UPDATE: After years of skyrocketing water bills, people losing access to running water, and meter systems not working the city of Jackson may have found an answer to their water billing crisis.
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba has announced today the city of Jackson and Siemens legal team have reached a settlement over the ongoing battle of the installed water meters.
In a press conference mayor, Lumumba would not take any questions, but did give a passionate statement explaining the city of Jackson will get back millions they paid Siemens and prevent Jackson from ever being ripped off again.
“Today I am pleased to announce that we have recovered every penny that was taken from our community,” Mayor Lumumba opened up within his Wednesday press conference. “By the Siemens corporation.”
A message thousands of water customers in Jackson have waited years for, learning Jackson will be reimbursed for what led them into a water billing crisis.
“We have settled with Siemens for the full amount of the contract,” mayor Lumumba continued. “$89,800,627.”
Since launching the lawsuit against Siemens last year, mayor Lumumba accused the company of ripping off Jackson by charging almost double what new water meters would cost a city the size of Jackson.
“Siemens and its subcontractors manipulated the minority contracting rules to inflate the cost of the system,” Mayor Lumumba explained. “From approximately $45 million to nearly $90 million. This was done through reselling meters in order to inflate their costs.”
Money coming in from water bills would mainly be enterprise-funds to help Jackson repave streets and fix other infrastructure projects. But when many homeowners received no bills or ones they couldn’t afford, communities suffered.
“These bad actors have fallen deaf to the plight of elderly men and women who come to city hall seeking help as they make the decision to choose between medication or paying their water bill,” Mayor Lumumba said. “Families who have to make decisions buying food or paying their water bills.”
With nearly $90 million coming back into the hands of the city, mayor Lumumba plans to fix the meter and billing system and hold community meetings throughout Jackson to figure out the best option for the public when it comes to spending the money.
The company Siemens has fired back in the wake of this announcement by mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba telling us they strongly disagree with the mayor’s characterization of the contract. And he failed to acknowledge broader issues with the Jackson water and sewer system. They will not comment any further because according to them the settlement is not yet finalized.
JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The City of Jackson announced a settlement with Siemens on Wednesday. According to Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, the city received more than $89 million.
The city filed a $255 million lawsuit against the company in June 2019 for a massive fraud operation. The lawsuit came after years of Jackson homeowners complaining about outrageous water bills or not receiving bills.
In June, Mayor Lumumba said Siemens conducted a bait and switch scheme, promising the city would save $120 million after installing the system. Instead, the mayor said the company negligently installed water meters, and the failing billing system cost the city $20 million each year.