at the wastewater and water treatment plans since 2021. U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg and his office helped secure those funds and were recognized for their efforts.
  4. The city is focused on renovating the Boos Recreation Center at Loomis Park. The grounds were renovated 2 years ago.
  5. The city is hoping for a $3 million grant from the state to help with the removal of the factory that burned last August on North St. The grant will be used to demolish fire-damaged sections of the industrial complex.
  6. The City of Jackson and Summit Fire Dept. Partnership launched in 2023 and has provide much needed faster emergency response service in the Jackson area.

For more information on Jackson County or the City of Jackson, visit www.mijackson.org or www.cityofjackson.org.

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