- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Jackson City Council has voted down Mayor Tony Yarber’s new infrastructure emergency declaration.

The declaration gives the city power to make emergency repairs without going through the bid process.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (https://on.thec-l.com/1EaB0ev) Yarber initially declared an infrastructure emergency March 27. It expired after seven days. Yarber then signed a second, 30-day emergency declaration, but it requires City Council support.

The declaration has been on hold for the last two weeks as the City Council didn’t take it up.

Near the end of Tuesday night’s meeting, the council voted against Yarber’s new declaration.

“It just means we will call an emergency when it happens,” Yarber said. “It won’t stop us from working.”

“Regardless how we vote, I don’t want people to think we don’t see this as a crisis,” Melvin Priester Jr. said.

The council members said there were too many unknowns about Yarber’s proposal to approve it at this time.

“We didn’t want to do what we have being doing: declaring emergencies when they occur,” Yarber said.

The city is having problems with its century-old water lines. In the last few weeks, there has been an increase in boil water notices and water line leaks.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com

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