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Jackson City Council approves purchase of "The Jackson Plaza" and moves forward on other projects


Today the Jackson city council approved the city's four-million-dollar purchase of the Jackson plaza.

“Provided everything goes well with the environmental studies, the surveys. We should close on the property in the next 55 days," said Mayor Scott Conger.

The working plan for the property is an arena convention center.

The next step is for the city to conduct a feasibility plan to determine the best use for the property and a master plan to consider the area around the plaza.

But the purchase approval wasn’t the only thing the council did today, “We hit a pause button on everything for 20 months and then now trying to finally get things going because when you hit a pause button on so many things, you get them going, it takes a while. And so we're finally getting a rhythm, I feel like now in the city of Jackson," Conger said.

One of the things the city council did today was approve one-hundred-thousand dollars of American Rescue Plan funds (ARPA) to “The Place”- a transitional house for women.

“We will assess their needs and then provide them some permanent housing and resources that they need in order to kind of recreate their lives," said Lead Advocate for "The Place" Amy Coleman.

There are other organizations in Jackson such as "The Scarlet Rope Project" and "The Dream Center" that house women but “The Place” believes their house for five women without kids is needed, “We don't want to compete. We want to we want to kind of cooperate with them and fill the gap… housing resources are the most requested and they are the least available, so we're just trying to create another resource for this community for people in need," Coleman said.

The city council took a step towards helping homeless men as well today at their meeting- by approving the construction contract for a new shelter, “A few years ago, we had an unfortunate death of an house member of our community, and that really spurred our office to look at, see what can we do to do something about this and create a shelter," said Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Jackson Lauren Kirk.

The design phase for the shelter should take about three months, according to Kirk. The first phase of the shelter is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Phase One is currently limited to just ten residents due to some restrictions on the funding, "Those are hud restrictions, federal government restrictions with covid funds, so we're hoping that they'll relax those soon and we'll be able to do bunk beds in those rooms. But for the second and third phase, it should be about a 30 to 40 bed shelter total.”

The grant-funded shelter on McCory street will be operated by Tennessee Homeless Solutions.

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