Progress being made to solve Jackson’s water billing issues

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson residents have grown accustomed to water billing issues, receiving high and even random bills. For newcomers to the city, not getting a bill and the red tape that goes along with it isn’t so welcoming.

“We owe the money. We have the service. Bill us,” said Heatherton neighborhood resident, Sharon Gering.

She moved to Jackson in March and after two trips to the water department and several calls she still has not received a statement. The Oregon transplant wants to pay but, being a new homeowner, she has no idea how to estimate her usage.

The 73-year-old was told she could delay payment.

“I’m on a fixed income. I have so much money every month,” said Gering. “I pay my bills once a month and so the thought of getting a bill five, six months down the road is not exciting to me.”

The city is working out problems impacting Gering and thousands of others. Jackson Deputy Public Works Director, Carla Dazet, said Utility Metering Solutions of Raleigh North Carolina will install Kamstrup Water Meters.

They plan to launch a pilot program next month to install about 1,500 commercial and some residential meters. The city will test them for a couple of months before moving forward with a full installation.

“Progress is being made with remediating the entire Water Sewer Business Administration, which includes new meters, upgrading the billing software and a reorganization of the staff at WSBA,” said Dazet. “We are also developing a Customer Service Assistance Program that will be announced close to the end of July.”

Full installation of the new meters is estimated to take 16 months with completion by approximately October of 2022.

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