The city of Jackson is under an emergency declaration because of its failing infrastructure. The declaration allows the city to access emergency funds.
According to the mayor of Jackson the city’s infrastructure has been plagued by problems for decades, but has reached a crisis point following severe winter weather.
Kishia Powell is the director of the city’s Public Works Department.
“Water main breaks, sewage backups we have a major consent decree from EPA and the Department of Justice and the state to repair our sewer system, and upgrade the wastewater treatment plan,” Kishia said. “That’s estimated at $400 million worth of work so this is a very costly, costly issue.”
Last year Jackson residents passed a one percent sales tax increase, to specifically fund infrastructure improvements.
Powell said revenue from the tax increase is estimated to bring in 13 million dollars a year, which she said is not enough to fix all of Jackson’s infrastructure problems.
Guin Kendrick lives on Patton Avenue in Jackson. He said his street is in need of many repairs.
“It’s had its fair share we’ve got some bumps and rises in the road that you know are non-traditional to a level paved road,” Kendrick said. “It’s not completely in shambles, but you know for a road this close to the state capital it needs a lot of help.”
Some of the city’s needed repairs include 1,200 miles of streets, 200-plus bridges and hydraulic structures and 1,100 miles of water main. The total costs of these projects is estimated to exceed $330 million.