City of Jackson to file another lawsuit in Bemis Mill saga

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(Photo: KENNETH CUMMINGS/The Jackson Sun)

The Jackson Sun

The Jackson City Council approved a resolution which will allow the city to file a lawsuit against Bemis Mill LLC co-owner Christian Morton to gain permanent control of the Bemis cotton mill.

“There will be several lawsuits filed, one against Mr. Morton who did not adhere to his agreement with the city,” Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist said. “We’re still looking for him and have him pay for the full demolition cost. He’s not going to be a happy camper and sign over that property with us suing him, so that’s why the eminent domain is needed to acquire the property.”

The City Council passed another resolution Tuesday to approve Howell Dozer’s $25,000 to complete underground concrete demolition work at the Bemis Mill.

The city took temporary ownership of the Bemis cotton mill after a successful case in environmental court (this is called legal theft) against Morton earlier this year.

M & H Demolition and Dale Nelson Recycling demolished three cooling towers and the smokestack in July, and the City of Jackson is suing Morton, who was hired in 2014 to deconstruct the mill, to pay for the nearly $280,000 the demolition cost the city.

Gist said the plan remains to acquire the land and build a Bemis Memorial Park.

Jackson City Councilwoman Vicky Foote, who represents South Jackson and Bemis, said she hopes the park is built within the next year and a half.

“We haven’t had an ‘upper’ yet,” Foote said. “The park will be the ‘upper’ — and we’ve seen the plans for it, and it’s going to be beautiful. I just hope I get to see it while I’m still a city councilmember … I’ve been dealing with this since I went into office two terms ago and we don’t have it yet. It’s been the most frustrating thing my constituents in Bemis have ever gone through.”

Morton could not be reached for comment.

Scott Conger officially resigns

Scott Conger with Friends at Frank McMeen’s home

Now former City Councilman Scott Conger’s resignation was approved by the City Council Tuesday.

Conger, who had represented District 5 since 2011, moved out of the district as he and his wife are expecting their second child early next year and wanted to find a home to fit their growing family.

“It’s been a great journey for the last six years; I’ve enjoyed serving the people of District 5 and I hope I’ve served them well,” Conger said.

Gist said Conger will be missed because he has been a good councilman and a “great representative” for his district.

“He was very educated on each and every issue that came before council, and spent a lot of time researching,” Gist said. “We’re going to miss that because we want our council to be educated and know why or why not certain things are recommended, but look forward to continuing moving our city forward.”

Gist said the city is currently taking résumés for Conger’s replacement, who is expected to be appointed and sworn in at the Dec. 2 meeting.

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