Critically important service line replacement work halted because of City Council delays

FLINT, Michigan—After seven years of devastation caused by the Flint water crisis, the City Council has forced a shutdown of the City’s service line replacement project just when completion of the project is finally within reach.

The City Council has repeatedly postponed approval of a contract extension for Rowe, which serves as project manager for the service line replacement project. And, again, the City Council failed to approve the work on Monday after meeting for 7 hours.

Rowe has notified the City its work on the project has stopped.

“It is unconscionable for our work to be stalled when so many have been negatively impacted by lead contamination,” said Mayor Sheldon Neeley. “This is blatant filibustering designed to delay and distract us from moving our community forward. People should always be placed over politics. I am calling on all City Council members to do the right thing and approve this contract to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our residents.”

There are an estimated 500 service lines left to check in the City of Flint. The project has checked the water pipes at more than 26,000 residences and replaced more than 9,500 lead and/or galvanized steel pipes.