JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point, Gautier, Ocean Springs, and Pascagoula are teaming up in a lawsuit against the Jackson County Utility Authority for breach of contract.
The cities say the JCUA has failed to abide by their respective contracts, and is unlawfully increasing rates by up to 200 percent.
The cities are demanding that the improperly charged fees be returned, and the JCUA held accountable.
"There are other cities in Jackson County that are particularly upset with the JCA, all cities will go through with the lawsuit, and I'm not the anointed spokesperson," said Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran. "But I can tell you that there are number of issues where cities have questions about the particular stipulations of the 1982 contract that JCUA has with each of the cities. It turns out a great [part] of revenue is spent on infrastructure outside of the cities, infrastructure to nowhere in the rural parts of the county, put on the ratepayers back."
According to the court document, all four cities are seeking monetary damages, declaratory judgment confirming the terms of the JCUA contract and finding the authority in the breach, equitable accounting of JCUA's billings and expenditures, as well as an order to prevent JCUA from destroying any documentation.
Moran says she hopes the cities can come to an agreement out of court, but if not, they will pursue the lawsuit.