MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Prichard Water Board has lost another battle in the fight to avoid being taken over by the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service.
A circuit court judge ruled Tuesday, February 19, in favor of MAWSS in the lawsuit filed by Prichard Water.
MAWSS Vice Chair Kimberly Pettway said the board was pleased with the judges ruling.
"It reinforces the will of the people to make this happen. This is a monumental moment. We welcome the opportunity to serve the citizens of Prichard, and look forward to being able to provide fair rates and exemplary service. We hope this ruling puts to rest the questions as to whether or not this vote was legal and binding. MAWSS is prepared to implement the judge's ruling immediately," Pettway said.
This is the second defeat for the Prichard Water Board since voters approved a statewide referendum in November to dissolve the utility.
Now, Circuit Court Judge Michael Youngpeter has ruled MAWSS can take over the Prichard Water Board.
That was welcomed news for Alabama State Senator Vivian Figures who sponsored the bill to dissolve the Prichard Water Board, and for many customers who said they water bills are much too high.
"It means, especially, for people of Prichard and Chickasaw who are customers under the Prichard water board, that they will now begin to see in the long run lower rates and definitely better service. Also it's going to provide for the employees who are employees of the Prichard Water Board the opportunity to become part of the retired systems of Alabama pension fund," Senator Figures said.
"It's a lot higher. We moved and started using Prichard back in July, and my water bill to have it all taken care of was over $300," Michelle Thompkins said.
"The city council appointed the water board, the members of the water board. We are citizens. They are citizens. We are going to hold their feet to the fire. Stop spending our money. It is over," Severia Morris said.
Morris helped to organize the effort for change within the city.
Her message is directed at the Prichard Water Board, which could decide to appeal the ruling.
FOX10 News was unable to reach Jay Ross, the attorney for the Prichard Water Board Tuesday, but Ross has said in the past that if the decision went against his client an appeal was likely.
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