JFD wants inclusion in CCID Funding amid expansion talks

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 8:52 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A bill to expand the Capitol Complex Improvement District is circulating in the House. It is prompting other Jackson agencies in the district who say they are being left out to request funding allocations.

The talks of expanding the Capitol Complex Improvement District are urging Jackson’s Fire Chief to request that his department be included in the resources of public safety in the district. But some lawmakers say it’s unlikely with the current climate at the Capitol.

JFD Chief Willie Owens wants his department to be included in the Capitol Complex Improvement District funding because he says his agency responds to fires in the district.

House Bill 1020 would expand the CCID to more than 26 square miles. According to Owens, that would take in more fire stations that need equipment and manpower.

“The funding should come for public safety, and it’s my understanding that the police officers have gotten some of the funding from the CCI District, and firefighters haven’t gotten anything,” said the department chief.

Senator John Horhn (D), one of the lawmakers in talks with Owens, opposes the expansion. He’s not optimistic that the fire department would see any funding.

“Right now, we’re in probably what I think is the most toxic environment I’ve ever seen as it relates to the Mississippi legislature and their relationship with the City of Jackson,” said Hohrn. “They’re eligible for expenditures. The question is whether their resources are enough that they can get a piece of the pie along with everything CCID is doing.”

While lawmakers are also discussing a separate judicial district within the CCID and a size increase, Owens said firefighters are not limited to working in the district but are dispatched across the city as needed.

About six percent of funding is diverted from the General Fund and allocated to the CCID. Public Safety is included in the eligible expenditure items.

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