Jackson mayor says federal funds will help capital city build dependable, resilient, and equitable water system

JACKSON, Ms. (WLBT) – On Wednesday, residents and business owners in South Jackson had the opportunity to hear from the city’s top executive about the troubled water system.

Dozens flocked to Forrest Hill High School as Mayor Chokwe updated Antar Lumumba on the latest happenings in the city’s water system.

Lumumba said the city has the experts and funding it needs to make much-needed repairs to its water treatment facilities.

“What we’ve been able to accomplish is something that has never been done before by any administration, black or white, black or white,” Mayor Lumumba said. “No one ever got $800 million. A billion dollars, a billion dollars to fix a system.”

The mayor recently announced that the city had been allocated $795 million from the federal government, including $600 million from the Congressional Omnibus Spending Act passed in December.

These funds go into the state’s Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund and can be used exclusively by the City of Jackson to meet water system needs.

“What I can assure you is that there will be less disruption,” the mayor said. “We will ultimately have a system that is not only reliable, not only secure, not only fair, but resilient. This is what we build.”

As residents and business owners listened, many took this opportunity to bring to the mayor some of the issues and concerns facing the city’s infrastructure.

Some describe problems with sewage in their yards, plumbing, and their high water bills.

“The water bill that month was $468, you can say $469 for a brother who doesn’t cook, doesn’t have a washer or dryer,” said one resident. “It shouldn’t be, and I don’t know what the problem is.”

“Finding the solution and the money to fix the problem myself is not lost on me, nor is I sleeping at the wheel,” Mayor Lumumba said. “I may not be able to tell you everything I’m trying to do, but I will tell you that there are a few options on the table that we know internally and at the right time, at the right time, we will communicate that.” with you.”

Ted Henifin, Interim Third Party Manager, was brought in to oversee the city’s water system.

He wants to implement a new water billing system that would charge residents… and businesses… based on their property value.

Under the proposal, a resident would pay no more than $150 a month, and businesses would pay no more than $600.

During Wednesday’s municipal council meeting, Mayor Lumumba said he hadn’t had time to look at the plan to offer his thoughts on the plan.

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