Friday, February 23, 2024

Henifin Supports Water/Sewer District for Jackson

 JXN Water issued the following statement. 

 JXN Water supports efforts to establish future governance for the water system and will work with legislators on recommended amendments.

“After reviewing SB 2628, I believe this is a great foundation. It appears that many of the comments I provided during the last session regarding the bill introduced in 2023 were taken to heart and this bill now includes many of the suggestions I made at that time,” said Ted Henifin, interim third party manager for JXN Water. “The bill identifies a need for appropriations but I recommend defining a specific dollar figure to fund start-up costs for the authority be included in the FY 2025 state budget.”



The ITPM supports many of the bill’s key elements:

  • All Federal funds received to date to be spent according to the direction of the ITPM and the Court
  • Authority assumes ownership and operations and maintenance upon the date of termination of the Order or earlier as ordered by the Court
  • Authority can issue bonds
  • Authority develops own procedures for procurements less than $1.0 million
  • Authority to consult with the Court in appointing a President (paid for by State) and to serve as ITPM’s deputy in the transition
  • Authorizes the Mississippi SRF program to loan funds at zero percent with a 40-year term to make such purchase
  • Board serves without salary
  • Employees of Authority serve at will and pleasure of president who sets compensation and benefits
  • Nine-member board from very specific constituencies – give appointed by Governor and four by Lt. Governor
  • Set rates subject to PSC review – PSC shall defer to Authority’s determination of what rates are just and reasonable absent a showing of manifest error
  • State provides surety for short-term borrowing through 2029
  • The bill authorizes the Authority to purchase the water and sewer assets at fair market value


Kingfish note: Here come the shrieks.  Public utility districts run the water and sewer systems of most major cities.  However, this is Jackson where competence is the enemy.  Copy of bill.


Anonymous said...

"Nine-member board from very specific constituencies – give appointed by Governor and four by Lt. Governorv"


Anonymous said...

Water bills still a huge shtshow. Absolutely no improvement.

Anonymous said...

Um, I agree… huh?

Anonymous said...

That time line requires a clear, fast and final process for settling the asset value dispute.

Anonymous said...

Just go on and take over the administration of the entire city, it will come to that before long..

Anonymous said...

I agree when the Board/State takes over. It will be their problem. Which they won’t solve because there isn’t a desire to do so.
These issues should have as far back as Danks.!

Anonymous said...

I found a much simpler solution. Do as I did and move to Madison, the city. Take your losses now because there is very little chance of property values stabilizing or escalating in Hinds county.

Anonymous said...

Glad this is happening. Extremely glad someone would shadow Henifin to learn exactly how/why everything should be done. Extremely glad Judge who has expert knowledge on all of this would be involved. I agree, start it now so it can be in place, kinks worked out, and training can start.

Anonymous said...

Excellent news. However, Mr. Henifin has ensured the attacks by the Mayor and his activist network will intensify.

Anonymous said...

This is the water czar's ticket back home to Boston.

Anonymous said...

Should be FIVE by the governor and four by the Lt Governor.

Anonymous said...

Who thinks he wants to stay in Missippi, I would bet on his days off, he heads home are just out the state. New Orleans and Memphis are 3 hours away!

Anonymous said...

New Orleans and Memphis are just another version of Jackson. This is not 2000.

Anonymous said...

The city of Jackson doesn't want to be taken overy by anyone else or share resources, because having a functioning city is racist.

Anonymous said...

My water bill last month in a planned development in Madison County was $13.42 for the month.

It’s not great water, but it works for the grass and showers.

The dogs and I drink Sam’s Club water.

I don’t know how anyone deals with $90 a month bills for brown water. And that’s if it works. Yes, I left Jackson.

Anonymous said...

These issues should have as far back as Danks.!

Be specific. Which can(s) did Danks kick down the road? Put up.

Anonymous said...

8:54 AM is correct. They need to get this done (authorizing the water/sewer district) asap. It will end up in court because Mayor and his group will not agree on a fair market price and will fight this. Get it into law NOW to allow for all the time needed going thru the court systems.

Anonymous said...

Other things in Jackson/Hinds that need a third party manager to unf*ck:

All judges
Road dept
Parks and rec

Just a few to get started

Anonymous said...

This is great news. I am surprised the State is willing to pay for a broken system. Think of all the good the City can do with that money! The administration and Council will have cash flow and the citizens will have good water. I think this is a win/win. No one wants the City to have control again. I can only imagine the businesses and industry that will be coming to Jackson now that investors do not have to worry about the water supply.

Anonymous said...

