Water supply issues continue in Flint - WNEM TV 5

Water supply issues continue in Flint

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A big decision is hanging in the balance regarding the future of the water supply through Mid-Michigan's biggest city.

The Flint City Council postponed the vote to join a new pipeline from Lake Huron.

Now the city of Detroit, where Flint has been getting its water, is weighing in.

Some Flint City Council members have demanded to get their hands on a report that they believe could tell a different tale about a new pipeline that would supply water to the city.

WNEM showed a copy of that report to some council members.

Flint City Council members say the decision they make on whether to join a countywide water pipeline will have a monumental impact on the community.

"This is the biggest decision that we, as a council, would make, because we're talking about the next 25 years for the city of Flint residents," said City Council Member Bernard Lawler. He says city leaders needs to look at all the facts.

The report is paid for by the state, and it looks at the cost of building a water pipeline from Lake Huron to Genesee County. That report claims the pipeline would cost $100 million more than estimates provided by the county.

The report was completed by Detroit engineering firm Tucker, Young, Jackson and Tull, and they estimate the project would cost $375 million, a big jump from the $274-million estimate provided by Rowe Engineering, the firm Genesee County Drain Commissioner Jeff Wright chose for the project.

Wright says the Detroit firm is way off and feels this is a ploy to deter Flint City Council members from a project he feels will save residents over time.

Wright also says the two companies got together a few months back and actually ironed out the discrepancies. But none of those changes are reflected in the report put out by Tucker, Young, Jackson and Tull.

Wright went on to say that he did say Flint's water supply future will be the city council's biggest decision and it needs to be the best.

Detroit water department officials say they'll cut the price of water by up to 30 percent and also allow Flint to have a member on Detroit's water and sewer department board.

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