1% Sales Tax Commission adopts a master plan

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The One Percent Sales Tax Commission has approved a master plan for the City of Jackson’s infrastructure.

As of the commission’s March 2017, the commission has collected $41.1 million tax dollars to improve drainage, bridges, streets, and water lines in the city ofJacksonn. Of that money, the commission has obligated $31.1 million dollars towards projects.

Currently, 26 projects are underway.

West Jackson neighbors had the opportunity to get an update on projects are being done on Thursday night. But, they say enough hasn’t been done.

The commission’s Vice Chair, Duane O’neil, says it’s because they haven’t had a master plan until now.

Mayor Tony Yarber, who over a year ago submitted a master plan on behalf of the city, criticized the approved plan, which passed with a 5-4 vote.

“Well it’s lacking substance. It’s lacking priorities, how projects are prioritized. Ours does that. It also does not give a comprehensive look at asset management with its premise,” Yarber said.

“Nobody was completely happy. But we needed to get a document in front of us that was good. It’s okay. It’s good. But it can be improved,” O’Neil said in reference to the approved plan.

A repeated question from the audience was how streets are prioritized.

O’neil says roads with heavy traffic and extreme damage come first.

“We want to make sure that when we say we want to take care of those potholes, we don’t just go out there and start filling potholes. Because sometimes the real problem with that road is that there’s a line or a water line below that surface that keeps bubbling up,” O’Neil said.

Mayor Yarber compared the One Percent Sales Tax Commission to the advisory committee for the capitol complex improvement bill.

He says because project and financial power is ultimately in the hands of the Department of Finance Administration, he doesn’t forsee a division within the advisory committee having a negative effect.

The capitol complex improvement bill was signed by Governor Phil Bryant on Tuesday.

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