Police jury hears water restart complaint

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vidalia — A Concordia Parish resident frustrated with the parish’s water district got to vent her complaints Monday night to the Concordia Parish Police Jury, but ultimately no action was taken.

Margaret Hawkes addressed the jury Monday night during the board’s meeting, saying she is paying past-due bills of tenants who have been evicted before she can have the water turned back on.

In the most recent case, Hawkes said she was left to pay a past-due bill of $169.15 of a previous tenant, plus an additional deposit in order to get the water service turned back on for a new tenant.

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Hawkes said the water should have been cut off before the bill ever got that high.

Vidalia City Attorney Jack McLemore, who is also the attorney for Concordia Water Works, told Hawkes the policies of cutting water off and not turning it back on until a past-due bill is paid is standard throughout the state.

“We can ask for an opinion from the Attorney General, but we run our business very well,” McLemore said.

“We run a stable business, and everyone is treated the same way. If you don’t pay, you don’t get water.”

Board President Melvin Ferrington told Hawkes he understood her frustrations, but that the jury doesn’t directly control the operations of Concordia Water Works.

The board also approved rescheduling its December meeting to Dec. 16.