Federal state of emergency funds fall short compared to major di - WNEM TV 5

Federal state of emergency funds fall short compared to major disaster

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Pete Perez might be impressed with the water giveaways, but he's lost all confidence in Gov. Rick Snyder's attempt to encourage President Barack Obama to declare Flint a disaster area instead of an emergency.

"It will never get fixed. It's too much money who will pay for it?" Perez said.

City councilman Wantwaz Davis said the distinction is significant. It’s a difference of more than $90 million.

“The state of emergency only gives us $5 million cap which, which the president has signed for,” Davis said.

Davis said Flint could have gotten more than $96 million.

Snyder did put in a request for a major disaster declaration, but was denied. In a press release, Snyder said his office was reviewing the appeal process for major disaster declaration. 

Local activists, like Arthur Woodson, is demanding that Flint is redefined as a disaster.

On Jan. 14, Snyder’s administration projected a $575 million, one-time budget surplus.

“The governor is sitting on $575 million in surplus. In that declaration they didn't commit to how much state funds they were gonna put in. In order for the president to commit, we have to utilize all our resources,” Woodson said.

For residents like Perez, frustrated with what he calls political talk, that means nothing.

“They're just trying to sweep it,” Perez said.

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