"City OKs IMS Engineers to Oversee 1 Percent Tax Projects" by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

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City OKs IMS Engineers to Oversee 1 Percent Tax Projects

The city has hired a manager to oversee projects paid for with a 1-percent tax approved almost two years ago.

The Jackson City Council approved a contract with Jackson-based IMS Engineers for projects in the first year of the infrastructure master plan. IMS will help develop a comprehensive infrastructure plan, a 20-year blueprint to overhaul of the City’s infrastructure system of roads, bridges as well as water, sewer and drainage systems. IMS will also provide mapping and handle the public relations and outreach.

The selection of IMS came with relatively little controversy compared to other professional-services contracts that have gone before the city council in recent months. These include an agreement to remove sludge from the Savanna Wastewater Treatment Plant and switching health plans for city employees.

Mayor Tony Yarber said IMS did have the best scores from the City's evaluation committee, but two firms who scored higher had conflicts because the firms would have overseen work they previously committed.

Yarber has said hiring a program manager would be one of the last obstacles to overcome before spending from the 1-percent fund.

So far taxpayers have generated approximately $21 million from the 1-percent tax that voters approved through a referendum in early 2014. The first year of the tax added up to $15.1 million designated to begin repairs on some 2,000 miles of roadway, 881 miles of water main and 1,000 miles of sewer pipe.

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