Domingo, 24 Marcha, 2019

Flint's mayor to recommend water source after lead crisis

Flint mayor says water switch 'too risky' after lead crisis Flint mayor wants to avoid water switch after lead crisis
Eleena Tovar | 19 Abril, 2017, 08:12

The mayor of Flint, Mich., is proposing the city stay connected to the Detroit municipal water system rather than switch to treating its own water supply. It was heralded as a cost-cutting move.

Mayor Karen Weaver announced on Tuesday that she would recommend the city become a full-time customer of the Great Lakes Water Authority in light of a drinking water crisis in her city, the Flint Journal reports.

Karen Weaver will make the announcement Tuesday. Should Weaver commit to continued use of water from the Great Lakes Water Authority, it will likely be a blow to the KWA, which is partially built using Flint's emergency bonding authority under state-appointed emergency managers, an act now the subject of an investigation by state Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Stateside spoke with Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody about the implications of that announcement for the city of Flint and the KWA. "Ensuring the public's health and safety is our No. 1 top priority".

Although the change was designed as a short-term measure that could save the city $8 million, the switch was made without treating the river water to make it less corrosive. Last year, she said the city of 100,000 residents would stick with a plan to draw from a pipeline to Lake Huron that is under construction.

The city remains on the hook for $7 million annual bond payments to the Karegnondi Water Authority, but Weaver said that cost would be offset by credits from the Detroit-area authority in exchange for gaining Flint's water rights to the KWA.

The mayor said all pipes will be replaced in the city by 2019.

The options ranged from $303 million for a plan in which treated county water would serve as back-up to the Flint water treatment plant to $482 million to keep the city on GLWA water with the Flint water plant operating as the backup water source.

Bob Kaplan, acting regional director for the Environmental Protection Agency, said the agreement is "the best long-term solution".

She says the contract will provide a stable and trusted water source for Flint. Flint can deploy the federal money "to the highest and best use", he said.

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk.