Memphis Held Hostage: Day 5

Thursday we first got the notification from MLGW that we were to cut back on water usage and boil all water used for drinking, hand washing and teeth brushing.

That’s quite a lot to ask of citizens.

Immediately stores were stripped of water in gallons and bottles.

MLGW did not talk about – at least anywhere that I saw – that you can purify tap water by adding 6 drops of bleach per gallon. It is then drinkable and usable for hand washing, dish rinsing, etc. It at least saves time. Boiling water is fine, but it does take time to cool, unless you like drinking and washing your hands in very hot water.

Today, Monday, MLGW has extended the boil water notification indefinitely.

They still admit that they have not found any contaminants in any of our water. What gives?

I think this Daily Memphian headline proves my point that we are being held hostage until we get higher rates: “MLGW’s water crisis came after funding for infrastructure overhaul was delayed.”

The story says:

“Memphis City Council members began looking Saturday, Feb. 20, at past decisions to delay the rate hikes during a special briefing by MLGW officials. But for the most part, the nine members at the briefing stuck to a review of what is happening now and likely to happen in the week ahead.

“’At this point, I think we ought to, as council members, concentrate on making sure MLGW has all the tools they need to do their job to see us through the last phases of this crisis,’ council chairman Frank Colvett told The Daily Memphian Sunday.

“’Once we are through that, then I think it is very appropriate to look back on ways we can improve so if we do have another event like that, we are even more prepared,’ he said.

“That could come as soon as Tuesday’s council committee sessions.

“Council member Rhonda Logan said Sunday that the city’s highly touted water system didn’t get as much attention as the electric rate hike and infrastructure…
The previous council in 2018 and early 2019 balked at multi-year electric, gas and water rate hikes proposed by Collins to finance what was then a $737 million plan.

“The council instead approved lesser one-year hikes in gas and water rates. At the last meeting of their four-year term of office in December 2019, that council approved multi-year gas and water rate hikes.

“The council then punted the electric rate hike question to the new council elected in 2019 with seven returning members and six new members.

“Without action on electric rates, the total financing package for the upgrades was delayed. The financing is a mix of bond revenue that accounts for about half of the $1 billion ultimately approved and $91.7 million in savings and efficiencies MLGW pledged to make over the five years, as well as rate revenues.”

When the Council meets Tuesday, who wants to bet that the rate hikes are approved?

Shortly after, I would bet, our water problem will disappear.

Our Democrat leaders have learned a lot about how never to let a crisis go to waste.

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