CCID panel meeting to start master plan workBy ANTHONY WARREN,
An advisory panel that will help determine how funds are spent in the new “Capitol Complex Improvement District” is expected to meet for the first time today.
And according to a state official, members will be hitting the ground running.
The panel’s first meeting is slated for Thursday, July 19, at 9 a.m.
Among early duties, the panel will interview engineering firms that will help draw up the first CCID master plan.
Under state law, a master plan must be in place before CCID revenues can be spent.
The Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) is responsible for drawing up that plan with the input of the nine-member appointed panel.
“Before a master plan can be created, a civil engineer must be enlisted to help with the process,” said Chuck McIntosh, DFA director of communications. “A subcommittee of the CCID board will be created to interview viable candidates.”
The agency issued a request for qualifications earlier this year. Deadline to submit information was July 16 at 5 p.m. Interviews for short-listed professionals is slated for Friday, July 27, according to a copy of the request.
The contract will be for approximately $100,000 for the first year, and up to $50,000 a year for each additional year the firm is used after that.
“Once a (civil engineer) is hired, the board will be developing a master plan,” McIntosh said.
State lawmakers set up the CCID last year. The district takes in a large swath of Jackson, including most of downtown and parts of Belhaven, Fondren and Northeast Jackson. It will receive an annual allocation each year from sales tax revenues collected in the capital city.
The first funds are expected to come in this August and will be approximately $3.028 million, according to projections provided by the Mississippi Department of Revenue.
Next year the allocation is expected to increase to $7 million for fiscal year 2020 and $11 million a year beginning in budget year 2021 and onward.
Eighty-five percent of the funds must go toward infrastructure, 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.
Provisions state that the DFA executive director ultimately is responsible for drawing up the master plan, with the advice of the advisory panel.
The nine-member panel includes three Jackson appointments: Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Director of Planning and Development Mukesh Kumar and Public Works Director Robert Miller. Other appointees include Jonathan Wilson, chief administrative officer at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Rebekah Staples, representing Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Nathan Wells, representing speaker of the House Philip Gunn, Bobby Morgan and Kirk Sims, both representing Gov. Phil Bryant and Worth Thomas, representing Jackson State University.
The CCID was created, in part, to help offset Jackson’s losses from tax-exempt properties.
Eight percent of all properties in Jackson are tax-exempt, according to figures provided by the Hinds County Tax Assessor’s Office.
The city must provide fire and police protection to those facilities, as well as maintain the infrastructure serving them.
However, Jackson is not reimbursed for those services through ad valorem collections.
The CCID takes in a large number of those tax-exempt sites, including UMMC, JSU, the Mississippi Research and Development Center, most of LeFleur’s Bluff State Park and the Mississippi Capitol Building.
The district runs from Meadowbrook Road in the north to Hooker Street in the south and from Jackson State University in the west to the Pearl River and Ridgewood Road in the east.