Snyder gives $2M for removing Flint’s lead water lines

Jim Lynch
The Detroit News

Flint’s battle against lead contamination will get an additional $2 million boost with funds directed toward removing lead water lines.

Thursday, a few hours after the Michigan House approved $30 million to help residents pay their water bills, Gov. Rick Snyder announced another $2 million to target line removal. It’s money that could be put to use within the next 30 days.

The money comes through a grant to repay Flint for costs incurred in 2015 during the city’s reconnection to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. The deal will require approval from Flint officials.

“This funding continues Michigan’s substantial and coordinated response to the Flint water crisis,” Snyder said in a statement. “We continue to ensure every possible resource is being utilized so that Flint families have safe and reliable drinking water in their homes and schools.”

The assistance package is called the Financially Distressed Cities, Villages and Townships Grant, and it is meant for municipalities that experience multiple indications of “probable financial stress.”

Following the announcement, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said she is “grateful” for the financial support. She and Snyder have debated this week over how soon line replacement should begin with a system-wide study yet to be completed.

“I appreciate that the Governor has answered our call to bring additional resources to the table so we can start getting lead pipes out of Flint,” Weaver said in a press release. “Going forward, I hope we can work collaboratively to convince state and federal lawmakers to bring additional financial assistance to Flint to meet the City’s immediate and longterm needs, including wraparound services for children, infrastructure, blight elimination and other critical areas.”

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