Friday, January 6, 2023

Mayor: $800 Million for Jackson (Updated)

 Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced the federal fairy godmothers bestowed $800 million upon Jackson at a press conference yesterday . 



* Mayor Lumumba blamed failure to invest in Jackson's infrastructure, rising costs, staffing problems, and climate change. He said "there have been years of neglect that have been inhumane."  

*"Today we can say after kicking the can of crumbling infrastructure down the road, the stars have aligned for Jackson.  At this moment in time, we have secured the expertise and the funding to start replacing, repairing, and modernizing Jackson's water system," said the Mayor.  

*. Mayor Lumumba said Jackson was "one step closer" to obtaining the $2 billion it needs to fix its water and sewer infrastructure with the passage of the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill. The bill provides $600 million to Jackson for water infrastructure.  Jackson obtained another $200 million in additional funding.  The Mayor touted his "own efforts" in landing the funding.  

* The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will oversee most of the spending of the funds. 

*  Mayor Lumumba said it will take years to implement the funding.  

*. Water Manager Ted Henifin will provide a timeline of the projects funded.  

* Mayor Lumumba said Deputy Director Jordan Hillman now works for Mr. Henefin.  The Mayor said he is re-aligning the Public Works Department to match leadership with tasks since the city no longer has control of the water system.  Jackson does not have a Public Works Director.  

Mr. Henefin said there were still some homes in south Jackson lacking water.  
 
Update (11:45 AM): Mayor Lumumba issued the following statement. 
 
 Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba made a major announcement Thursday that the federal government has committed to sending $600 million – over half a billion dollars - toward repairing the City of Jackson’s antiquated water system. 

The historic funding comes out of the $1.7 trillion federal omnibus bill that was passed in the final days of 2022 and after national recognition of the City’s ongoing issues with its main water plant and outdated distribution lines led to extended boil water notices and the loss of water pressure for many residents.

It comes as the direct result of the Mayor's persistent efforts to secure funding and meet with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the Mississippi congressional delegation, community and church leaders, and residents of the City of Jackson. The funding represents the largest federal allocation for the City of Jackson in its history.

"I mentioned a few weeks ago that something big was happening, but I couldn’t go into detail at the time. Well, today, the time has come,” Lumumba said at a Thursday morning press conference at City Hall. Today, we can finally say after decades of kicking the can of crumbling infrastructure down the road, the stars have aligned for Jackson." 

“At this moment in time, we have secured the expertise and the funding needed to start repairing, replacing and modernizing Jackson’s water system," Lumumba continued.

All told, the Lumumba administration has acquired nearly $800 million ($795,259,040) in grants and direct appropriations in the course of three months to shore up the City's estimated $2 billion infrastructure needs. The collective funding represents the efforts of the administration, local and federal partners to bring a long overdue, historic investment into the City’s water and sewer infrastructure.

The struggle with its water system has plagued the City of Jackson for years, evidenced by newspaper headlines and stories of water woes that goes back decades. These stories paint a picture of a crumbling water and distribution system that is frequently in crisis and susceptible to extreme weather events. Over the years, with climate change and the rising costs of repair, replacement, and modernization of the water system, the growing needs have outpaced the revenue and workforce available to the City of Jackson.

The plan moving forward is to abide by the Department of Justice’s stipulated order, which can be found here.  The funding will be managed by the EPA, which maintains a close working relationship with the Mayor and City of Jackson officials. The plan to make short-term, mid-term and long-term corrections to the City’s water system is being overseen by third party administrator, Ted Henifin, who will effort to address the 13 infrastructure priorities listed in the order. 

The Mayor has asked Mr. Henifin to provide a timeline and implementation plan that will let the public see the steps being taken, the expected start and finish of projects, and the impact each project will have on residents. The ultimate goal is to use the resources to deliver residents the dignity of having clean, available and safe drinking water. 

Lumumba said he is hopeful the resources and expertise on hand will become a model for other cities in the country that suffer from the same experiences and stand as a “human-centered model,” one that displays the power of collaboration and investment when building a more resilient and sustainable future for all.  

 

He acknowledged those who have supported funding for the City of Jackson and its water system, singling out Congressman Bennie Thompson and Senator Roger Wicker as being particularly helpful as part of a coalition of the willing. The Mayor also recognized the City of Jackson’s federal lobbyists at Ice Miller (Jarod Loadholt), the NAACP for their efforts, the Thomas Consulting Group for their expertise in all things finance, grants, infrastructure, communications and strategy, and the many other private and philanthropic partners who supported this effort.

