Gist, Harris discuss infrastructure needs & transportation at First Friday Forum

JACKSON, Tenn. — Madison County and the City of Jackson mayors outline their vision for the new year at the First Friday Forum.

“2017 was challenging, and sometimes a disappointing year for the county,” County Mayor Jimmy Harris said.

But with a new year, comes new beginnings for Jackson and Madison County.

“We have a lot of good things going in the community, so I think 2018 is going to be a good year for all of us,” Harris said.

Both Mayor Harris and Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist agree building up infrastructure is a top priority for the new year.

“A lot of infrastructure work will take place over the next three years to allow our city to continue to grow,” Gist said.

“We are now in the process of getting construction going to expand the jail,” Mayor Harris said.

Mayor Harris says construction to fix overcrowding at the Criminal Justice Complex is set to begin in a few months.

He says another highlight of 2017 was finding a place to relocate the Sheriff’s Office.

“We have now a place closer to home to go for training, verses in middle or east Tennessee,” Harris said.

While education continues to be a priority, Mayor Harris says choosing Dr. Eric Jones as school superintendent was a major achievement for the school system.

“He has a depth of experience and knowledge of our system that’s really going to make a difference,” Harris said.

When in comes to crime, Gist says the city has seen a reduction.

“It’s been about 11 percent decrease over about five years,” Gist said.

Going into 2018, the mayors both say the plan to focus on transportation, economic development and education.

Mayor Gist also touched on transportation, saying construction near the Casey Jones Village and Casey Jones Drive are should be completed by May.

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