May 31, 2016 (Flint) — Mayor Karen Weaver and the City of Flint have completed a significant step in the effort to move forward with the next phase of the FAST Start initiative to remove lead and galvanized pipes in Flint. The City has released its Request for Proposals (RFP) detailing the work planned and what is required of local businesses interested in doing work to complete the next phase of the project. Mayor Weaver is hopeful that local business owners will take advantage of the opportunity.
“Now that the RFP has been released local business owners have a chance to not only get additional work for their employees, but participate in getting the lead out of Flint,” said Mayor Weaver. “We hope this project also will help revive our economy by getting the people of Flint back to work in one of the most important jobs there is right now, removing lead-tainted service lines leading to homes to help Flint recover from this man-made water disaster.”
Firms interested in submitting bids must turn in their completed proposals to the City’s Purchases and Supplies Department by Tuesday, June 21, 2016 @ 3:00 PM (deadline extended from Thursday, June 16, 2016) Pipe replacement is expected to resume shortly thereafter.
A mandatory pre-proposal meeting will be held Wednesday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. in City Hall Council Chambers. This will be the one and only time potential vendors will be able to meet face-to-face with both the Purchasing Department and Utilities Division.
The City plans to use the $2 million the state reimbursed Flint, (money the City spent to switch back to the Detroit water system) to complete this next phase of FAST Start. The number of pipes that will be replaced will be determined by the bids that are granted. Lead-tainted service lines to 33 homes were removed earlier this year in the pilot phase of the program.
Mayor Weaver is aware of statements that have been made about the cost of permits needed from the City for the line replacements and wanted to set the record straight.
“I asked City Council members to reduce or waive the permit fees and they chose to keep the fees in place as is,” Mayor Weaver said. “The City is in a tough situation financially and the Council felt the fees needed to stay where they are to avoid putting us in a bind in other areas. I have requested that a special Council meeting be held to explain to residents and anyone else how the streets will be repaired due to the line replacements and at what cost.”
Mayor Weaver is well aware of the City’s incomplete and inaccurate records regarding the location of lead and galvanized pipes. Therefore, the RFP has been structured to verify the types of lines and adapt to this lack of documentation.
Mayor Weaver continues to call on state and federal lawmakers to help fund the entire cost to complete the FAST Start program as residents in Flint continue to suffer the consequences of the man-made water disaster through no fault of their own.
“The water in Flint was poisoned by lead due to mismanagement and malfeasance of leaders put in place by state officials,” said Mayor Weaver. “I’m glad the governor says all of the lead-tainted service lines must be replaced and that funding for Flint is a priority because we need it to get all of the pipes replaced from the curb to residents’ water meters.”
City officials have reviewed recommendations from Rowe (which participated in FAST Start’s pilot phase) and applied them to the RFP. The pipe replacements will be organized by neighborhoods to reduce disruption. Work will be done in sections of 50 or 100 houses by multiple contractors.
“We are making progress,” Mayor Weaver said. “I know things aren’t happening as fast as many would like, they aren’t happening as fast as I would like. But we aren’t going to stop until we get the lead out of Flint. That’s my top priority and I hope our state and federal legislators will show it’s theirs as well, by providing the funds needed in the City of Flint to recover from this water crisis.”