One slot still unfilled for CCID advisory panel

By ANTHONY WARREN,

Only one slot remains open on an advisory panel that will oversee spending in the “capitol complex improvement district.”

Recently, the city of Jackson appointed three members to the CCID board: Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Planning Director Mukesh Kumar and Public Works Director Robert Miller.

Kumar was approved at the March 7 city council meeting.

Also, Gov. Phil Bryant has tapped his two representatives for the board, Bobby Morgan, a policy advisor for the governor, and Kirk Sims, with Yates Construction.

The appointments mean that eight of the board’s nine members are in place.

Other appointees include Jonathan Wilson (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Worth Thomas (Jackson State University) and Nathan Wells (Mississippi speaker of the House).

Only one position, that of the lieutenant governor’s, remains to be filled.

Under state law, a majority constitutes a quorum, meaning the panel can now begin meeting and conducting business.

DFA officials say the board likely won’t start meeting until after the 2018 legislative session. The session is expected to end by early April.

The nine-member panel will advise the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) on how to use an annual allocation within the CCID.

The district takes in a large portion of the capital city, running from Meadowbrook Road in the north to Hooker Street in the south. West to east, the district stretches from JSU to the Pearl River and Ridgewood Road.

Boundaries take in many of the state-owned properties, including UMMC, Jackson State, and the Mississippi Capitol Building.

Laura Hipp, spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, wasn’t sure when Reeves would make his appointment.

 

lawmakers established the district last year to reimburse Jackson for the costs for providing municipal services to state-owned facilities.

Jackson must provide services, including fire and police protection to those facilities, but receives no property taxes in return.

State-owned buildings are tax-exempt. About a third of the properties in downtown Jackson are state-owned, according to previous studies provided to the Sun.

Provisions establishing the district state that spending will be overseen by the DFA. Under the statute, the department will be responsible for drawing up a master plan to map out improvements. All spending must correspond to that plan.

Lawmakers passed HB 1226 in 2017, creating the district and establishing a funding mechanism to pay for it. 

Between August and December 31, 2018, the state will allocate $3.2 million in funding; in calendar year 2019, the state will set aside $7 million; and from 2020 on, the state will allocate $11 million in funding for the district annually.

According to state statute, 85 percent of the funds must go to public improvements, with 10 percent going to reimburse the city for providing police and fire protection. The remaining five percent will go to MDA to cover administrative costs.

Funds can be used for streets, bridge and drainage work, replacing and installing street lights and traffic signals, adding or rehabilitating water and sewer lines serving state buildings, rebuilding and repairing parks, public rights-of-way and sidewalks, improving landscaping and relocating utilities.

Officials did not know when a master plan would be completed or when locals would start seeing the impact of the work.

 

(photo) Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba will serve on panel

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