October 24, 2016 (FLINT, Mich) — Volunteers from AARP Michigan will be going door-to-door in some Flint neighborhoods today to help residents complete consent forms for the next phase of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start program. They will gather at Hasselbring Community Center at 12:00 p.m. noon and disperse from there.
Homeowners and residents must give their permission to have lead and galvanized steel service lines replaced between the street and the house before work can begin. AARP volunteers will be identifiable and will have consent forms with them for residents to sign. At this point volunteers are scheduled to go door-to-door today and later this week.
“Pipe replacement will happen more quickly if residents are prepared to answer their doors for the AARP volunteers, and to sign the consent cards,” said retired Brigadier General Michael McDaniel, manager of the FAST Start project. “Getting the signed consent cards collected quickly will make it more likely for us to replace pipes at hundreds more homes before the weather gets too cold.”
The second phase of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative wrapped up last week after crews replaced lead-tainted service lines at 218 homes and capped lines at three abandoned homes. During the first phase of FAST Start earlier this year, service pipes to 33 homes were replaced, and lines to six more homes were replaced through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Flint City Council members recently approved a resolution awarding the contracts for the next phase of the FAST Start initiative, under which 788 additional homes will receive pipe replacements. Last week, the Flint Receivership Transition Advisory Board approved the measure clearing the way for work to begin soon.
Mayor Weaver launched the FAST Start initiative to help resolve a number of problems created after a state-appointed emergency manager switched the city’s water source to the Flint River in 2014 without the necessary corrosion control chemicals being added. The corrosive water removed a protective coating on the inside of the pipes, causing lead to leach into the water flowing to homes and businesses in the City of Flint.
While the level of lead in Flint’s water supply has been significantly reduced since the city switched back a year ago to water delivered from Lake Huron by the Great Lakes Water Authority, residents are still being urged to drink only filtered water, and to replace their filters when needed.