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Gov. Snyder: Flint to receive additional $2 million in water infrastructure replacement funding
February 18, 2016
Money will help advance action plan Flint mayor and state agreed to on Feb. 8
Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016
LANSING, Mich. – Flint will receive an additional $2 million from the state to help with water infrastructure replacement costs, Gov. Rick Snyder said today, which will be available for the city to start removing priority lead service lines within the next 30 days. Under Mayor Weaver’s plan, which relies on estimates from the Lansing Board of Water and Light, this funding would cover replacement of lead service lines for several hundred homes.
The financing will come in the form of grant funding, intended to reimburse the city for the $2 million it paid as part of the state-local agreement to reconnect with the Detroit water system last October. The Flint City Council and chief financial officer will have to take action to complete the grant process.
“This funding continues Michigan’s substantial and coordinated response to the Flint water crisis,” Snyder said. “We continue to ensure every possible resource is being utilized so that Flint families have safe and reliable drinking water in their homes and schools.”
The Financially Distressed Cities, Villages and Townships Grant is designed to ensure that funding can be used to ensure the safety, reliability and sustainability of the city’s water system. Municipalities are eligible for a grant if they are experiencing one or more conditions indicative of “probable financial stress”. The city of Flint also received a $2 million dollar grant from this program in Feb. 2015 to finance water system infrastructure improvements.
The state continues to work closely with the city of Flint on a comprehensive approach to identify lead service lines and replace them, beginning with the highest priority homes – ones with very high lead levels and those with young children or pregnant women in the home. Rich Baird, who is leading Gov. Snyder's Mission Flint team, and State Budget Director John Roberts met with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver on Feb. 7 to discuss the governor’s proposed budget recommendation and the plan to coordinate with Rowe Engineering to complete an infrastructure study and begin service line replacement on the most high-priority homes in February. Gov. Snyder and Baird met with Mayor Weaver and Gen. Mike McDaniel, head of Flint’s Fast Start program, on Feb. 8, where all parties agreed to move forward on the contract with Rowe to complete an infrastructure study before replacing lines.
To date, more than 10,000 Flint homes have been tested for lead levels. One Flint home on Feb. 11 was identified as having higher than 10,000 parts per billion lead levels. A response team comprised of DEQ, DHHS and a licensed plumber made contact with the homeowner on Feb. 12, where a plumbing inspection, cleansing of aerators and flushing of lines was provided. The homeowner was provided two additional test kits and a bus pass to assist with travel to a clinic for blood testing. The High Lead/Copper Team visited with the resident again Wednesday.
Since Oct. 2, 2015, the state has assisted the city of Flint in the amount of $39.3 million. A supplemental funding bill, pending final legislative approval, will allocate an additional $30 million to aid the city of Flint in crediting a portion of residents’ water bills going back to April 2014 for water that was unsuitable for consumption. State Treasurer Nick Khouri is working with the city of Flint’s chief financial officer on a plan for implementation of the reimbursements.