City to hire consultants

Jackson could soon bring on private consultants to help draw up its next one-percent master plan.

Public works is expected to issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) this month for firms interested in helping the city draw up a plan and map out how Jackson will spend revenues from its one-percent infrastructure sales tax.

The city was expected to discuss the proposal this week with the one-percent oversight commission.

“What we plan to do is put the RFQ out and evaluate the responses based on the city’s needs,” said Engineering Manager Charles Williams. “The RFQ is finished, we’re waiting for legal to provide any comments to make sure it’s legally sufficient.”

The firm would be responsible for reviewing the existing master plans and looking at the city’s needs as a whole to determine what projects to move forward on. Consultants would put together projects for a two-year capital plan, and then work on plans for years three, four and five, Williams said.

The commission previously allocated $500,000 for the work.

Under state statute, commissioners are required to create a master plan and ensure that one-percent revenues are spent in compliance with it.

Oversight officials approved the first master plan in 2015, which included 37 projects and $13.7 million in expenditures. Since then, commissioners have approved projects in a piecemeal fashion.

In March 2017, commissioners approved what they argue was a long-range master plan. However, the document focused less on infrastructure and more on how the city could spend one-percent dollars.

Jackson residents approved the tax in 2014. Since then, it has generated approximately $68.8 million.





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