EUTAW RESIDENTS WANT WATER BACK ON AFTER MAYOR SHUTS OFF COMMUNITY’S ACCESS
Eutaw residents are upset after Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele ordered the city to cut off water to several dozen residents in the Branch Heights community.
Today, the mayor and Eutaw City Council met with residents who said they haven’t gotten a water bill in months, the water flowing through the pipes is coming out discolored and there’s no way to determine how much they owe.
The mayor disagrees, but the Eutaw City Council is on the side of the residents left without water. During a heated exchange, District 2 Eutaw City Councilman Lajeffrey Carpenter and Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele went head to head.
Carpenter said the council has asked the mayor about the Water Department’s finance reports because revenue is down nearly $100,000 since Steele took office in 2016.
Steele said water meters purchased in 2016 that aren’t reading properly are to blame.
But that’s not an excuse, council members said.
“We have asked the mayor for the last three years to make sure those meters are up running correctly,” said District 1 Eutaw City Councilwoman Latasha Johnson. “We voted not to even sign off of the project until the meters are up running correctly.”
Steele said that doesn’t mean residents are excused from paying up.
“I don’t necessarily agree with it, because how could the city be at fault for someone not paying their bill?” Steele said. “I feel like they’re responsible for paying the water bill.”
After the meeting, Steele agreed to turn the water back on for residents affected by the situation, and said they’d have 30 days to pay any outstanding bills.