Voters overwhelmingly say yes so when does the work begin? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson voters overwhelmingly say yes; so when does the work begin?

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Nearly 16,000 residents cast ballots in Jackson's sales tax referendum and more than 90% approved a one-cent sales tax increase for infrastructure improvements. The additional penny will be collected for the next two decades.

But before the old pipes can be replaced, a special commission must be named to oversee the process.

The vote gives the city the go ahead to put their master plan to work, one they have been crafting for six months.

"We'll start to appoint the members to the commission to get that approved and then in about 90 days from now we'll start slowly incrementing and use our prioritization process to implement the plan," said Ward Four Councilman De'Keither Stamps.

Three members will be chosen by the city, four by the Greater Jackson Chamber and will include the Governor, Lt.. Governor and Speaker of the House.

"We've got streets laid out but everybody should know that they can go to their councilman and they can look at the list of streets and if they see that they're not on the list they can raise concern about that and get on the list," said Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba.

Phase One of city wide improvements includes $57.4 million in street resurfacing, repaving nearly 160 miles in all seven wards.

There will be $94. 7 million in water system improvements and $19.7 million for more than 23,000 linear feet of drainage improvements.

"We've got a list of streets that have been on a list to get repaired gong back as far as 2005/2006," said Wart Two Councilman Melvin Priester, Jr. "So that's what we've been working hard to do."

The tax will generate about $343 million dollars over 20 years or roughly $15 million per year. The Department of Revenue will collect the tax designated just for city infrastructure improvements.

Road, sewer, water and drainage repairs could begin 90 days after the commission is selected.

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