Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Bill Removing Water & Sewer from Jackson Control Passes Committee

Will Jackson permanently lose control of its water and sewer systems? The State Senate Economic and Workforce Development committee passed a bill yesterday that will create a utility authority to operate Jackson's water and sewer services when the water manager finally leaves town.  

State Senator David Parker (R-Graceland) authored SB #2889, "An Act to create the Mississippi Capitol Region Utility Authority." State Senator Parker is Chairman of the Committee.  History and text of bill.

Highlights of the bill are: 

* The bill creates the Mississippi Capitol Region Utility Authority

* The Authority will replace the city of Jackson in providing water, wastewater, and stormwater treatment service to current Jackson customers. 

* The transfer of services will occur when the court-appointed receiver's work concludes.  

*  The Chief Justice will select an appropriate circuit or chancery court for litigation involving the utility authority. 

* A nine-member Board of Directors will govern the utility authority.  The Mayor of Jackson appoints four members although he must consult with the Mayors of Ridgeland and Byram for two of his appointments.  The Governor appoints three members while the Lieutenant Governor appoints two members.  All nominations must be approved by the Senate.  

* All directors must be ratepayers in the area served by the utility authority.  

* After the initial terms of various periods are served, directors will serve terms of four years. 

*  The directors serve without pay although they may receive a per diem. 

* Board meetings are subject to the Open Meetings Act. 

* The Board appoints a President of the utility authority and has the power to issue bonds. 

* The utility authority will pay Jackson's bonds "relating to the water and sewer systems."  

Kingfish note: Needless to say, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is going to be none too pleased if this bill becomes law.  Expect marches, town halls, and of course, lawsuits.  Of course, such districts are used throughout the country to serve cities and counties, including New Orleans.  


Anonymous said...

I like it!! Jackson has proven over the last 30 years that they can't manage much of anything, so that plan seems very reasonable. Of course, I don't have a dog in this hunt living in Rankin County.

Anonymous said...

"The Mayor of Jackson appoints four members"

Hold onto your butts.

Anonymous said...

It’s the responsible thing to do no matter what your politics are

Anonymous said...

Rukia will be raising the race flag in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... Right?

Anonymous said...

It's the airport situation redux. The idiots that wrecked the system will file suit to block and ten years from now we'll still be waiting on the 5th circuit to clean up Carlton Reeve's erroneous rulings.

Anonymous said...

No more moronic Marxist proposals in billing system please. A separate bill to prevent such nonsense proceeds apace.

Anonymous said...

The mayor does not WANT water and sewer. He ,also, does not WANT a police dept.

Anonymous said...

What can the City of Jackson do right? I'll wait.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like something that would actually benefit Jackson residents.
So Chuck, Rukia and the national media will oppose it vehemently in the name of racism.

Its ironic that the people causing so many of the hardships affecting minorities are their own leaders. Thank god the sheep cant put that together.

Anonymous said...

I would not create a new authority, I would simply add it to the PRVWSD. The Res already runs water, sewer and storm water. That said, I wouldn't throw storm water on the authority. That's something that should be paid for by taxes, not utility rate payers.
It may be good to change the makeup of the board, but I think this is better than creating a new authority.

Anonymous said...

Lumumba should have no part of it at all.
He's never had the cities best interest. He's tried to do nothing but destroy it.

Anonymous said...

Would it be a good or bad thing to fold in the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District into this Regional Authority? Since the reservoir was originally created to supply Jackson with water, wouldn't it make sense to have one entity controlling the whole show?

Anonymous said...

Stupidest thing I've ever heard of. The state wants to take responsibility? Why would you want such a thing, especially when you are at the mercy of the feds at this point.

Grade A pot stirring is what this is.

Anonymous said...

Will Jackson permanently lose control of its water and sewer systems?

As a CoJ Water customer, I f'ing hope so!

Anonymous said...

It appears we are well on our way of the Adults finally being in charge. Thank you State leaders for taking on this task that should not be needed!

Anonymous said...

I think the best resolution to this whole crisis is for Mayor Lumumba and Gov Reeves to sit together with Rukia to allow Gov Reeves to apologize to Mayor Lumumba for doing an environmental racism, then allow Mayor Lumumba to explain to Gov Reeves how much his environmental racism hurts his feelings. Then we can begin to have healing and restorative justice.

Anonymous said...

So…what exactly would the marches, town halls, and lawsuits demand - that Jackson be allowed to stay in a state of perpetual dysfunction and incompetence whereby residents and businesses continue to suffer?

Anonymous said...

Local mayors on system get 1 appointment, Antard gets 1 appointment, any left up to 4 goes to city council.

Anonymous said...

