Business owners frustrated by persistent problems at Union Stati - - Jackson, MS

Business owners frustrated by persistent problems at Union Station

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Problems persist at Jackson's major transportation hub where business owners say their complaints and pleas for help continue to fall on deaf ears. 

In February, a truck rammed through the doors of Union Station in downtown Jackson in an attempt to steal an ATM. Tenants say the Jackson Redevelopment Authority, which operates the building, only boarded up the area, and no repairs have been made. 

Amtrak and the Greyhound Bus service are also occupants of Union Station along with various vendors.

"I think something needs to be done immediately because it's been too long drawn," said The Official Barber Shop owner Jessie Austin.

We first met  Austin in September when his barber shop inside Union Station was broken into and burglarized. Nine months later he said problems like repairs, break-ins and vagrants persist.

"Twenty-four-hour security is important, because like I say you've got customers coming in and out of the business," said the four-year tenant. "They're being harassed by vagrants begging and what have you.  So you need to put a stop to it. In order for us as small businesses to grow, we need that. We need the help from the city."

PREVIOUS STORY: Will Jackson take over Union Station from Jackson Redevelopment Authority?

In April, JRA's Board of Commissioners sent a letter to city leaders, requesting they consider taking over ownership and operation of the downtown transit hub.

Ward Three Councilman Kenneth Stokes introduced an order to accept the city's takeover. He said the city already funds operations that JRA oversees.

"What we're trying to do is create an avenue of safety," said Stokes. "I'm hoping that we can move the police substation on Farish Street which has not started construction, and let's move it into Union Station."

JRA has not answered our request for comment. 

Councilman Stokes placed an item on the agenda in May to take over Union Station operations. He is now waiting for the new mayor's administration to re-introduce the plan.

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