Mayor offers water customers bills of rights before shutoffs
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Water customers in a Mississippi city have been presented a bill of rights before upcoming shutoffs.
News outlets report Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba signed the bill on Monday as an executive order pledging water bills will be accurate and collected compassionately.
Lumumba says the city has no choice over shutting off water to some delinquent accounts as state law doesn’t allow it to forgive unpaid bills. He says it’s imperative to acknowledge Jackson’s failure over time to provide customers accurate, timely bills or any at all.
Jackson has a roughly 63 percent water bill collection rate compared to about 90 percent in 2017. The issue is affecting officials’ ability to fix infrastructure.
There have been no shutoffs yet. Public Works Director Bob Miller originally said they’d begin Sept. 17.