I know we've been here before, but it really is astounding how the capital city must have intervention by those who don't even live there to get the most basic things done. Other cities conduct their own business, but somehow those in charge of Jackson are completely incompetent. And yet, city hall will protest the very hand that feeds them yet again, because they are mad that they couldn't get it done.

Anonymous said...

Get him a toga!
Instead of attempting to manage this City and its failing infrastructure, Lil Choke, like Nero, lets his empire crumble around him, and spends his time plotting for power, absent any concern for the wellbeing of the citizens of Jackson. He can't even pay city contractors on time when the payments are Council-approved with money in the pay account, ruining Jackson's credit reputation and earning a delinquency fee of $850K, paid out of scarce Tax resources.
He only belittles his own character hiding in a closet to prevent being on film whilst insulting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Saltwaterpappy said...

When I first came to live in Jackson five years ago, I asked a Black gentleman, a military career veteran, how did Jackson become such a shit hole. Without hesitating, he told me that "we have too many unqualified Black folks fighting for control over the city's limited resources." He opined further, that if there had been no white flight, beginning in the 1970s, he thought that Jackson would have continued to be a safe and secure place to live. From what I have seen, Jackson is destined to go into some sort of receivership, similar to what happened to Birmingham, Alabama.

Anonymous said...

The upcoming winning mayoral race should feature a campaign promise to hire a City Manager, making "Mayor" a sort of flesh and blood ceremonial but powerless statue, with eggs and tomatoes incoming if Lumumba, sans entourage, remounts that pompous pedestal.

Anonymous said...

The guv is willing to help because he’s been told investor’s don’t want to spend in a state where the governor’s home (the state capital) is such an eyesore, so unbefitting Mississippi’s emergence economically. Good changes are coming to Jackson (no pun intended).

Anonymous said...

Good luck, Jacksonians. We bit the bullet. After twenty years watching the city go to hell because of incompetent leadership, we sold our house for a loss and left. We are very happy in our new home in North Carolina. Jackson will continue to decline. My hearts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

For the record JXNWater and their new trucks, and outside contractors can’t fix the issues with the water/sewer system either. Henifin is wise enough to know it’s a race to the bottom without billions of dollars and years of construction. Is race an issue? Yes, Judge Wingate has sold the City of Jackson out to his colleagues. The issues will not be solved by politicians from Rankin County and Desoto County that loves and adore the City of Jackson. It was a very clever attempt but are you kidding? Do you think school vouchers will someone erase the issue with education in the Great State? Hardly! It’s time to have honest debate about the issues.

Honestly, I think the current Mayor is too inexperienced for the job. His temperament and that of the Governor are counter productive. Everyone knows the hook ups in this state but everyone is afraid to talk about the elephant in the room. Let use the lessons learned from this states troubled history to educate and expand the wealth for all and not just the Brookhaven friends and church members. There is a spot light on the incompetence for the legislature e.g. why are two federally funded highways that traverses Jackson, MS without lighting on the most engineeringly challenged sections of the freeway (the waterworks curb and theValley Street bridge) But for some strange reason, security cameras can’t catch the theives that are stealing copper from utility poles yet the state is the recipient of 100’s of millions of dollars and we can’t stop the one of two firms stealing copper. How about she potential loss of life that could occur for failure to address this issue as well.

Because casting blame please take the rafter from your eye before extracting the straw from mine.

Real plans are needed!

Jackson can be a great place and he same goes for Mississippi but not until there was is honest dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Imagine the stories this guy tells his friends back home. “Yeah, they brought me in to fix the neglected / mismanaged/ unstaffed / failing water system. First, the local gentry took up arms against me when I proposed equity billing. Then the idiot Marxist man-child mayor, along with his crazy @$$ sister and her merry band of reverse discriminating miscreants, try to undermine me at every step because we won’t let their unqualified cronies have service/repair contracts for work the can’t / don’t / won’t perform…..and we told the people that they now actually have to pay their water bill. So, the state legislature has filed a bill creating a water authority to manage the system. I’m screaming yes yes please pass it so that I can get the hell out of here!”

Anonymous said...

Reading between the lines: After seeing the shit show that is the City of Jackson’s leadership, he now concedes there is no way they can successfully run the water system and someone else who is competent and holds others accountable is the only solution going forward.

Anonymous said...

@5:47 and 7:53am

No one disagrees about the incompetence in government and that applies to both sides of the political spectrum and across local and state government.

While I suspect you’re on the governing side. I’m not fond of anyone abusing government.

