Here are highlights from the Dec. 8, 2020 virtual meeting of the Jackson City Council:
-The City Council approved the sale of the former Vermeulen’s Furniture property on W. Cortland Street to the Jackson School of the Arts, a local non-profit that specializes in art, dance and music programming for children. The City has owned the property in Downtown Jackson for several years and has invested more than $2 million in renovations for the building. The School of the Arts is buying the property for $500,000 and plans to start more renovations next year. Plans call for community space and an incubator kitchen on the first floor, along with classroom space on the second and third floors.
-The City Council voted to launch an ethics investigation into Councilmember Laura Dwyer Schlecte for her alleged involvement in the sale of the Vermeulen’s and Masonic Temple properties to a commercial developer. Both buildings are City-owned property. Councilmember Dwyer Schlecte has until Dec. 15 to provide the City Council with written answers to 18 questions about her alleged involvement. The written answers will be reviewed by the council and sent to the State of Michigan Attorney General for review.
-The first step of using special assessment funds to partially pay for the reconstruction of Douglas Street between S. West Avenue and Mound Street cleared the City Council. The next step is holding a hearing of confirmation for the assessments, which will take place sometime next year.
-Two marijuana facilities were given conditional approval by the City Council, a marijuana processing facility on E. Washington Avenue and a marijuana provisioning center on Cooper Street. The facilities will need to be granted licenses by the council before officially opening.
This was the last City Council meeting of 2020. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.