Friday, March 15, 2024

Senate OK's Bill to Buyout Jackson's Water/Sewer System

Text & history of SB #2628.  

The Mississippi State Senate passed SB #2628 Tuesday. The bill creates a new public utility district that will in turn purchase Jackson's water/sewer system from the city.   Although detractors claim otherwise, the bill is not a takeover but a buyout.  Jackson's water/sewer receiver, Ted Henifin, supports the bill.

Section 2(a) states the Act will

a)  Provide the Mississippi Capitol Region Utility Authority the option to purchase the existing water and wastewater assets from the City of Jackson at fair market value as determined by the court, provided all existing system debts have been retired or paid.  Upon completion of the purchase of assets, the water and wastewater assets shall be transferred to the utility authority's ownership, management and control to ensure all citizens have access to safe, clean and reliable water and wastewater systems at affordable, just and reasonable regulated rates, and to provide an adequate amount of capital to keep such systems in good repair;

Jackson's credit rating will improve as hundreds of millions of water/sewer debt are cleansed from the books and the city will undoubtedly get a rather handsome infusion of much, very much-needed cash

The highlights of the bill are: 

*Dubbed the Mississippi Capitol Region Utility Act, the bill minces no words nor spares the feelings of Jackson's Mayor as it calls JXN Water Manager Ted Henifin "the Receiver" and says the federal court placed Jackson's water/sewer system under "receivership."  

* The bill creates a Mississippi Capitol Region Utility Authority that will operate Jackson's water/sewer system when the Court terminates the receivership.

* All federal funds will be spent ONLY in the service areas.  Some demagogues (You know who they are) will spin this is an excuse for the legislature to steal the federal relief and spend it elsewhere in the state as they did last year.  Absolutely not true and those who say it are lying.  Period. 

* The Chief Justice shall select the appropriate chancery or circuit court if the authority's creation is challenged.  

* The Authority can issue revenue bonds.  

* Transparency.  The Authority and its Board of Directors are subject to the Public Records and Open Meetings Acts.  Annual audited financial statements must be published.  

* Competitive bidding must be used to award contracts.  

* The Authority only has oversight for sewer service in Ridgeland and water service in Byram.  

 The Act creates a Board of Directors that will oversee the Authority.  The composition of the Board is rather intriguing.  The Board is comprised of the following appointments: 

*  The Mayor of Jackson appoints a member of the clergy who lives within the service area.  (Huh? Why a member of the clergy?  Just what we need, another Reverend Stallworth showing up in warmups for Board meetings)

* Jackson City Council appoints 2 Directors.  One must be an employee of a local non-profit organization and the owner of a restaurant.  

* Governor appoints three Directors: an employee of a large non-healthcare business that has at least 200 employees, a small business owner, and an at-large appointee who lives or works in the service area. 

* Leftenent Governor appoints a member of a large healthcare facility, employee of a college or university, an at-large Director who lives or works within the service area. 

All appointees must be ratepayers. The bill urges the appointees be diverse.  The Senate must confirm all appointees.  No current or former elected officials can serve on the Board.  The appointments must be made by September 1, 2024. Terms will be four years after  the initial terms expire.  

The Board will meet monthly.  Four meetings will be held in various locations throughout the service area.  Public comment must be allowed. 


The bill passed on a vote of 35-14.   The Black Caucus and State Senator David Blount voted against the bill as they favor returning the system to the city of Jackson.  

State Senator Horhn filed a motion to reconsider that failed. 


Anonymous said...

They say it is not a takeover, but to 80% of the customers, that is exactly how they see it. I've said it before, but in case you have forgotten: when it comes to so many things in Jackson (water department, city government as a whole, JPS, etc) the attitude of the vast majority is "it may be a sack of dung, but its OUR sack of dung, so you other 20% can just back off".

Anonymous said...

So in what universe is having the State get the proceeds from water bills and the ability to raise the cost to consumers something that should please Jackson residents which , need I remind others includes Eastover and CCJ who still pay provide the largest revenues to the State?

You want our water system run by the same folks that gave us every scandal of late?

Anonymous said...

This is a good bill. As a Jackson resident, I support it wholeheartedly. Smart to get ahead of the Mayor attempting to appoint himself to the board! Learned our lesson with the 1% commission.

Anonymous said...

Horhn was out that day, something with his family.

I'm relieved this bill passed. I don't care for the idea that the mayor and city council get appointments. Atleast its an odd number of appointments so they won't get deadlocked.

The absolute BEST part of the bill....."at fair market value as determined by the court" That's what is making a few folks so mad. They want to dictate the price. But Judge Wingate will be doing that. Thank God.

Anonymous said...

Things are looking up in Jackson. Now, if someone reasonably competent
and semi-popular would run for Mayor and the CCID would be expanded to include the areas obviously left out that shouldn't have been.

je etait Charles Martel said...

Every legislative action that gets jokeway and the city council farther away from governing Jackson is an improvement.

thank you, legislature!

Anonymous said...

The government of our State's capitol city has aptly demonstrated again and again that it is incapable of providing proper water/sewer, police protection, garbage collection, and passable streets. The less the city of Jackson's Mayor, city council, and city employees control the better! Take it all away!

Anonymous said...

11:37 - As someone who's lived through this disaster, I want for the system to be managed in-state but as far away from the COJ as it can be. If the legislature doesn't come up with a plan, the feds will and trust me, we don't want that AT ALL. Because the fact of the matter is that the federal government didn't dump close to a billion dollars into our water system so that it can end up in the same shape it was in before.

