The Jackson City Council had a couple of hurdles to jump Tuesday morning to keep the city from losing up to 20 percent of its expected profits from the now-official water and sewer rate increases outlined in Mayor Chokwe Lumumba's 2014 budget.
Some were cleared; others were not.
The city will lose expected revenue it was set to receive from increased rates, but the rates will not be delayed as long as they could have been.
The motion to enact the rate increases, which will charge $4.47 per 100 cubic feet of metered water consumption for sewer service and $3.21 per 100 cubic feet for water consumption, was passed with a 5-2 vote, with LaRita Cooper-Stokes, Ward 3, and De'Keither Stamps, Ward 4, voting in opposition.
Here comes the technical part:
Rules of council procedures require a new ordinance, such as the one the city council passed Tuesday morning, to sit on the agenda for at least six days before the council puts it to a vote. After it's approved by a majority vote, the ordinance goes into effect 30 days after the vote.
The city attorney's office gave an extensive briefing on what would have to happen to bend both of those rules and make the rates go into effect immediately, but council did not heed that advice.
The council agreed unanimously to an expedited vote, forgoing the six-day waiting period, but because the final vote came back 5-2, the increased rates will still take 30 days to go into effect. A unanimous vote would have made the rate increases go into effect immediately.
"I was hoping for a unanimous vote," Council President Charles Tillman said. "But it's out of our hands now."
For more on water and sewer rate increases, be sure to pick up this week's edition of the JFP, which hits stands tomorrow, or check back to JacksonFreePress.com tomorrow.