When a 100-year-old water main in Jackson, the state capital, burst in Januar, 2010, stopping water supply to the Capitol and key state office buildings, Gov. Haley Barbour had to declare an emergency. State government was effectively shut down for three days. Portable toilets were stationed on Capitol grounds.
“This is the 21st century, with its cutting age technology,” cried lawmakers. “How could such a thing happen?” Get it fixed, and quick, they demanded of Jackson officials.
“We’ll dig up the antiquated pipes and replace them with new ones but you’ll have give us the money, we ain’t got it,” replied city fathers. “Remember,” they added, “we’re mired in the Great Recession.”
Three years later the state hasn’t coughed up the millions it’ll take to fix the capital city’s post-Civil water system that among other things, serves the seat of Mississippi’s state government.