Anonymous said...

$600M question!!! Will it pass the house???

City can't handle the system, so this makes complete sense. Whether the Authority or the City, the entire system including billing, will have to be privatized. Doesn't pass, Judge will have to appoint a replacement for Ted.

Anonymous said...

4 more years of Antar, and Jackson, Will be pretty much hollowed out.

fed up in Jackson said...

I am actually excited to see this for the city of Jackson. This is great news.

Had the water not gone in to receivership, this city would be well beyond miserable...... This bill actually gives the city of Jackson hope for a future.

Grease isn't a movie in the 'sip said...

How much would Rukia's buyout commission be? Asking for her brother.

Anonymous said...

Desperate times call for desperate action. But they are fools to pay the COJ anything for the water system. You can still flush a toilet in the capitol district with water that hasn't been boiled. Accountability plays no part in anything anymore, incompetence rules the day and is rewarded.

Anonymous said...

Can the City of Byram purchase its portion of the system from the Authority? They are more likely to offer it at fair market value than Antard.

Anonymous said...

Did they ever get around to paying Jackson for the airport?

Saltwaterpappy said...

Perhaps the answer to the myriad of management problems in Jackson and its infrastructure, is to take the politics out of running the City, and let a "professional" handle running the management and operation of the City, as we are now experiencing with the water system. I lived in Pascagoula for over 40 years. It operates under the "city manager" form of government. Under this system, although the manager is answerable to the council ("hired and fired" by the council), the mayor and city council are precluded by law from interfering with the manager's day-to-day management of city operations. The city council and mayor set policy, approve monthly expenditures of bills, and approve some hirings.

Anonymous said...

I’m a Democrat. But I’ve lived in Jackson for over 20 years. So I’m a realist. This mayor can’t run anything. This is necessary and I’m grateful to the legislature for doing it. Hopefully the next mayor will be competent and not blatantly crooked. But you can’t risk it.

I can’t emphasize enough how much better the water system is under Henefin. If Lumumba got his hands back on it his priority would be steering contracts. Don’t take my word for it. He’s basically said it. Also just look at how he’s handled the garbage contracts. He’s not capable of even pretending he doesn’t have anterior motives for steering the contract to Richards.

Now expand the CCID. You can’t find anyone in Jackson who doesn’t support Capital City Police.

Anonymous said...

I can not fathom how anyone can put a dollar value on an entire city’s water infrastructure. Parts are broken and worthless, most is at least functional, and a bit is new. Various parts built in the 19th century, and the whole thing has got to be replaced in the next 50 years or less. I’m sure no private investor would pay anything with the upcoming replacement costs in mind. There should be a way to simply manage it with a regional board with no payment upfront but pay the city the eventual profits it would have made had it not been run into the ground. Lifetime Jackson citizen here saying giving the city any lump sum of cash is not wise, unless perhaps we force the city to use every dime to repair the roads.

Anonymous said...

To the Authority, City Council appoints a Restaurant Owner. Extra serving of crow for the mayor.

Anonymous said...

While I agree the state will likely run the water system better than the city, let's not play word games with what this is. What is a forced buyout if not a takeover?

Anonymous said...

Will Rukia pay her taxes?

Anonymous said...

March 15, 2024 at 2:08 PM
Sure it sucks that Jackson will misspend the money, but it's better to tell the media it's a buyout than a takeover. Remember the media is hostile as they see it as whites taking away power from blacks.

Anonymous said...

March 15, 2024 at 3:34 PM
To my knowledge we're still waiting on the 5 Circuit's ruling.

Anonymous said...

4:14 - I'm Republican leaning but also a realist and a home owner in Jackson. I can't find a word that you wrote there that I don't agree with.

Anonymous said...

Like the airport, I'm not sure this is constitutional. I'm no fan of Jackson governance, but stealing is stealing. They will never agree to an arm's length valuation. And just because the state takes the water system, it is still under receivership.

Kingfish said...

How is it stealing if city is paid for it?

The Fifth Circuit has also held twice that cities are creations of the state in Mississippi. The legislature can giveth and taketh away where they are concerned.

Anonymous said...

If Jackson doesn't agree and they pay Jackson $10, that is still stealing. They will never come to terms. Jackson paid for that airport. You take it, that is stealing.

Saltwaterpappy said...

Kingfish is correct as usual. Municipalities are political subdivisions of the State of Mississippi. Therefore, the legislature, i.e., the State, has the ultimate say in the matter.

Anonymous said...

They don't have to agree to it. That's the whole point of the court being involved to ensure a fair price. And, yes, it stays in Henifin's hands until the court decides its time, which will be sometime in 2027.

Anonymous said...

One would think that Chowke would be happy to $ell their boo boo. Maybe $ocrates could be hired to do the apprai$al. Right?

Anonymous said...

Yes It is a little disappointing that protecting turf is more important than providing good clean consistent water.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can put Baby chok a commission on everything he sales to the state. He would probably be all for that.

Room317MetropolHotel said...

If a business were having liquidity issues, it would sell or leverage its assets to raise cash. Is this not precisely what is happening?

The city can take the money and either use it for the good or squander it, and I do not have a good feeling about that ...

Anonymous said...

If Jackson gets a check for the water system, they will just steal all the money.

Doesn’t anyone ever learn they steal every dime and cry broke?

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

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!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS