Mayor Holds Presser to Address State’s Decision to End Water Credits

*UPDATE: Mayor Weaver has confirmed that she has a meeting scheduled with Governor Snyder on Tuesday, February 14 at 4:00 p.m. in Lansing. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the governor’s decision to end the water credits and other important issues regarding Flint.

February 13, 2017 (FLINT, Mich) — Mayor Karen Weaver spoke to media today at Flint City Hall regarding the announcement made by the governor’s office last week that the credits currently being applied to the water portion of Flint utility customers’ accounts would no longer be provided after February 28, 2017.

“We’re all frustrated,” said Mayor Weaver. “I’m a resident and I’m frustrated too. We’re going to try to get as much from the state as we can. I called the governor to request a face to face meeting to discuss this matter. He has agreed to meet and we will be getting together probably by early next week.”

State officials note that the latest 6-month cycle of water testing showed results below the federal action level for the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).  They said the result supports the findings of the November 2016, testing from sentinel sites showing Flint’s water had a 90th percentile value of 8 ppb and cite the outcome as reason for discontinuing the credits.

“We are glad the water quality in Flint is getting better and we know we can’t rely on the state forever,” said Weaver. “But, we were initially told the credits would be in place until at least March 31, so I was disappointed when we received the letter last week informing us that after this month the state would no longer be providing the water credits for residents or funds to help the city pay for the water we’re receiving from the Great Lakes Water Authority which is over a million dollars a month.”  

Mayor Weaver also called members of her administration up to remind everyone of the progress that has been made over the last year.

“The water relief program was very effective for us,” said Flint’s interim Chief Financial Officer David Sabuda. “The credits provided a valuable incentive and vital aide to help get the water utilities in a position where the operating fund could be sustainable.”

Officials admit losing the credits at this time will result in more challenges to generate revenue for the City of Flint and also create a hardship for residents. The mayor said she plans to talk to the governor about the decision.

“I feel that the state could give the city and the residents more time to prepare for these financial adjustments,” said Weaver. “We know we will eventually have to move on and stand on our own two feet and I look forward to us being in a position to do that. But, I don’t think now is best time.”

According to the letter from the state, the March billing statements customers receive will be the last bills that include the state water relief credits of 20% for commercial accounts and 65% for residential. Overall, officials say more than $40,400,000 in water relief credits will have been applied to the accounts of Flint water system customers once the program is complete. 

Customers with financial hardships who may need help paying their water/sewer bill should call the Customer Service Center at (810) 766-7015, or come to Flint City Hall to discuss payment options with a representative in person.