Sunday debate brings business boost to city - WNEM TV 5

Sunday debate brings business boost to city

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Ronnie Duncan (WNEM) Ronnie Duncan (WNEM)

The stage is set for a big weekend in Flint.

The Flint water crisis will be front and center.

"We're kind of the canary in the mine, and so for us, it's a big deal," said resident Mark Thorton.

People in Flint saw some movement as crews broke ground to replace lead pipes.

Residents hope to hear former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders address Flint and the country's infrastructure.

They say it will be an important topic in their race for the White House.

"We have an old infrastructure, so it's not necessarily the flint water problem, it's what the country's infrastructure problem is," said Randy Thomas, Genesee County resident.

The final preparations are made before the two Democrats take the stage to address those very issues.

Local businesses are preparing for a busy weekend of their own.

Photographers, producers, political people all looking for a place to eat and drink.

"Hopefully they'll be coming in and excited about everything Flint has to offer," said Nolan Ward.

Ward is the manager of the Torch Bar and he's already received quite a bit of interest.

"We had some people call the other day and they said that if we can have 65 people in here, then they would try to fill our bar up, as long as we can air the debate on the TVs and have the volume turned up and everything that they'd be in," Ward said.

And they're also filling hotels, several have no vacancy this weekend.

"The Democratic Party has two really good candidates and I think it's come down to where we're thinking, OK, who can pull the job off?" Thorton said.

This weekend, we just may get the answer.

"This is actually probably the most positive thing that I've seen Flint have the spotlight on itself since I've lived here," Thomas said.

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