MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – FOX10 News is digging for answers after the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System accused The Prichard Water Works and Sewer Board of not acting in the best interest of its customers.
MAWSS said the decision by the Prichard Water Board to approve a multi-million dollar, five-year management contract with Severn Trent Services (STS), just a week before a county-wide vote to merge the two entities, has made it virtually impossible for MAWSS to assume responsibility for the system.
FOX10 News reached out to the city of Prichard, the board’s public relations spokesperson in Birmingham and the Prichard Water Works and Sewer Board offices to ask the chairperson of the board, Russel Heidelburg, why the board signed the contract so close to election day.
Our attempts to reach Heidelburg were unsuccessful. We did reach Kim Davis, the board’s public relations specialist in Birmingham, who said she is not answering any questions or making any comments at this time. Davis referred to this press release as the board’s official statement.
Jay Ross, the water board’s attorney, offered an explanation to FOX10 News Thursday morning, September 4. He said there was contractual constraints on the Prichard water board and the timing was coincidental.
“The board entered a contracted over five years ago. That contract had certain dates in it that just happened coincide with this most recent activity by the legislature and by the voting that occurred,” said Ross.
Ross says the board voted on the contract several weeks before the election and the contract was signed closer to the big day.