June 21, 2016 (Flint, Mich) — Flint Mayor Karen Weaver held a press conference Tuesday to announce the City of Flint will move forward with the Karegnondi Water Authority with assistance from the county and state. After meeting with Governor Snyder, Genesee County board Chairman, Jaime Curtis, County Drain Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Karegnondi Water Authority, Jeff Wright and others early Tuesday morning Mayor Weaver said while she isn’t pleased about the deal that was made regarding Flint’s involvement with KWA, contracts are difficult to get out of therefore the City would move forward with KWA with some changes she and other city leaders have negotiated.
“Myself, nor members of my administration were at the table when these deals were made and I think the City of Flint got a raw deal,” said Mayor Weaver. “I examined the paperwork, had discussions with city council, other stakeholders and even gotten legal advice to see what all the options are. While some say the contracts were not in “good faith” I have been informed that they are legally binding. I don’t know who thought these were good decisions for Flint or why they did, but this is where we find ourselves today and we’ve got to make the best of the situation.”
For weeks people have been asking Mayor Weaver if she plans to have the city continue with KWA or go with an alternative. While many were pressuring her to make a decision, she refused to commit to anything without doing her due diligence.
“My main goal is to do what’s best for the citizens and the City of Flint,” commented Mayor Weaver. “We are going to move forward with the KWA, but with some changes we felt were necessary. The county has agreed to pay for the pre-construction engineering required for the three mile pipeline that the city must have to support our need to access a secondary water source. We thank the county leaders for their help to cover that cost. We have also reached a financial agreement with the state to share the cost of the pipeline and we appreciate the governor agreeing to help with this expense. We also feel Flint should have more representation on the KWA board so that we have greater influence in the decisions being made that effect our city.”
Governor Snyder spoke about how the state plans to help cover the cost of the three mile pipeline.
“If the Flint River is not to be used and no one wants to use the Flint River we need this three mile pipeline,” said Snyder. “So I thought it was appropriate that we come up with an arrangement to help support the city in this effort.”
The approximate cost estimate at this point is around $7 million. The state has agreed to provide $4.2 million in grant funds to help the City of Flint cover those costs and also work to provide Flint financing arrangements to prevent any additional interim costs for the city.
“I’m not excited about this,” Mayor Weaver added. “But, I do think working toward these and other changes gives us greater influence than we had before and that will allow us to move forward knowing we have people at the table making decisions for the City of Flint who are truly invested in the city and who truly want what’s best for the citizens of Flint.”