City Council also approves employee pay raises.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and the City Council could be handing residents in the capital city a water and sewer bill that will be 20% higher, with plans for more increases over the next few years.

According to the Clarion Ledger, the proposed rate increase would be the first since 2013.

This news comes while handing out employee raises and still being unable to collect on a large amount of its outstanding utility billing.

The Jackson City Council recently approved pay raises of up to $9,000 for the annual salary for water plant operators. Lumumba and members of the Council believe this action coupled with the rate increases are part of the solution to fix its water system woes.

The City Council will consider the rate increase in December following a town hall meeting with Mayor Lumumba later this week.

As for the city’s ongoing billing and utility payment collection issues, the Clarion Ledger noted this in its article on the rate increases:

“The city regularly collects about $60 million a year from water and sewer bills, but has struggled to collect all that it is owed. In August, the Clarion Ledger reported the city had missed out on more than $80 million in uncollected bills since 2014 due to faulty meters and billing systems.”