Gov. Rick Snyder awards Flint $2 million in ‘distressed municipalities' grants for water system infrastructure improvements

Funding to be used for leak detection, waste incinerator replacement

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today awarded Flint $2 million in grants for water system infrastructure improvements, part of an overall $8 million plan to help municipalities through the Financially Distressed Cities, Villages, and Townships Grant Program.

Flint is among eleven municipalities receiving grants through the program. The city will use the funding to detect leaks in its water lines and replace its Water Pollution Control Facility Incinerator.

“There are opportunities for state government to assist Flint city leaders as they address issues related to the city’s water system,” Snyder said. “These grants will help recovering cities improve public services and infrastructure, improving the quality of life for all residents.”

The grants to Flint were announced today at the Haskell Community Center by Harvey Hollins, director of the state’s Office of Urban Initiatives, and Wayne Workman, the state’s deputy treasurer. They were joined by Dan Wyant, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Flint Emergency Manager Jerry Ambrose, Mayor Dayne Walling, and state Rep. Sheldon Neeley.

Flint was awarded $900,000 to allow the city to hire a contractor to perform a leak detection survey of the city water lines. The city will receive a map of leak locations and an assessment of leak severity, allowing the city to prioritize leak repair. The project also covers the expense of conducting a water pipe line wall thickness condition assessment on a portion of the city’s pipes.  The assessment will guide the city’s water main replacement program.  

The city also was awarded $1.1 million to shut down its current Water Pollution Control Facility incinerator and replace it with new facilities which will allow for the disposal of waste in landfills. The existing facilities are not up to federal Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said he appreciates the state support.

"This announcement comes at the perfect time for Flint as we continue with repairs and upgrades to our water service infrastructure that are in accordance with our new Capital Improvement Plan,” Walling said. “This significant funding opportunity from the State will allow us to move forward with two projects that will mean long term cost savings for the City of Flint."

Municipalities are eligible for the grants if they are experiencing one or more conditions indicative of “probable financial stress,” as defined by Public Act 436 of 2012, the Local Financial Stability and Choice Act.

Under the grant program, funding may be used to pay for specific projects, services, or strategies that move a city, village, or township toward financial stability. There was $8 million appropriated for the program with a $2 million cap, per local unit.