On April 18, 2017, Mayor Karen Weaver stood with officials from the City of Flint, State of Michigan, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes Water Authority, Genesee County Drain Commission and Karegnondi Water Authority at Flint City Hall as she announced her recommendation that Flint stay with the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) as its primary source of water and utilize Genesee County as a secondary water source.
“After months of research, analyzation and collaboration, I believe staying with GLWA as the city’s primary water source is the best option when you consider factors related to public health and when it comes to being fiscally responsible,” said Weaver. “But, I also think it’s important to hear from the citizens of Flint and get their feedback on the suggested plan before a permanent decision is made, that is why I’m hosting a town hall meeting this Thursday at 5:30 p.m.”
The town hall meeting Thursday, will take place at House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church located at 1851 W. Carpenter Rd. in Flint. Officials from various agencies will be on hand to answer questions from residents and provide further details about all the water source options considered and why City officials think staying with GLWA is the best option for Flint. The town hall is part of a 30-day public participation period to get feedback from residents. In addition to the town hall meeting, residents can submit questions and comments regarding the mayor’s recommendation to city officials via email at: [email protected].
Weaver noted some of the factors taken into consideration during her announcement Tuesday. She said public health was at the very top of the list.
“Continuing with GLWA means Flint would not have to switch water sources again,” Weaver said. “This will help protect residents from any issues that could occur and it would eliminate the fears or anxieties people may have about another major change taking place with our water.”
Mayor Weaver also stated the importance of being fiscally responsible and said continuing with GLWA has some cost-saving benefits for the City.
“Sticking with GLWA allows us to use federal dollars from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund Program to update the city’s damaged water distribution system which is aging and deteriorating,” Weaver stated. “This option would also result in the 72-inch transmission line being returned to the city, and residents would also gain access to a low income assistance program to help pay their water bills. While Flint remains ultimately responsible for its 28-year, $7 million average annual bond obligation to the Karegnondi Water Authority, the burden of that debt service will be offset by contract credits Flint will receive based upon transfer of its raw water rights to GLWA.”
City officials also stated continuing with GLWA maintains a known and approved water supply. They said reaching the tentative agreement was a true collaborative effort between the City, County, and State, along with GLWA and KWA to ensure that Flint residents have access to clean, affordable drinking water.
“This plan is a win for every partner involved including the residents of Flint,” Weaver added.
Click below to see all the water source options considered by officials and how they ranked:
City of Flint-Water-Supply-Option-Ranking
Late Tuesday, November 22, 2017, after months of meetings and mediation, the new Flint City Council voted 5-4 to approve a 30-year contract for the Great Lakes Water Authority to serve as the City of Flint’s primary water source, and utilize Genesee County as a backup water source.
Before casting his yes vote for the deal, newly elected councilman for Ward 3, Santino Guerra, said he would be voting for what he thought was morally right and what he felt was the best decision for the people of Flint.
Another newcomer to the Flint City Council, Maurice Davis, elected last week to represent the 2nd Ward, said it was time to move forward. He too voted in support of the agreement.
“The administration did everything in their power to come up with a deal such as this,” said Davis. “We were elected to make the right decision… That judge is not playing with this community. If we don’t unify with this administration and this body we’re going to be in a world of trouble.”
Mayor Weaver initially announced her recommendation to continue receiving water from the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) back on April 18, 2017.
“I believe staying with GLWA as the city’s primary water source is the best option when you consider factors related to public health and when it comes to being fiscally responsible,” said Weaver.
For months the City Council refused to approve the recommendation, but never presented an alternate option. Instead, the Council passed month-to-month contracts with GLWA at a much higher rate than negotiated in the long-term deal. A move that has cost the City of Flint millions over the last few months, according to the City of Flint Finance Department.
“The recommendation I put forth would also avoid a projected 55 percent water rate increase and ensure the City of Flint gets millions of dollars to continue replacing lead tainted pipes, and make much-needed repairs to our damaged infrastructure so we are able to deliver quality water to residents,” stated Weaver. “The people of Flint have waited long enough for a reliable, permanent water source, and implementing my recommendation will provide that.”
A federal judge imposed a deadline giving the City Council until today to approve the agreement. Mayor Weaver looked visibly relieved after the Council’s vote late Tuesday night just before 11:00 p.m.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Weaver. “We have been waiting on a decision for months so I’m really glad that this is over now and we can move forward. The city has lost so much money waiting for this decision to be made and I’m really glad to have some of the new council members that were eager and willing and ready to get things moving. This is what the people deserve.”
The Flint City Council members who voted against the long-term water contract with GLWA were Kate Fields, Monica Galloway, Eva Worthing and L. Allan Griggs.