Deadline looms for Jackson, Hinds Co. to request tens of millions for water system repairs

City, county leaders already approved diverting their own federal funds to fix aging system
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 7:25 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hinds County and Jackson leaders have until Friday to request more than $50 million in federal funds from the state’s coffers to address the city’s ailing water system.

While supervisors approved diverting $17.5 million of their American Rescue Plan Act monies to water system repairs days ago and city councilmembers also greenlit $35.1 million for the same purpose, to get a dollar-for-dollar match from the state, they must request it within the next three days.

Attorney Latoya Thompson, who’s been entrusted to make sure the county’s federal funds are administered legally, told WLBT she hopes to have the request submitted to the state by Wednesday at the latest.

The Capital City remains on track to get its request sent by the Friday deadline, too, city spokesperson Melissa Faith Payne said, but could not say what day it would be completed.

A document provided by the city breaks that number down, showing what some amounts will go toward, including more than $9 million to repair and rehab filters at Curtis and $3 million to replace a raw water pump and automate the chemical feed systems at Curtis and the city’s other treatment plant on Waterworks Curve.

If the city and county’s requests to the state are approved, Jackson will have more than $105 million to go toward long-term system issues at both of the city’s treatment plants.

Right now, approximately 2,850 Jacksonians remain under a boil water advisory because some of the city’s aging pipes are leaking from the increase in water pressure the main water treatment plant, O.B. Curtis, continues to provide.

Nearly a month ago, Gov. Tate Reeves announced the state would step in and help shore up Curtis to restore water pressure and drinkable water to residents.

The state’s department of health, emergency management agency, and experts from water facilities across the nation continue to make repairs and progress.

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