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Lt. Governor Hosemann offers solutions to Jackson water crisis

Photo courtesy of Delbert Hosemann

As multiple agencies are working to remedy the water crisis taking place in Mississippi’s capital city, one state leader is offering his solutions to the matter at hand.

In a recent interview on The Gallo Show, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann gave his perspective of the issue at hand regarding Jackson’s lack of clean drinking water. While Hosemann is frustrated with the state of the water treatment facilities, he believes that there are viable solutions, but help will be required on city, state, and federal levels.

“I was real pleased with the governor’s application for federal funds, and hopefully Congressman Thompson, Congressman Guest, and the two Senators — Hyde-Smith and Wicker — will be supporting some relief for Jackson,” Hosemann said. “We’ve been under a boil water notice since, I think, June 30 actually and when it first started, the state imposed their own boil water notice after they were concerned as to the quality of the water coming out of the systems.”

The lieutenant governor’s primary concern is how there appears to be a lack of future planning from city officials in Jackson. Since there are no concrete plans from the city for how the problem will be resolved, there is a question of who will lead the charge to fix Jackson’s water system and how it will be executed.

“I don’t find myself in agreement with Congressman Thompson very much, but he was very clear that we don’t have a plan and we’ve not had a plan at all, and so we don’t have a plan today,” Hosemann said. “So the question then becomes — Who’s gonna do the plan? Is the city of Jackson going to propose one? They have not done so far as of this morning. Should we have some other entity, either a state entity step up?”

Though it appears that there may be more questions than answers at this time, Hosemann notes that there are resources the city can utilize to work on the O.B. Curtis water treatment facility as soon as Thursday, September 1. According to Hosemann, the city of Jackson received $42 million and Hinds County obtained $45 million in funds granted through the American Rescue Plan (ARPA). He believes that these funds ought to be used to aid the water situation, and adds that the state will match these funds.

“If they apply their full $42 million, then we will match $42 million and that money has been appropriated by the legislature, so they’ve got $84 million,” Hosemann said adding, “Hinds County got $45 million, so if they put their money into water and sewer, we will match them $45 million more. That’s $175 million that we can put into Jackson water, and that money is available today.”

The application process for both the city of Jackson and Hinds County to have their ARPA funds matched by the state opens on Thursday, September 1.

The full interview with Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann can be watched below.

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