Genesee County agrees on Flint's state of emergency declaration - WNEM TV 5

Genesee County agrees on Flint's state of emergency declaration

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Mid-Michigan's largest city is dealing with an ongoing water crisis.

It has taken nearly two years to see any real progress being made regarding the issue, but a major hurdle was jumped on Monday when Mayor Karen Weaver's state of emergency declaration was agreed on by the Genesee County Commission.

Now the declaration goes to Lansing and Gov. Rick Snyder for approval.

"I am excited about the support. We [have] been working on this, just like he said, for a while now. We've been working together very well and diligently to make sure that we have a comprehensive, well thought-out plan on identifying the needs that we believe that the citizens of Flint deserve," Weaver said.

Mayor Weaver declared a state of emergency in Flint last month to raise awareness about the severity of the problems surrounding the water situation that continues to effect residents. The problems a result of the man-made disaster caused by the city switching to the Flint River as a water source in 2014.

Weaver meets with Snyder on Thursday. Weaver hopes the county’s show of support will convince the Governor to provide the City of Flint with financial support to help leaders address immediate infrastructure needs. Those needs include more than $45 million to replace every identified lead pipe in the city, reimbursement of the $2 million spent to switch back to the Detroit Water Sewerage Department, $6 million to help with the transfer to the Karegnondi pipeline and additional resources to support the city’s Heath Initiative to assist affected adults and children in Flint who have consumed water contaminated with lead. 

The following statement was issued from the Governor's office today:

The health and welfare of Flint residents is a top priority, and we’re committed to working closely with Mayor Weaver and the Genesee County Commission on a coordinated response to health and infrastructure issues.

After the County Commission’s vote today, the Michigan State Police’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is working with the Genesee County Emergency Management Coordinator to gather information about the resources needed for a Governor’s declaration.

The state police have been closely engaged in the situation since the beginning, meeting with both county and city leaders to guide them through state and federal laws regarding the emergency management process. Due to the uniqueness of this situation, we have to look at all possible options to help Flint residents.

But prior to a formal declaration, we are recognizing this as an emergency and are working with city and county leaders to coordinate efforts, streamline communication and tap all available resources at the state’s control.

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