OPINION

Letter: Flint Mayor Karen Weaver wrong about KWA

DetroitNews

Re: Daniel Howes’ June 3 column “Flint water flap moves to pipes, KWA reappraisal”: Mayor Karen Weaver’s negative comments about the Karegnondi Water Authority are baffling, and simply not correct. The KWA is set to save the city of Flint $600 million over the course of 30 years, compared to DWSD/GLWA, including savings year one.

The mayor and various city officials seemed to be shocked by the $7 million yearly bond payment Flint has to make to KWA, but do not speak of the $13 million current year cost that Flint has been paying to DWSD, and will continue to pay if they do not honor their agreement with KWA. This does not include the cascade of rate increases we have seen yearly from the Detroit system, and will continue to see in the future. They also do not speak of the more than $16 million Genesee County residents outside of Flint will pay each year for KWA, representing the largest financial contribution to the project.

The mayor claims they are buyers, not sellers under KWA. In truth, they move from being purchasers of water from DWSD to owning their own water system under KWA, and preventing their water treatment plant from being mothballed.

Weaver claims she does not have the history of how Flint joined KWA. In fact, Weaver attended the meeting in 2013 where the Flint City Council discussed, and voted in favor of purchasing water from KWA.

The mayor has also expressed she wants a larger voice on the KWA Board. Flint currently has four of 15 KWA Board seats. The other seats are held by Genesee County, the other local municipalities who will be receiving water, and our regional partners in the system. Giving Flint a larger portion would weaken the voices of our surrounding communities at a time when Flint already has one of the strongest positions on the board.

Jeff Wright, drain commissioner

Genesee County