“It has taken an incredible collaborative effort to reach this monumental place,” Lumumba said. “This transformative funding not only ensures water infrastructure improvements but increases the overall quality of life for all Jacksonians and neighboring ratepayers.”

The Mayor ended his comments with a vow to Jackson residents to continue to fight for additional funding to address the City’s estimated $2 billion total capital needs. 

 “In the midst of our water challenges, I am very happy to say that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for the residents of Jackson.  We did not get here overnight, and our full recovery will take many years, but we are well on our way, and we look forward to even better days to come.”



40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sure, climate change, gun shows, open carry, "white" flight, Trump, are all to blame. Right?

Meanwhile, Socrates and Chowke's other pals are waiting for their cut.

Anonymous said...

Mayor will figure someway to get some of that pay day where he can benefit

fed up in Jackson said...

Was genuinely hoping the mayor was announcing he was stepping down.

Can’t say I have much confidence in the EPA & USACE overseeing spending of funds

Glad he could announce that they have brilliantly come up with a new organizational chart departments. That’s what over educated do nothings get you

Anonymous said...

trusting this city that can’t run a zoo, can barely maintain a airport, can’t bill residents for water, can’t fix potholes, can’t staff a police force or emergency services with $800M seems real smart

Anonymous said...

Was that Chowke looking at new S model Mercedes at the dealership yesterday?

Anonymous said...

and somehow his "estimate" on fixing everything is now 2 billion.

Anonymous said...

I can visualize lots of "overtime" payments to Chowke's no-show city employees, and maybe Rukia will provide some engineering consulting. Right?

Anonymous said...

Many years ago, when I was just a kid growing up in the poverty of the Delta the rich folks church decided they would help the "po folks" on the other side of town. My family and most others worked their butts off to keep us poor kids fed and wearing clean clothes even if our clothes were old and hand-me-downs. But one family did not have such pride or concern. Those kids were always dirty and hungry because the parents were irresponsible and often drunk. When the church brought new clothes and toys for the "Po kids" that bunch got most of it. We got none. But we did all right. I learned how to value a dollar, to manage my money, and to work for what I want. Good luck to Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Every man, woman, and child in the USA is paying a $4.00 fine as a reward to Jackson Mississippi for incompetence, theft, and wasteful spending.

Anonymous said...

Historically EPA's direct oversight of its infrastructure grant projects has been relatively minor, since the nearest EPA grant employee is in Atlanta and EPA doesn't directly contract the work. That's why federal EPA money is typically funneled to the local entity through the appropriate state agency or the Corps, or both, with EPA paying the agency for local monitoring. I had some experience with EPA funding when the EPA contracted with both the Corps and the state for each to provide management of different aspects of the projects, working together and with EPA, and those got pretty good oversight. Someone at that level saw virtually every piece of paper and every action taken on the project, saw the physical construction, approved various work items like payments and changes, could withhold periodic reimbursement payments if warranted, and could call in EPA's federal auditors if needed.

Anonymous said...

And WHO failed to invest in Jackson infrastructure? Could it be, oh, the city government?

Anonymous said...

It's money borrowed from China, but that is only right considering all of those masks that Chowke sent to the commies. You know, the masks that were bought from the Chinese.

What could go wrong?

Anonymous said...

This is Socialism

Anonymous said...

There are some tongues wagging on the Central Mississippi WBE/WBE list for this money. Does anyone know if the set-aside is in play since it looks like a federal agency is overseeing this?

Anonymous said...

"The Mayor touted his 'own efforts' in landing the funding."

Not much effort needed to ignore, deflect blame, and whine...from South Beach.

Anonymous said...

Yes , There are ALWAYS A D M I N monies to be had......

Anonymous said...

I feel so much better knowing the State's rah rah blah blah Chamber MEC once again is trying to make themselves relevant with their annual dog and pony, yesterday. Who actually gives a &#$). The Director is actually turning into Blake Wilson incarnate.

Anonymous said...

To 9:07
The Mayor better figure it out quick before the Governor and Brett Farve get their hands on it or there won't be any left !!

Anonymous said...

10:15 Sorry but this is NOT socialism. This is cronyism. Socialists actually require more accountability and they can be quite unforgiving.

Anonymous said...

