- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Jackson administrators have said that some of the issues residents are facing with the city’s water department are not easy to fix.

During a city council meeting Monday, administrators sought to let the city know that problems related to the collection of payments of water bills are not as straightforward as one might think, The Clarion-Ledger (https://on.thec-l.com/1MFWMxn) reported.

The city is currently collecting payment for water on roughly 82 percent of its customer accounts.

Public Works Director Kishia Powell told the council there have been several issues that have hindered the department from being able to get water bills out, mainly meters that weren’t uploaded properly.

“I’m still frustrated by how it seems as though there’s not solid oversight of the numbers coming out of the Public Works Department,” said Councilman Melvin Priester.

An analysis on the water and sewer department from Raftelis Financial Consultants indicates that the city lacks a proactive collections process.

Powell says the city is addressing some of the issues.

Jackson is suffering a $4.9 million shortfall in its water and sewer contingency fund. The city is required to keep the fund under its bond agreement. The water-sewer budget has a roughly $13 million deficit for the beginning of this fiscal year.

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

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