JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The West Rankin Utility Authority wants to build a new wastewater treatment plant in Rankin County. However, City of Jackson argues that it will hurt its customers.
The group has been paying the City of Jackson about $5 million a year to treat county wastewater, at Jackson’s plant on Savanna Street.
In the past, West Rankin leaders have cited what they feel are credible reasons for breaking away from Jackson.
Jackson leaders issued a statement Friday morning, saying leaders are disappointed in a decision to build a new water treatment plant.
Keith Turner, attorney for the West Rankin Utility Authority, says a new plant is in the best interest of the county’s customers.
“There has been arrangements to deal with this issue,” Turner said. “The original contract between Jackson and West Rankin provided for West Rankin to be able to leave the system every 10 years. It had an option to part it so they are really just exercising the contractual agreement to depart.”
Below is the full statement from the City of Jackson about the issue:
The City of Jackson is disappointed that the Rankin County Chancery Court agreed with the decision of the Mississippi Environmental Permit Board to grant the West Rankin Utility Authority an NPDES permit that will allow construction of a wastewater treatment plant in Rankin County. The Court’s decision last week ignored significant errors of law that should prevent the issuance of this NPDES permit. The West Rankin Utility Authority currently has cost-effective wastewater treatment provided by the City of Jackson’s Savanna Street Wastewater Treatment Plant. The City believes that the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant that discharges into the Pearl River is an unnecessary expense to all of its Savanna Street customers in Rankin, Hinds, and Madison Counties that will degrade the water quality of the Pearl River.
The City has 30 days within which to file an appeal of this decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court. The City is weighing this option as well as other options to increase its customer base as a result of any lost customers of the West Rankin Utility Authority. The City will also be reassessing its plans for upgrading the Savanna Street Wastewater Treatment Plant under the Consent Decree to identify areas of savings that may be available as a result of any loss in some West Rankin Utility Authority customers. Finally, the City will continue to be open to any new, mutually advantageous relationship with the West Rankin Utility Authority that will maximize the existing treatment capacity at the Savanna Street Wastewater Treatment Plant and maintain the existing low cost of treatment, while planning for the future.