JXN Water Supports SB2628, Recommends Amendments and Fund Appropriation

JXN Water supports efforts to establish future governance for the water system and will work with legislators on recommended amendments.

“After reviewing SB 2628, I believe this is a great foundation. It appears that many of the comments I provided during the last session regarding the bill introduced in 2023 were taken to heart and this bill now includes many of the suggestions I made at that time,” said Ted Henifin, interim third party manager for JXN Water. “The bill identifies a need for appropriations but I recommend defining a specific dollar figure to fund start-up costs for the authority be included in the FY 2025 state budget.

The ITPM supports many of the bill’s key elements:

  • All Federal funds received to date to be spent according to the direction of the ITPM and the Court
  •  The bill authorizes the new regional authority to purchase the water and sewer assets from the City of Jackson at fair market value
  •  The new regional authority assumes ownership and operations and maintenance upon the date of termination of the Order or earlier as ordered by the Court
  •  The new authority is governed by a nine-member board from very specific constituencies (5 appointed by the Governor and 4 appointed by the Lt. Governor) that must be ratepayers of the system
  •  The authority can set rates but are subject to the Mississippi Public Service Commission review

The amendments sought by the ITPM include requiring the Court to approve all appointments while the system remains under judicial oversight, adding clarity to the definition of service territory, and increased flexibility in accounting procedures related to uncollectable revenues.