The Jackson City Council met for its monthly meeting ahead of the presidential election on Tuesday.
The council established a new public arts commission and accepted an exclusive $25,000 grant to launch a financial empowerment program.
The council’s budget committee also announced a new budget tool for citizens to track city spending.
The City creates a public art commission
City Council unanimously approved a public art commission to carry out Mayor Scott Conger’s public art initiative.
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The initiative, launched in fall 2019, aims to develop the city’s public art installations, such as murals and sculptures, over the next four years. Conger’s office said it would hire local, established and emerging artists.
Special Projects Manager Lauren Kirk said the commission will assess and approve public projects that conform to the city’s master plan.
Kirk said the city had received several submissions and that the creation of the council would help establish a formal process.
Kirk, along with Andrew Boks, Blake Mascolo, Tommy Rhoads and Melinda Reid, will serve on the board.
City Receives Grants for Financial Empowerment Program
The city council accepted a $25,000 grant from the CityStart initiative to create a financial empowerment program.
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The initiative, backed by JP Morgan and others, offers mayors and their administrations a “structured approach to identifying goals for financial empowerment”.
The grant follows a report by the city’s anti-poverty task force, which showed the city lacks programs to help disadvantaged citizens seeking help to improve things like credit scores to qualify for affordable auto and home loans.
“Financial empowerment is critical to both the well-being of our residents and the economic prospects of our city as a whole,” Conger said. “Financial empowerment strategies and programs will help our community recover and build resilience, especially in light of the challenges our community has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The city will receive a six-month training program to develop a plan to improve financial literacy and $25,000 to launch the plan.
New budget tool
On October 29, the city’s interactive budget tool went live on its website.
The tool allows citizens to see the current budget allocation to central city services.
It also includes a budget simulator for individuals to submit property and income information to track their taxes.
Contact Adam Friedman by email at [email protected], by phone at 731-431-8517 or follow him on Twitter @friedmanadam5.