(MOBILE, Ala.) - The fight for Prichard's water is going to court. The decision of whether or no to get rid of Prichard's Water Board was supposed to go to voters in November. But now, an attorney for the board has filed a lawsuit, saying the vote is unconstitutional.
A bill to allow Prichard residents to vote and decide has been in the works for two years. It just recently passed the House and Senate, and now the water board's attorneys are pulling out all the stops.
"It's one of the greatest financial burdens that's on us, that's on the citizens of Prichard, Alabama " said one resident.
"Alabama's law has a specific manner in which water utilities can be dissolved. This legislation just completely trashes that requirement," said Prichard Water Board attorney Willie Huntley.
Huntley said Prichard would have to break a number of contracts with companies which run the water system, some that still have five years on them.
"Under Alabama law, you just can't go and set aside a contract," Huntley added.
State Representative Napoleon Bracy, who represents Prichard, co-sponsored the bill to let voters decide.
"This is a suit just to disenfranchise the voters, and to not give them an opportunity to vote on this," Bracy said.
Bracy told Local 15 News he hasn't met a single Prichard resident without a financial interest in the water board, who wants to keep it.
"A lot of people thought they would never have this opportunity, and now the opportunity is here. And for some reason, some don't want to give the people the right to vote on it," Bracy added.
The lawsuit is being reviewed by a Mobile district court. The decision to throw it out or allow it will have to be made before November 2012.