Can Socrates Garrett hoodwink Henifin? Maybe if Garrett declared himself a Reverend?

Squeezer said...

crazy how utter incompetence gets rewarded

Anonymous said...

An indulgent Uncle Sam bailed out the City With Woes.

Anonymous said...

Hey all, please keep at it on here. It’s extremely gratifying watching y’all get your panties all in a wad because people on what you consider to be the wrong side of the city limits are getting assistance aimed at providing clean drinking water.

What next, are y’all gonna gripe because a puppy gets adopted or because an old lady gets help walking across the street?

Anonymous said...

@10:00 a.m. What?

Anonymous said...

I look forward to the user payment schedule being released. I'm sure it will provide much material for discussion.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention EPA Heather McTeer was former Mayor of Greenville with not so clean record. Ask any former GPD officer about her security team while on taxpayers $. MDEQ Director is correct in that the State Never discriminated against anyone that requested Federal or State Assistance. Jackson alone applied for every loan!

Anonymous said...

11:59 When the price of groceries skyrockets more because of inflation increasing from the money pumped in by Uncle Sam, you won’t be very happy either.

Unknown said...

Write this down the real mess is just about to start. These monies will be audited according to tight Federal standards and the project will not go well for anyone. The Biden group will all be gone by then the City will not properly have handled any on the money so a repayment may be required. I am sure there will be every law and rule broken and someone will go to jail. This kind of money is different from the current level of thieving.

Anonymous said...

The feds are done with the State and County siphoning off the funds.
Thank you News and Brett for making the corruption so obvious.

Anonymous said...

Look at old Joe and Kamala making it rain on Lumumbatown! Congratulations! At least now when the usual city graft and corruption results in misspent federal funds, there won't be a Mississippi "R" in sight for the media to spotlight for being at fault.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:59 AM

I will type slowly so you can keep up.

It's not that it's been done and for whom. It's how it happened and how it's been remedied. Incompetence has been rewarded, and with other people's money. If this doesn't bother you, then you're part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

1. Enthusiasm
2. Disillusionment
3. Disaster
4. Search for the guilty
5. Punishment of the innocent
6. Praise and honors for the non-participants

Funny how quickly steps 3 - 6 of government projects seem to take hold...

Anonymous said...

He didn’t compose this because “transformative” isn’t in his vocabulary. Right?

Anonymous said...

Heather McTeer is with the EPA? Hmmm. When she was 'mayor' of Greenville, she spent 90% of her time either in D.C. or a plane headed to or returning from there.

She was a youngster who did absolutely nothing in the position. But of course, her daddy is Victor McTeer wheeling and dealing democrat lawyer of the same Delta town.

In case you haven't looked, Greenville, once the shining beacon of prosperity and business among the 18 Delta Counties, began its rapid slide into poverty and crime the day she was elected.

Yes, I'm a former resident from the days when the place sparkled, but not with bling and transfer payments.

Anonymous said...

So, if money was the only obstacle preventing water system maintenance, then there must already be a plan in place, just waiting for the opportunity to fund it -- right? The same with the JPD, JPS, and roads -- right?

Anonymous said...

Will the Feds ask if anyone is paying a water bill in Jackson?

Theca Jones of the Roguish Gent Podcast said...

Cry more.

Anonymous said...

I notice each time he speaks in front of a crowd he “sways” side to side like he is preaching to a congregation. Is he?

Anonymous said...

"Many years ago, when I was just a kid growing up in the poverty of the Delta the rich folks church decided they would help the "po folks" on the other side of town. My family and most others worked their butts off to keep us poor kids fed and wearing clean clothes even if our clothes were old and hand-me-downs. But one family did not have such pride or concern. Those kids were always dirty and hungry because the parents were irresponsible and often drunk. When the church brought new clothes and toys for the "Po kids" that bunch got most of it. We got none. But we did all right. I learned how to value a dollar, to manage my money, and to work for what I want. Good luck to Jackson."

Nice story. But I'm getting the feeling that your impression of the Delta, came from watching that Jackson plaintiff attorney's commercial, about the Delta farmer. You know the one: A hunky bearded grampa of Swedish descent (that Waterloo Iowa look...), dressed in overalls, is holding a basket of assorted grocery store vegetables he's just picked from his ROLLING FIELDS of WHEAT.

Anonymous said...

McTeer spawn of Bennie T.....Grenada too....


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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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