A quick note about the water system, the City of Jackson is the capital city. As such, there is an abundance of government services and facilities that are tax exempt. The government is a heavy user of The City of Jackson water and sewer system. Doesn’t it make sense to provide the necessary resources to support the crumbling infrastructure? This doesn’t require a college degree to analyze. The issue is whether the state can do a better job? The obvious answer is, NO! This is a 200 year old problem not something a federal judge should have gotten involved with. Why should JXNWater operate its call center in Rankin County? While a water authority seems justifiable on the surface, what happen when they fail?

You seem to be part of the problem whereas, no one has discussed a solution. If you care about optics taking a water sewer system, the legal system, the airport isn’t about efficiency. Let’s call it what it is RayCism.

Mississippi can be a great place if we work together. Should citizens of Jackson benefit if they are allowed to work on a water system they pay for? If they meet the qualifications, why not? This is circular but the main point is there are legislators determined to punish the City of Jackson. The City is not the problem. The lack of state support is. And by the way, the State can place funding conditions on funds it can make available and if it needs contractors to have more relevant experience so be it. It only needs to be fair on both sides of the ledger. Not to mention the large amount of tax dollars paid into the Department of Revenue from tax payers in Jackson. Let’s get real and stop all the bull and propaganda.

I’m happy the water department was relocated from the Metro Center because it was disastrous and hazardous for new businesses and rate payers. However, there is facilities in Jackson that could have housed its water department.

Like most of you, Jackson needs more experienced leadership. I haven’t seen much to be desired from the present administration but I’m not for removing revenue from the city that it needs to operate efficiently.

Finally, let’s have candid dialogue and stop feeding rhetoric to win a batter and lose a war!!

Kingfish said...

The JXN water facilities are in Blheaven right next to MS Sports Medicine and La Cazuela.

The call center is in Pearl. Of course, you'r more interested in homerism than competence. It was the only operational call center in the Jackson metro area and has a very good reputation.

Much quicker than setting one up, training staff, picked by Bennie and Lumumba's people of course, then you find out you have to get rid of a bunch in their probationary period, if you are allowed to do so, hire more train, etc.

Haven't exactly heard many complaints about the Pearl call center as opposed to the constant complaints made about the customer service when the city had it. Of course, competence means little to some people.

As for why the Judge is involved, the EPA sued the city of Jackson. You sure don't mind the federal government taking over police departments and jails, I bet. Now it does something you don't like and suddenly you are a believe in the local version of state's rights.

Anonymous said...

10:57am A water department is not there to generate a profit to be utilized by other city departments. It is a regulated utility, so the city must generate revenue elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

This action would make it more difficult for Shock-way to grift off the water system.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:04am

Hey you’re missing the point. I believe you and I can agree to disagree but the issues surrounding the issuance of a content decree wasn’t something new.

Those issues were years in the making and state facilities are heavy contributors to the consent decree problem. I appreciate good customer service and it’s refreshing but your comments do not reflect the primary concerns that brilliant idea will address without state and federal funding.

The attacks on Jackson are not positive and are actually hurtful. I agree investors are reluctant to invest in areas that are optically poisonous but there are others willing to take a chance to help address and solve issues for all the stakeholders.

Btw, the State could have invested its tax payer dollars into Jackson policing just as easily. Crime hasn’t stopped even with the Capital Police if we’re being honest.

I hate circular debates but perhaps, gun permits, annual certifications and fees on firearms owned to registered owners, background checks etc could all be employed together to get guns out of the hands of the wrong parties.

I hope you have a nice day and I appreciate Kingfish for allowing this dialogue.

Kingfish said...

The state has been paying its water bills. When it actually got a bill in some cases. Would you like to see the records? That was a lie Lumumba made up for the media til he got busted on it.

As for the state paying for in lieu of taxes in the city, that has nothing to do with water. Period.

On a water system you determine your needs, set rates, and collect. If no collect, cut off. The in lieu of taxes is a whole separate issue. A properly run water system funds itself.

Anonymous said...

Quite bluntly, its the money.

SB 2628 passed Senate 34-15 vote with most Jackson delegation voting against it.

"Takeover of the city’s infrastructure aside, one provision in the proposal sparking debate among lawmakers is the bill’s provision allowing the authority to take control of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds allocated to shore up the city’s water system."

Now, look back at the top of this post:
The ITPM supports many of the bill’s key elements and the 1st one being...
"All Federal funds received to date to be spent according to the direction of the ITPM and the Court"

Its the money.

This bill (creation of the Region Utility Authority) has to be dealt with now because there will be lawsuits filed all over the place by the exact same people/groups that have been fighting Feds, Judge, EPA, Henifin this entire time. We're not the only state to have Utility Authorities. But ours comes with a huge bank account attached to it. And those same people/groups screaming that Feds, Judge, EPA, Henifin are not fair will be the same group filing the lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Who are the rate payers that haven’t paid monies are have the privilege of having special accounts that Wingate spoke into the Court record? I think they were called e-Accounts.

