Former Prichard Mayor urges “no” vote on water board takeover

MOBILE, Ala. – Mobile County voters will head to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of the Prichard Water Board again.

This is the second time the question has come before voters of whether or not the utility should be taken over by the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System. Last year it was on the statewide ballot and passed. But, the supreme court said it was a county issue and should not have been voted on statewide. So, Tuesday voters will decide the issue again.

Supporters of a yes vote are using the last hours before Tuesday’s referendum to build support for a takeover of the Prichard Water Board.

“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we know MWASS is going to give us relief,” Severia Morris said.

But, there’s also growing opposition to the takeover, which some believe threatens the future of the city itself.

The opposition has picked up the support of former Prichard Mayor A.J.Cooper who said he’s avoided Prichard politics for three decades since he left office. But Cooper said he felt he had to speak out on this issue.

“This however, is a overriding threat to the city,” Cooper said.

Cooper said there have been major changes in the water system under the new administration, including a new water board. The former major said the board is now trying to drill the city’s own well which would eliminate high fees the city now pays to MWASS.

“MAWSS gets its water free from this aquifer. They turn around and then resell it to different municipalities. Prichard can do the same thing,” he explained.

Cooper is especially critical of two state legislators who co sponsored the legislation, State Senator Vivian Figures and Representative Napoleon Bracy.

“They say lets just give it to Mobile, no compensation to all of the investment , sweat and tears that have gone into it for the city of Prichard. That makes no sense,” Cooper said.

Fox Ten News tried to interview both Figures and Bracy. Senator Figures said she was working on a written response. and Bracy did not returned our calls Monday.

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