Some Gulfport residents say 'no' to new water meters

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Nine million dollars worth of new water meters has some Gulfport residents concerned. The city has already begun installing the new high-tech meters. But one long-time resident is hoping to stop that.

"We have tons of streets that need to be paved. We tons of areas that don't have water and sewer currently. We need to address those issues first before we start trying to address a Lexus water meter," said Ricky Dombrowski.

Dombrowski and several other Gulfport residents are going door-to-door with a petition. They want to stop the installation in its tracks.

"I have not had one single person that has not wanted to sign this petition," said Dombrowski.

Gulfport finance chief Mike Necaise says the new meters will immediately generate at least $700,000 in annual revenue. He says the old meters are out-dated and give inaccurate readings. Dombrowski says there's an easier fix.

"You gotta fix the problem and you can fix the problem by changing a meter that's broken with a $20 meter," said Dombrowski.

The city has already installed 600 of the new electronic meters.

As for the petition, residents have less than a week to sign their name on the dotted line in order to stop the new meters from coming into their neighborhoods.

Residents need 1,500 signatures by Monday. Then, the measure will be added to this year's election ballot.