Jackson City Council approves new Dream Center

The Jackson Sun

After a 60-day delay, the Jackson City Council approved the Dream Center’s rezoning request to build a new facility along the 50 block of Oil Well Road and Old Humboldt Road 5-3 on second reading.

“It’s a blessing from God and we’re excited to move forward,” Dream Center executive director Gail Gustafson said.

We rarely agree with David Cisco, that is because he acts the idiot at times (okay most of the time), but this time we agree with his no vote. We are not surprised that majority members of council have little to no understanding of the building principles of land hydraulics, they can hardly stay awake during the budget hearings. We are surprised that the Dream Center Designers and the future occupants of the new address would have pushed this one knowing what kind of problems it will face in the future and its direct effect of the properties around it. But like any new land owner, they want what they want, even though common sense should have said “no” this will cost us more in the future than what it is worth. But when blinded by passion and desire, patience and wise decisions lose out. 

The vote on second reading was delayed after a motion from City Councilman David Cisco was approved to allow Belle Trace and Cottonwood residents to hire a private engineer, Ledford Engineering in Memphis, to study hydraulics and potential flooding issues in the area.

Cisco said he’s disappointed with the vote and is not against the Dream Center, but flooding concerns and complaints from residents helped him decided to vote no on both readings.

“I’m just sorry for the Belle Trace and Cottonwood subdivision,” Cisco said. “It’s a disappointment to me, because I wasn’t able to help my people.”

Cisco was one of three who voted against the rezoning request, along with Councilmen Harvey Buchanan and Charles Rahm. Councilmen Scott Conger, Ernest Brooks, Randy Wallace, Johnny Lee Dodd and Charles “Pepper” Bray voted in favor of the request.

Bray, who voted against the rezoning request on first reading, said he was satisfied with the information given by the private engineer, which made him change his vote.

“It was a tough decision,” Bray said. “That’s the way it goes. Sometimes you have to make a tough decision … I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully everything will be in good shape.”

Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist said the vote on the Dream Center was an agonizing one for the council, one that comes once every couple of years.

“I think enough time had elapsed where people could voice their opinions,” Gist said. “They (residents) wore the council out with phone calls and conversation about it. They’ve had a good opportunity for a lot of information gathering on that issue.”

Gustafson said the Dream Center has raised about $400,000 to $500,000 of the $3.5 million needed for the new facility.

The Dream Center, a nonprofit in Jackson which has helped homeless women and children since 2004, is currently located at 1970 N. Highland Ave.

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