Large crowd gathers for community town hall addressing water issues

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 10:44 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A big crowd poured into a west Jackson church, hearing directly from the mayor about where things currently stand during the city’s ongoing water crisis.

That meeting was held at College Hill Missionary Baptist Church. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba talked about how the city got into the crisis, where things currently stand, and how the city is looking to move forward getting out of this crisis.

One big issue addressed tonight is a detailed plan on fixing the infrastructure issues.

Prior to this crisis, Lumumba says a plan was created. However, the mayor says he never heard anything back from state leaders.

Another plan is now in the works.

Lumumba says finding employees to work at the plant is another big problem the city is running into.

This is why he’s open to the idea of entering into a third-party operation maintenance agreement to help address this issue.

While he’s in favor of that option, the mayor says he’s against the state taking over the water plant, and he’s also against privatizing it.

“The first half of this meeting has been talking about how we haven’t gotten the revenue that we needed, or how we haven’t gotten the funding that we needed through the agencies that we’ve asked for for the last 40 years,” said Mayor Lumumba. “So, why would we feel comfortable putting the revenue that we do have in the hands of the same entities? The problem with privatization is that companies aren’t taking over your system in order to be benevolent. They’re not taking over your system just because they want to come help. They’re trying to extract a profit from it.”

Lumumba says the city is looking at if it’s worth the money to repair the current water treatment plant or if they need to look at building a new one.

The mayor says the only way to move forward on fixing Jackson’s aging infrastructure is to have all parties collaborating and working together.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.