Local pastor pleads for action on Prichard’s water problems

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A local pastor wants the city of Prichard, Ala., to solve its long-standing water supply problems.

Archie Rankin, pastor of Sure Word Outreach Ministries, says every time it rains heavily in Prichard, Alabama Village suffers.

Water problems in Prichard are nothing new, and Rankin is tired of the problems.

“They don’t do anything here, they never did, we always go through the same things. Now they’re talking about turning off the water in that area. It’s not fair to our neighborhood. This is not fair to our church families. I mean — they just sort of finish us off,” Rankin said.

Some residents could face an uncertain future.

Jay Ross, attorney for the Prichard Water Board, says the water board may need to turn off the water for some residents.

He blames Prichard’s decaying infrastructure for the thousands of dollars Prichard loses each month.

“This discussion is on the table because the operations manager reports to the board that they are losing $87,000 each month in water from pipes and other infrastructure that are past their useful life cycle. They fix one disruption and another occurs,” explained Jay Ross.

Still, Ross says the decision to turn off the water could be a long time coming.

“There are many financial, political, ADEM and EPA issues that need to be considered,” Ross said. “You have to understand – there is no plan. I don’t know how misinformation gets out there – and any of these 5 board members will say there is no plan because there isn’t one. There is debate about what to do about it – if anything.”

“We’re flooding again. Every time it rains, we flood out of here. It often gets so bad that communities are flooded. But now cars are locked up, car parts are everywhere from the flooded waters,” Rankin added.

Not to mention the school bus routes – punctuated by standing water.

“If it rains during the weekday, the school buses have to go through the cemetery here to try to get to the other side to take the kids home to their destination,” Rankin said.

“I would like to know why this particular area has always been avoided. You talk about the infrastructure. We have the same infrastructure as everything else – the gas company came in and fixed the infrastructure – why can’t the city of Prichard do something like that? They don’t care,” Rankin added.

“We have some good people working for the water board, but not many. We need to be treated better than we were treated. Our church family needs to be treated better – as do our street neighbors and the people who live here. It’s awful,” Rankin concluded.

That complaint only scratches the surface of Prichard’s exhaustive list of water issues over the past year.

In mid-November, the Mobile County jury indicted former Prichard Water Board manager Nia Bradley, charging her with theft of deception. Her husband Anthony Bradley, Randy Dewarick Burden and current collaborator Teresa Evett Lewis were also charged.

FOX10 News will keep you informed of developments at the Prichard Water Board.

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