County leaders demand state reimburse them - WNEM TV 5

County leaders demand state reimburse them

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Genesee County Commission Chairman Jamie Curtis is demanding that the state of Michigan give the county more than $1 million as reimbursement for money the county spent on the Flint water crisis.

“Last week at the Congressional hearings Governor Snyder said he apologized to the residents of Flint, Michigan; took responsibility for it and was gonna fix the water crisis. The man-made water crisis. Part of fixing it is to make sure that he reimburses Genesee County because they stepped up and didn’t put money ahead of public safety,” said Curtis.

Curtis said that, to date, the county has spent more than $1.1 million to remediate and mitigate the effects of the water emergency. He went on to say the county needs the money as soon as possible so it doesn't have to lay off workers and to maintain its bond rating.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell agrees. “The one thing the governor can do, he can make it right to the people of Genesee County.”

People like Flint resident Nancy Hanflick who is optimistic about the future. “I think it’s a matter of time. I think it will free up. I think they have to have a plan first.”

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she has a plan. Her Fast Start Program has already helped two homes on Welch Boulevard get lead service lines replaced. John Smith owns one of the homes. While he is overjoyed with the digging, he is suspicious about the price. “One of my biggest concerns who was footing the bill for this,” said Smith.

The bill stands at an estimated $55 million. Money Mayor Weaver is requesting funds from the state.

However with donations she has been able to get her initiative off the ground. State funds are being held up with some political run-around.

Meanwhile, another $700 million in federal funding could be made available as lawmakers try to hammer out a new plan.

Until then, people in Flint and Genesee County are still asking on basic question, where is the money?

Snyder spokesman Ari Adler says when the state receives the request from Genesee County it will "take it under advisement."

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