/After more than a year without it, Schlater residents to get clean, running water

After more than a year without it, Schlater residents to get clean, running water

This community of six families was able to celebrate a groundbreaking ceremony for the installation of a new water system in their area with the help and assistance of state and local governments and community agencies. “There are too many places in Mississippi that are overlooked, and that’s a fact. At the groundbreaking, Brandon Presley, Mississippi Public Service Commissioner for Northern District, stated that too many people in state governments forget that small rural communities like Schlater exist. Broken water well pumps have left Schlater residents without running water since July 2019. Clemon’s family travelled nearly 13 miles a week to get water to bring back to their homes in their trailers. This water was used for cleaning, cooking, and bathing. Minerva Clemon, who had spent countless dollars trying to fix the water pump and buy bottled water, reached out to Anjuan, the Leflore County supervisor, to get help. She told Mississippi Today November 2019 that she was astonished at the response. Presley, the commissioner of public service, called after Mississippi Today’s initial report. He wanted to know how his office could assist. Presley held follow-up conversations with local and federal water agencies to determine what could be done for the families. He also established a two-phase plan. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a $63,000 grant to Mississippi Department of Human Services in May. This was for the purpose of building a new well. The construction phase was halted by issues with heirs property (or property that has been passed on without a will). Minerva Clemon needed to obtain a court order to divide the land or make it available to all property owners, since there was no will. After clearing the land, Pamela Gary (director of Central Mississippi Inc.), said that construction on the new well system would begin within two weeks. She said that the project will take between two and three months. Longtime Greenwood Democrat Senator David Jordan recalled a childhood memory in which he drank water from a well pump. “The only difference between my childhood and this was that we had a pump. The sulfur residue was so thick that we had to wait for it to settle before we could drink from it. Jordan stated that it was difficult to imagine how they would survive such a situation. “But I’m glad that we came to the rescue [for Schlater residents].” Residents here have finally been able to get running water after being patient, hopeful and vigilant for more than a year. Minerva and Tom Clemon smiled as they walked through the ceremony. “Thank God. Minerva Clemon stood next to her brother and said, “Thank God, it was a long wait.” Tom replied to his sister, “It has been done this time.” (He’s) sending Angels to check on us. Angels I ain’t never met before.”