Friday, February 6, 2015

JFP Article About the WRUA Public Meeting Last Night

We recently discussed the obscene increase in Rankin County residents' water bills in prior posts (here and here).  Essentially, the abysmal state of the water treatment plant used by West Rankin citizens, controlled by the City of Jackson, caused water bills to skyrocket in Rankin County to cover EPA mandated fines.  Understandably, West Rankin Utility Authority is taking steps to ween itself from the City of Jackson's Savannah Street water treatment plant.  These steps include building Rankin County's own water treatment plant.  Yesterday evening, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality held a public hearing at Richland's Community Center on the topic.

R.L. Nave of The Jackson Free Press -- obviously concerned about cutting loose the pocketbooks of Rankin County -- wrote an article about the meeting I encourage you to read.  Some highlights from the article:

Currently, WRUA is a customer of the City of Jackson, spending about $5 million per year to treat sewage from west Rankin County cities at Jackson's Savanna Street facility.

Those communities and other suburban customers have long complained that the city's waste-treatment plant is not up to current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, that Jackson puts off needed maintenance, that sewer-treatment rates have risen significantly, and that the city has failed to maintain customer service and communication with clients.

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In a presentation, Jackson officials said losing WRUA's business would result in 25 percent higher rates for existing [City of Jackson] customers. Additionally, Jackson's slides show that building a new plant would cost $3.3 million, or 23 percent more, which WRUA would likely have to pass along to its customers.

In several recent conversations, representatives from Jackson made no bones about what they believe is the motivation for the proposal. "We believe this is a measure to strong-arm the city into ceding control of the facilities," Powell said at a Jackson City Council meeting on Feb. 2.

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[Pearl Mayor, and Chairman of WRUA, Brad Rogers, responded in a statement:] "The reasons for building our own wastewater treatment plant are many. These include a bill from Jackson that has more than doubled in the last year and will continue with such increases as Jackson attempts to fix the neglected 45-year-old Savanna Street Wastewater Treatment Plant. It also includes Jackson's position that only the City of Jackson is the correct entity to manage a regional wastewater plant," Rogers wrote.

Read the entire article here.


Anonymous said...

Everyone reading here should contact your own elected officials at all levels demanding that they continue on the path of moving our utilities reliance away from the dysfunction in Jackson.

Kingfish said...

THis is funny. Rankin will pay even more money.

This is Carl Ray Furr getting his guys to build a plant so he can pad the pockets some more.

Anonymous said...

How will it get regulatory approval when it's on the opposite side of the river from the Savannah Street site? No way the government approves this.