It is excellent news for anyone who cares about the people of Jackson that the Mayor will no longer be overseeing the city’s water system. It is now out of the city’s control, and will be overseen by a federal court.
It has been a chaotic series of months, while the state has assumed their responsibility. The people on the ground who rushed to help were floored by the negligence. They did heroic work to fix so many broken things and support the frontline city workers who had been abandoned. We committed millions of dollars from taxpayers across Mississippi to solve this crisis of incompetence.
In less than 72 hours after the emergency was declared, water pressure was returned to the city. Days later, the boil water alert was lifted. We distributed millions of dollars in water via the National Guard to ensure people could flush their toilets and drink safe water.
You may remember that the Mayor injected further chaos into the story by undermining the EPA’s request for the state to find a maintenance contract for the city. He insisted that he must direct the payments.
Since that stunt and our subsequent decision to set an end date for our running of their system, the federal government accelerated their efforts to put someone competent in charge. Their order was filed and made public today. The system should be out of city politician hands very soon.
The state of emergency came to an end last week, but I have authorized MEMA to commit another $240,000 from the state’s Disaster Mitigation Fund for maintenance as a bridge between today and the new leadership. That should help close out this chapter without further chaos.
More work to do, but it is very promising that this problem is now going to be solved outside of the city’s backrooms. I’m very proud of what everyone has done to come together and fix a longstanding issue and ensure that chaos and corruption cannot keep the people of Jackson from accessing clean water.