House Bill 1585, with unanimous support from the Hinds and Rankin delegations, passed 110-4. It would give the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District, which already has taxing authority, flexibility to adjust any future taxes for the lake between those with property directly benefiting from being waterfront and those with less or no direct benefit — instead of levying a flat rate for all properties in the district.
The One Lake plan, which can trace its winding roots back to the historic 1979 flood, is to widen the Pearl River south of the Ross Barnett Reservoir to below Jackson. Congress has earmarked $150 million to the project. District leaders estimate another $150 must be secured — most of that expected to come from the federal government as well. The project is awaiting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval. A measure passed by Congress last year was aimed at expediting the approval of the One Lake and similar projects.