Jackson City Council calls on governor for statewide mask mandate

JACKSON, Tenn. — Jackson already has a mask mandate, but now the city council is calling on Governor Lee to issue one across the state.

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“A mask mandate would not only protect the citizens here in Madison County, but also the citizens in the State of Tennessee,” said council member Ernest Brooks II.

Brooks introduced the resolution after bringing in local agencies to talk about the effects of the pandemic several months ago.

We asked Brooks if he thinks people in Jackson could die because other places don’t have a mask mandate. “They’re dying now,” he responded.

This comes as the largest hospital in the region, Jackson-Madison County General, is hovering at 100 coronavirus patients a day, and Jackson is seeing an almost 2% death rate.

Mayor Scott Conger, along with other mayors from the larger cities in Tennessee, has repeatedly called on the governor to issue this mandate.

“Individually, one request may not be as effective, but as Council Member Brooks said, several other municipalities have already submitted resolutions,” Mayor Conger said. “If we see that across the state start to grow, there may be a possibility for that.”

Seven council members voted for it. Gary Pickens abstained, and Harvey Buchanan was absent.

The city council also approved a grant that would get new playground equipment to three parks here in Jackson.

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“We’ll have new playgrounds this spring in Stella Duncan Park in Bemis, Muse Park, and Conger Park,” Mayor Conger said.

This would have cost the city around $150,000, but they received a grant from Amerigroup for the upgrades.

“They need to be replaced. They need to be updated. We know that, and for us resources are finite,” Conger said. “If we have outside groups that want to come in and do that, it enhances the already great amenities we have here.”

The council also approved the last installment from the Boyd Foundation for $100,000 for the dog park.

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