MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - It appears 69 percent of the voters in Alabama gave Amendment 5 the thumbs up. That amendment would allow Mobile Area Water and Sewer System to take over the Prichard Water Board. But, MAWSS is not yet claiming a victory.
There was a lot of excitement in Prichard on the day after the big election. Many people are hoping they'll soon get some relief from high water bills that they've struggled with for years.
"A hundred, almost $180 a month, $170, and all like that. I'm so glad it passed," Lonnie Overstreet said.
"I been here all my life. It's something that should have been done way before now, but you have to wait on God to do his work. I'm just glad," Clarissa Brazile said.
"We need it because, like I say, some of the bills [are] high, and it's getting out of control. I believe we need a big change," Andre Washington said.
While a lot of people may be ready to celebrate in Prichard, Mobile Area Water and Sewer is still waiting on the final numbers from election officials.
The election office in Mobile has all of the totals from machines throughout the county and the absentee ballots. The totals from the provisional ballots will be counted next Tuesday.
But, apparently there's more to the win than simply counting ballots.
"We're just going to present the results to each of the water boards, then they will decide if it passed or not. We're just going to give them the figures," an election worker said.
Victory for the statewide amendment depends on a majority vote in all areas serviced by MAWSS, all areas serviced by Prichard Water, and statewide. MAWSS officials said once they get the figures the lawyers will take over.
"As the people at Probate Court were lamenting this is new, a novel piece of legislation. This doesn't happen every day. So, they're being very cautious with what they're saying. We likewise are being very caution as to how to proceed," Barbara Shaw said.
Shaw said the process of determining the next step should being late next week after MAWSS gets the official election results.
The Referendum stipulates, MAWSS rates will not be raised to pay for the merger.
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