Bonds: Jackson water plan important

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., in meeting with The Clarion-Ledger Editorial Board Thursday, expressed frustration with that lack of action – understandably so – and outlined the city’s water and sewer infrastructure issues.

Jackson has spent about $140 million on its water system and $80 million on sewerage since 1997. Jackson citizens have been paying the freight, including a 50 percent hike in water rates and a 104 percent hike in sewer bills.

Johnson says the city needs to make at least $76 million more in water upgrades and $140 million in sewer upgrades. That means the city will seek various sources for funding, as it did here.

A $6 million non-interest loan from bonds is not an unreasonable request from a state government that depends on city services, yet doesn’t pay property taxes. The Legislature understood that. The commission should, too.

Members of the Legislature should be concerned that the Bond Commission is, in effect, vetoing projects approved by the legislative branch. Has what should be a routine, objective process become a political one, requiring lobbying of commission members? Will they alone deem projects worthy?

Clarion Ledger Editorial
8/13/10