Northeast Itawamba Water Association customers urged to attend public meeting tonight

By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times

Dissatisfied customers of the Northeast Itawamba Water Association will have a chance to voice their grievances during tonight’s public meeting conducted by Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.

Scheduled for today — Thursday, Sept. 6, at 6 p.m. inside the Itawamba County courthouse in downtown Fulton, the meeting will provide the water association’s customers an opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns to the public service commissioner.

Additionally, staff from the Mississippi State Department of Health will be on hand to answer any questions.

The public is encouraged to attend.

According to an official announcement by Presley’s office, the meeting was prompted by hundreds of complaints from customers of the Northeast Itawamba Water Association.

This is the second time in recent months that the local water association, which services approximately 1,780 households, has fallen under the scrutiny of the public service commissioner. In July, Presley attended the regular meeting of the water association’s board members. His visit, he said, was spurred by more than 85 complaints of unusually high water bills within a two-week span.

During that meeting, board members voted to enact several measures — including one-time bill adjustments and limited billing cycles — to help lower monthly bills and regain customer trust.

According to Presley, the bills, while high, were accurate. The high rates were, in part, a result of an attempt by the Northeast Itawamba Water Association to raise funds for the construction of a water main planned to connect the local water system to that of Franklin County, Ala.

The project is expected to alleviate low water pressure and discoloration in the water flowing into customers’ homes — a frequent problem resulting from ground wells that have begun to run dry.

adam.armour@journalinc.com