PRICHARD, Ala. (WALA) - The Prichard Water Works and Sewer Board said it's fighting a takeover by the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System.
Many Prichard residents said they have struggled to pay expensive water bills, and they hope the MAWSS merger can provide relief. On January 24, a group protested the Prichard water board's legal fight.
"The water bill's outrageous!" said resident Charlie Carter.
Prichard resident Jimmie King looked at December 2012's water bill and said, "December would be $302."
Customers of the Prichard Water Works said they've been paying high water bills for years. FOX10 News brought reported on a shocking story about Prichard resident Linda Blount in 2011 when was billed $1,200.
"I don't have this money to pay this bill," Blount said at the time.
These customers said they were relieved in November when Amendment 5 passed in a statewide vote.
Amendment 5 called for Prichard Water Works to be dissolved, but the water board is trying to put a stop to it.
Concerned resident Severia Campbell-Morris said, "[The Prichard Water Board is] using our money to fight us, and we've already won. The people have spoken."
Under the amendment, Prichard customers would be taken over by MAWSS. On January 28, however, a hearing is going to be held at Government Plaza where the Prichard Water Board will attempt to block the takeover.
Protesters said they are not happy about the Water Board's decision.
Morris said, "We want the Prichard Water and Sewer Board dissolved! The people want it! The state wants it!"
These protestors thought their battle was nearing its end in November, but it looks like another fight is about to begin.
A spokesperson for the Prichard Water Board said the organization is challenging the constitutionality of the way the bill was presented.
An official said one precinct, in the Cypress Shores community, did not vote in favor of the amendment.
The spokesperson said the board runs the organization effectively, and anyone with negative opinions should go to the board meetings.
The Prichard Water Board said it does not believe the water rates will drop with the merger.
The board spokesman also said the city could lose a significant asset and millions of dollars if the Prichard Water Board is dissolved.
The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 28, in Judge Youngpeter's courtroom.
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