Here are highlights of what happened at the Jackson City Council meeting on Sept. 28:
-A new effort to connect the Jackson Police Department with the community was approved by the City Council. A new Community Police Oversight Commission was officially created at the meeting. Once it is formally established, the commission will be comprised of residents tasked with reviewing police department policies, procedures and resident complaints about police interactions.
-A revised Urban Farming Ordinance was approved at the meeting. The ordinance allows residents to have a bees, pigs and chickens on their properties if they meet certain qualifications. The ordinance takes effect in 30 days.
-W. Washington Avenue is going completely two-way. The City Council approved a plan to convert W. Washington Avenue from S. Brown Street to S. West Avenue from one-way to two-way traffic. With other one-ways in the area being converted to two-way traffic in recent years, this is a way to improve overall traffic flow and convert the last stretch of W. Washington. The conversion will take place later this fall.
-The Jackson Fire Department is getting help with hiring firefighters thanks to a federal grant. The City Council voted to accept a $1.4 million SAFER grant, which will be used to retain and hire firefighters to keep up staffing levels.
-The sale of vacant City-owned property on N. West Avenue was approved by the City Council. The $1.5 million sale to a commercial developer means Optimist Park will be reshaped to accommodate the adjacent development. Partial funds from the property sale will used to reinvest in the park and construct a new playground and basketball court.
-A new affordable apartment building could be on its way to Downtown Jackson. The Jackson City Council gave final approval to an ordinance that reduces the tax liability for The Blackstone Apartments, a 45 unit low-to-moderate income apartment development that will take shape on N. Blackstone Street and Louis Glick Highway. Passing the ordinance, also known as a PILOT program, is a necessary first step for developers to make affordable housing projects happen and to seek additional government funding. Sale of the City-owned property will be considered at a future meeting.
A livestream of the Sept. 28 City Council meeting is available on this page.