firm hired to develop plan for Capitol Improvement District

By ANTHONY WARREN,

A master plan governing how funds will be spent in the new “capitol complex improvement district” could soon be taking shape.

The Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) recently selected Waggoner Engineering/AJA Consultants to help draw up the plans.

The Jackson-based firms are expected to begin meeting with CCID board members and DFA officials in the coming weeks, said DFA spokesman Chuck McIntosh.

McIntosh did not say when the plan would be completed.

Waggoner/AJA was chosen this summer and awarded a three-year contract, with costs for the first year not to exceed $150,000, and costs for each consecutive year not to exceed $50,000.

The group will be responsible for drawing up a master plan that will outline how the state will spend funds in the CCID.

Lawmakers created the district in 2017, to help Jackson pay for road, water and sewer upgrades within it.

The CCID takes in a large swath of the capital city, including parts of Northeast Jackson, Fondren and Belhaven, and provides Jackson additional sales tax diversions to pay for improvements within it.

This year, the district will receive more than $3 million this year, an amount that will increase to $7 million next year, and then $11 million a year each year after that.

However, before those funds can be used, DFA must put together a master plan, and DFA must put together that plan with the help of a nine-member advisory panel.

Advisors include Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Jackson Director of Planning and Development Mukesh Kumar, Jackson Public Works Director Robert Miller, DFA Executive Director Laura Jackson, and representatives from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson State University, House Speaker Philip Gunn, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Gov. Phil Bryant.

The district stretching from Meadowbrook Road in the north to Hooker Street in the south, and from JSU in the west to the Pearl River and Ridgewood Road in the east. It takes in several major state-owned properties, including JSU, UMMC, the Mississippi Research and Development Center, most of LeFleur’s Bluff State Park and the Mississippi Capitol Building.

Jackson provides municipal services, including water, roads and police and fire protection, to those facilities, but does not receive property tax revenues in return.

A copy of the contract was not available at press time.