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Jeff Good discusses effect of Jackson water crisis on restaurants

Jeff Good Mississippi
Photo courtesy of Jeff Good

It’s not easy running a restaurant during a water crisis.

Just ask Jeff Good – or any Jackson restaurant owner for that matter.

On Monday, Good and 45 other restaurant owners penned a letter to both local and statewide officials calling for a solution to the capital city’s ongoing water woes.

“We presented a letter to the city, county, and state and simply said this: It’s a crisis. It’s a public health crisis,” Good explained on MidDays with Gerard Gibert. “Whatever is happening between the EPA, the state, the county, and the city – politics, money, processes – all of those things play a part. What does it take to get everyone at the table to do their part to figure this out?”

The letter notes that some restaurant owners have reported spending as much as $500 extra each day the water supply is interrupted or is not consumable. Those costs include, but are not limited to, ice from vendors who have access to clean water as well as canned drinks in place of beverage fountains.

Decreased sales were also reported in the letter, which Good says will inevitably lead to restaurants and other businesses leaving Jackson for neighboring towns and cities that rarely experience boil water alerts.

“I know of a few restaurants that are not going to resign their leases,” Good said. “When it comes time to renew your lease, you look forward and say, ‘What’s the market look like?’ Well, there’s this whole new thing of ‘How many days am I going to be closed?’”

If the economic concern isn’t enough for officials to act, Good warns that eventually, citizens are going to get sick.

“Somebody is going to get hurt here. In other communities, it’s taken dysentery or cholera to come forth before somebody does something,” Good said. “All of us in Jackson just want the same thing that other, more secure communities have, which is the knowledge that some of the challenges that come from the outside can be quelled. We just don’t want to deal with constant trauma.”

Tuesday is day 11 of the current boil water notice in Jackson. The full interview with Good can be watched below.

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