A master plan for the Capitol Complex Improvement District (CCID) should be in place by mid-March.
Just months after the firms were brought on, Waggoner Engineering/AJA Consultants and Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons are expected to wrap up work on the plan by the spring.
The plan will outline needs for the CCID and must be in place before CCID funds can be spent, according to state statute.
The district was established in 2017, to help offset the city of Jackson’s costs for providing municipal services, like police and fire protection, to state-owned facilities.
Because state-owned buildings are tax-exempt, Jackson receives no property tax revenues to help offset the costs.
The district takes in a large swath of the capital city and includes many state-owned facilities, including the capitol building, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Jackson State University (JSU).
The CCID is governed by the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), which brought on Jackson-based Waggoner/AJA/CDFL last summer.
Engineers met with DFA officials, as well as members of the CCID advisory panel in mid-January.
Under state law, projects will be chosen at the sole discretion of the DFA executive director. However, she will receive input from a nine-member advisory panel made up of appointees from the city of Jackson and other agencies.
DFA will use the master plan to determine how to spend district allocations.
“The Waggoner team has taken several steps so far to help determine the direction DFA will take in … selecting projects,” said DFA Director of Communications Chuck McIntosh.
To collect data, consultants have reviewed current and past infrastructure plans/reports for the area, performed a visual review of streets within the CCID footprint, and have met with DFA and CCID officials to gain insight on infrastructure needs, McIntosh explained.
Projects will be chosen based, in part, on a methodology established by engineers.
“Obviously, though, the amount of available funding will be a major determining factor,” he said.
No plans had been decided on at press time.
North to south, the CCID runs from Meadowbrook road to Hooker Street and from JSU in the west to the Pearl River and Ridgewood Road in the east.
Improvements in the district are being paid for with a special allocation coming from sales tax revenues generated in the capital city.
This year, the district is expected to receive around $3 million in allocations, an amount that will increase to $7 million in the next fiscal year and then to $11 million the year following that.
Eighty-five percent of the funds must go toward infrastructure and other public improvements, while 10 percent can be used to reimburse the capital city for providing fire and police services within the district. The remaining five percent can be used by DFA for administrative and implementation costs.
Through January 2019, about $1.38 million in diversions have been collected.
The diversions do not affect the 18.5 percent diversions the city receives under state law.