City of Jackson responds to several ongoing issues - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

City of Jackson responds to several ongoing issues

At a news conference Monday, the City of Jackson responded to several ongoing issues within the city. Source: WLBT At a news conference Monday, the City of Jackson responded to several ongoing issues within the city. Source: WLBT
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced the city will begin putting out bids for the paving and pothole projects approved by the municipal sales tax commission. Source: WLBT Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced the city will begin putting out bids for the paving and pothole projects approved by the municipal sales tax commission. Source: WLBT
Lumumba also briefly addressed the controversy surrounding the West Rankin Utility Authority pushing for a separate wastewater plant. Source: WLBT Lumumba also briefly addressed the controversy surrounding the West Rankin Utility Authority pushing for a separate wastewater plant. Source: WLBT
Miller also announced improvements on the city’s water billing issues. Source: WLBT Miller also announced improvements on the city’s water billing issues. Source: WLBT
. “It will not cover all potholes. I’m not saying it will bring us to where we ideally want to be, but it will represent a greater contribution to pothole repairs this year than we’ve made in prior years." Source: WLBT . “It will not cover all potholes. I’m not saying it will bring us to where we ideally want to be, but it will represent a greater contribution to pothole repairs this year than we’ve made in prior years." Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -

At a news conference Monday, the City of Jackson responded to several ongoing issues within the city.

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced the city will begin putting out bids for the paving and pothole projects approved by the municipal sales tax commission.

“In terms of the pothole repairs, that should make a significant dent in the issue,” Lumumba said. “It will not cover all potholes. I’m not saying it will bring us to where we ideally want to be, but it will represent a greater contribution to pothole repairs this year than we’ve made in prior years. So, it would be an increase I think more than doubling the amount of funding we put towards pothole repairs. We’ll be doing that and we’ll have also had repaving projects to be dealt with once we put that out for bid.”

Lumumba also briefly addressed the controversy surrounding the West Rankin Utility Authority pushing for a separate wastewater plant.

“Obviously, that is something we don’t desire,” Lumumba said. “I think the more we get into those details, it’s something the constituents of Rankin County wouldn’t desire, especially the businesses of Rankin County wouldn’t benefit from it because we know that there would be tremendous increases in rates. Jackson will have to suffer an increase, by every estimate Rankin County would have to suffer a far larger increase than Jackson’s. I think when cooler heads prevail, we’ll find it’s our best interest to work together.”

Public Works Director Robert Miller said there’s a possibility a deal could be met between both parties but it requires a face-to-face conversation on the long-term rates, and long-term governance.

Miller also announced improvements on the city’s water billing issues.

Since Origin Consulting, a subcontractor for Siemens, began work in early May, Miller said 15% of the city’s stranded accounts have been resolved but 17,127 stranded accounts remain.

RELATED: City of Jackson announcing payment plan for unpaid water bills

“I have asked for and received commitment that they’re going to add to the number of staff they have so that they’ll still be on target to finish their work in five months,” Miller said. “Customers seem to understand the methodology, we’re going back, we’re examining the accounts for leaks before we mail them out, we’re making leak adjustments and them making payment plans for the same number of months to pay it off as the same number of months they didn’t get billed.”

Miller also announced changes within the Public Works Department, announcing about 15 of the 20 vacancies within the department have been filled.

“I have also reorganized so that all of the people that handle meters are all under one supervisor, and one manager so that I’ve got nice, singular accountability,” Miller said. “My belief is we still have several months of hard work ahead of us but we’re headed in the right direction for now.”

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