Waggoner to work closely with finance department to determine CCID projects

 

The master plan being drawn up for the “capitol complex improvement district” (CCID) will be much more than a simple list of projects that need to be done, according to a copy of the contract with the district’s consultants.

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

The Jackson-based firms will be responsible for working with CCID board members and DFA officials to come up with projects.

They’ll also be responsible for reviewing previous infrastructure plans for the district, prioritizing and scheduling projects once they’re in the plan, and developing cost estimates and budgets for the work.

Following the completion of the plan, Waggoner/AJA will remain on as consultants to review and revise the document when needed, attend advisory panel meetings, make presentations to the advisory panel and DFA and take on other consulting duties as needed, according to the contract.

The Sun received a copy of the 23-page professional services agreement last week.

Waggoner/AJA was brought on earlier this summer. The contract is for three years, with options to extend the agreement for two one-year periods. Work for the first year is not to exceed $150,000, and cost for each consecutive year are not to exceed $50,000.

The master plan will govern how funds are spent in the new CCID. The Mississippi legislature created the district in 2017 to help Jackson pay for road, water and sewer upgrades within it.

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

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

 

Funds will be placed in a special escrow account for use specifically on work within the district. Before the monies can be spent, the DFA must craft a master plan outlining how the dollars will be used.

CCID allocations can be used for various projects, including street, curb and gutter repairs, bridge construction and repair, water and sewer system upgrades, street lighting installation/replacement, traffic signal installation/replacement, public park and rights-of-way reconstruction/repair, sidewalk reconstruction, landscaping, and utility relocation, according to a copy of the contract.

Legislation also mandates that a portion of the CCID funds are set aside for public safety, to reimburse Jackson for providing police service.

The plan must be completely updated every five years, and can be updated any time in between, according to state statute.

It was not known at press time when the master plan would be finished.

The district is governed by the DFA, with input from a nine-member advisory panel.

It runs 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.

The CCID takes in several major state-owned properties, including Jackson State University, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the Mississippi Research and Development Center, most of LeFleur’s Bluff State Park, the Mississippi State Capitol Building and others.

Jackson provides municipal services, including water, roads, police and fire protection to those facilities. But because state-owned buildings are tax-exempt, Jackson receives no property tax revenues from them to help offset costs.