Gibbs has no better plan. Oh, wait, no plan at all on anything. Just Daddy's money and Momma's name.

fed up in Jackson said...

Four is too many for city of Jackson Mayor, especially current mayor (*see airport)

Anonymous said...

More state tax money to pay for the failure of Jackson’s “leadership.”

@9:12am - Yeah, you do have a dog in this hunt if you pay state income taxes and/or sales tax. How do you think this is going to be initially funded? Ratepayers sure as hell won’t be paying the majority of it.

Anonymous said...

If this bill becomes law, where does that leave the nearly $800 million?

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, a bill is headed to passage that will expand the authority of the Capital Police District all the way to County Line Road. Also includes its own court system and jail. Why not include the whole damned city?

Before you know it, all Chokwe will be left with is his employment office, which suits him just fine.

Anonymous said...

The water manager needs to learn to shut up and manage his water.

Anonymous said...

1:05 - actually yes, the users will be paying the freight for this. Just like the ratepayers paid for it prior to 2016 when the city - in its infinite wisdom - quit cutting off water for non-payment.

The ratepayers will be required to be such - PAYERS. The users of the water and sewer will pay for the service, just as they do in every other city in the state. (Ridgeland and Madison will actually pay for the treatment of their resident's wastewater treatment to the system, and they will collect from their citizens. Same for Byram for water and sewer treatment.)

The only 'state money' that will go into this operation is the small cost incurred during the period of time between the creation of the authority and the transfer of the system to the authority.

On the other issue, the 'knowledgable, supposed to be non-partisan third party administrator' tries to pooh-pooh this proposal in his comments to the media today by saying this would allow the federal largess ($600 million) to be spent in areas other than Jackson.

BULLCRAP. While this is labeled as a "regional authority" the bill specifically states that the area included is the exact same area that Jackson water/sewer covers and serves today. AND the federal bill that provided this helicopter money says it can be spent in the area included in the federal emergency declaration of September 2022.

Henifin's babble has as much value as does his proposal to change the billing process for water - not on useage but on property value, in order to provide for more "social infrastructure" rather than working infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

Back up, no way, no how. Say no to big gub'mint. Does the state run Gulfport's water system? The people of Jxn voted for this incompetence over the years, they need to live with it. This is a few wealthy folks in Eastover wanting the state to clean up the mess. Those folks should have and could have left 30 years ago. Let Jxn deal with Jxn problems.

Anonymous said...

708, reading is fun. And it can be educational.

The State will not be running this water system, the commission appointed will be running it.

Just like the Gulf Coast Regional Authority is running Gulfport's water system, created by the state following Katrina.

This structure is designed around the same organization that the state created for Gulfport.

Come back tomorrow for that day's lesson.

Anonymous said...

Henifin is calling it a monwy-grab.

Anonymous said...

Henifin don't surf.

Anonymous said...

Harrison County has a regional authority. So does Desoto county. This will essentially be the same except Board of Directors probably doesn’t have appointees by Governor etc. Both of those entities got lots of federal grants!

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder if this is going to spoil Henifin and Lumumba's opportunity to create generational wealth for their families, Henifin through his newly-formed for-profit corporation JXN Water, Inc., and Lumumba in his usual fashion.

I'm just speculating, but a Henifin-Lumumba alliance would explain a lot of recent proposals, public comments, and general grandstanding.

Anonymous said...

Harrison County was rebuilt by Katrina Federal Dollars. Desoto County was built by federal dollars. The one other metro area - Jackson - will be built by federal dollars.

This 'regional' authority will be just like Harrison (Coast) and Desoto County metro areas.

And just like the coast and "memphis area' has worked, this will be the same.

Lumumba will bitch, but he should be dancing in the halls - saying here are the keys, take this off my hands. But he won't - he will bitch, scream racism, and anything else sister Ruckia and Dr. Omari tell him to do while demeaning this as a racist scheme done only because of racism. Ignoring, of course, that this has never been an issue during all of Mississippi's racist past when the water and sewer system of Jackson only actually worked.

But now, when we have portypotties lined up around the Capitol almost weekly while the legislature is in session, or while the Supreme Court is holding oral arguments, or MDOT Commissioners are meeting - whatever - the reality of how Lumumba has administrated the governance of Jackson - the legislature has to act to straighten out the disaster of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Who sponsored and signed onto the bill? That's what we need to consider while forming a learned opinion.

Anonymous said...

The Board members should be paid. A member will have to spend a lot of time studying issues, preparing for and attending meetings. Legislators, Supervisors and city board members get paid, these board members should get paid too.

Anonymous said...

The Jackson Airport should be next on the list.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 9:17. Do we really want directors who, for whatever reason, don't need to work for pay, or are perhaps interested in being compensated in some other way?

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