Amendment 5 legal battle continues

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) — Reaction is coming in to a decision by the Prichard Water Works and Sewer Board to go to court over the results of a vote of the people last Tuesday.

The vote, to approve Amendment Five, would abolish the Prichard Water System and put control of the water service under the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System.

Tuesday, the board voted to go to court to block Amendment Five from going into effect, even though it was approved by 69 percent of the voters statewide.

That move is not sitting well with a lot of people in Prichard.

Severia Morris said she was at the meeting, "and, I can tell you, I was just so disappointed."

Morris said people are still paying high water bills.

She said, "I just got about three phone calls this week of people having a bill of $150 to $300."

And now that the Water Board is going to court, Morris said, "That's one of the saddest things about it, is that they are spending our money. They're spending the senior citizens money that can barely take care of their own needs, such as medication."

State Representative Napoleon Bracy co-authored the act calling for the referendum.

Bracy said, "It appears that taxpayers dollars are about to be used to actually fight against the wills of the taxpayers in court. I just think it's a horrible situation."

He said he thinks voters showed Prichard customers are tired of paying high water bills.

Bracy said, "The citizens spoke loud and clear last week in favor of Amendment 5, and, hopefully, the judge will uphold Amendment 5, and we can put all of this behind us."

Officials with the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System said they can provide service for Prichard customers at a lower cost.

What do they think of the Water Board's decision?

Company spokesperson Barbara Shaw said, "Well, at this point, I really don't have anything to tell you, because the board has not had a chance to discuss it, and we haven't seen anything formal from them yet."

Water Board officials have said they've been working to make the system more efficient.

We asked some customers Wednesday how much they've been paying for their monthly water bills.

Willie Mae English said she paid $25, and, "I feel good about it."

She said her bill is never high because she lives by herself.

Mary Lee Hill said, "Its about 60 something dollars. I figure its okay, compared to what some other people are paying, up in the hundreds of dollars."

Antoine Miller said his mother lives in Prichard, and her bill was "about $116 to $120. That's too high. Really too high."

We've been reaching out to Jay Ross, the attorney for the Prichard Water Works and Sewer Board,

to ask him why the Board is fighting the measure in court, and to get his reaction to what people are saying, but we haven't heard from him

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Alabama (change)

Known as the “Heart of Dixie,” Alabama has a population of over 4.6 million residents. Montgomery is the capital city. Other major cities include Birmingham, Mobile, and Huntsville.
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Governor: Robert Bentley
Lieutenant Governor: Kay Ivey
Attorney General: Luther Strange
State Treasurer: Young Boozer
Secretary of State: Beth Chapman

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