Anyway, my comments stand. This is a 200-year old problem and we all need to solve it and look for better representation.
Finally, this isn’t a politic issue but a practical one for the benefit of the City of Jackson.

I’m not a fan of litigation either but the parties involved should be able to craft a workable plan with the parties. Not inviting the Jackson delegation to the discussion only fuels distrust and unfortunately it commences litigation.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, nothing to do with distrust. The Feds had to come after Jackson because they couldn't seem to get anything done. Jackson delegation should be jumping for joy that something is being put in place to hopefully resolve future water problems.

one provision in the proposal sparking debate among lawmakers is the bill’s provision allowing the authority to TAKE CONTROL OF HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in federal funds allocated to shore up the city’s water system.

But just my opinion, after watching everything unfold, layer after layer, lies after lies from so many. We couldn't have been luckier to have gotten Judge Wingate.

Anonymous said...

My 70 year old sister had to be placed in a mental care facility. I am handling her affairs. Her house is unoccupied and for sale. I just received her water bill.
Water usage……..$. .16
Water Availability charge. $10.67
Waste water minimum charge. $11.79
Sanitation charge $37.00
Total. $59.62

I’m assuming the Sanitation charge is garbage collection. Just curious what the bill for a family of 4 would look like.

Anonymous said...

“A properly run water system funds itself.”

Kingfish, you may as well be talking in tongues to the majority of Jackson. The thought of something not needing outside assistance is a concept they can't comprehend.

Anonymous said...

"I hate circular debates but perhaps, gun permits, annual certifications and fees on firearms owned to registered owners, background checks etc could all be employed together to get guns out of the hands of the wrong parties."

Yes, that has really worked well for Chicago.

Anonymous said...

I might be able to help, 2:51 PM.
You are right, sanitation charge is the garbage collection. $37/month

That leaves $22.62 as the water bill.
Waste water=sewer. There is a minimum charge on it.
Water usage of $16. That may be the water used before it became unoccupied.
Water availability charge is the meter charge. It is based on the meter size. This is a new charge.

On the new rates, water usage is billed by CCF. $16 water usage charge would mean you used 351+ CCF of water. Walk around the property and see if you see any standing water. Also, check toilets to see if any are leaking (like a bad flapper or gasket). That may have been the normal amount of water she used before she moved. Look at the service dates.

As long as you have the house, occupied or not, there will always be a garbage fee ($37) and a water availability charge/meter charge.

Anonymous said...

"This is a 200 year old problem not something a federal judge should have gotten involved with."

Are you saying Grant, and Sherman, didn't fix the problem when they burned Jackson to the ground?

"The issue is whether the state can do a better job? The obvious answer is, NO!"

There's a small town on the east side of the state called Toomsuba. The population last count was 778. They run a water system, and do it very well. Would you like for them to show how it's done?

The problem is not a rayCism problem, as you spelled it, the problem is an ignorance problem.

Anonymous said...

3.31. My error in the way I typed it. Water. Usage was 16 cents not 16 dollars.

Anonymous said...

I missed something on the bill.
...changes this year include providing the option to purchase the water and wastewater assets at fair market value AS DETERMINED BY THE FEDERAL COURT.

I bet that did piss some folks off who were planning on the "fair" market value being astronomical. Similar to Byram mayor trying to purchase water infrastructure and nobody responded to him....remember....

"Lumumba said it’s too early to ask whether Jackson would accept Byram’s offer, saying he wants to make sure Jackson would be 'appropriately compensated.'”

'As an independent city, they have the right to autonomy if they want that. They have the right to operate their own system, but we have a right to be appropriately compensated for the investment that we’ve made,' he said. 'So, at this point in time, there really shouldn’t be a question as to whether the city of Jackson is willing to sell off the infrastructure. It is a conversation about us getting commensurate value out of what we have invested.'”

Anonymous said...

Interesting : "Water availability charge is the meter charge. It is based on the meter size. This is a new charge."

So, $10.67 month is $128.04 a year. In 10 years that meter would have cost $1280.40... 20 years $2560.80 assuming they never have an increase.

Anonymous said...

If the rest of us sane people, who live in cities not run by incompetent thieves, have to foot the bill for Jackson...what are the people of Jackson going to do for us in return?

Seems we could at least demand they come an pick up trash on our roads or be forced to sit through seminars based with ideas regarding "How to not elect an idiot".

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