JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As we come down the home stretch to fully secure running water for all of Jackson and Byram; city leaders aren’t letting off the gas to push the need for emergency funds.
Without it Jackson Public Works and the Mayor fear a repeat of this water crisis will happen.
City of Jackson leaders continues to push for more than 100 million in state and federal emergency funds to fix a water system more than 100 years old they say is vital to keeping Mississippi’s economy moving.
over the weekend the O.B Curtis water treatment plant showed promising numbers with the PSI sitting at 85, bumping up to 90 this week.
“I’m not sure we’ll be able to get back to normal,” Public Works Director Dr. Charles Williams said. “That’s why we’re asking for funding from additional resources in order to help us address that. But right now, we feel the system is more stable. We’re seeing gains in our tanks.”
These additional resources would come under Governor Tate Reeves emergency declaration to get up to $107 million in emergency funds from the state and the federal government. Mayor Lumumba argues all of Mississippi would benefit.
“When large municipalities are without water for a substantial period of time it not only interrupts service to families, and homes, and people,” Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba explained. “We should be protected but it also interrupts the economy of the state of Mississippi. The City of Jackson is the Economic engine of the state of Mississippi.”
Governor Reeves has pointed to Jackson’s infrastructure failures as a result of routine maintenance lacking proper funding for years. Following the ice storm, city leaders claim the burden is too much on their own.
“We have talked exhaustively about the limitation of city budgets, the aging infrastructure,” Mayor Lumumba told us. “The increasing effect of things like hotter summers and colder winters plus amounts of rain.”
“This brought to light a lot of issues that had been plaguing the city for some time,” Dr. Williams added. “And in order for us to fully address it, that’s why we’ve been asking for funding.”
On the next election ballot Jackson voters could choose to also pay another cent in sales taxes, but even then, Jackson leaders predict only $13 million to come out of it annually for a problem worth about $2 billion.
If you live on Forest Hill Rd. or Shannon Dale Dr. Public Works says you may still experience severely low water pressure throughout the night. For water distribution sites for non-drinking and bottled water click here.
Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said he plans to meet with Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann to discuss the water crisis in the city. Last week, the mayor sent a letter to Gov. Tate Reeves requesting emergency funding from the state and federal government following continued issues with the City of Jackson’s water distribution system.