National Guard to move out of Flint, residents take over work - WNEM TV 5

National Guard to move out of Flint, residents take over work

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, Mich. (AP) -

The National Guard is going to start moving out of Flint.

Then men and women who serve in the National Guard have been stationed at water distribution sites throughout the Vehicle City. On May 20, Gov. Rick Snyder announced he is phasing out the National Guard over the next week.

"They've distributed over 600,000 cases of water and done tens of thousands of door to door stops, and been tirelessly doing this. This represents the best of Michigan," Snyder said.

That work will be passed on to people who will be paid as new positions open at the water distribution sites.

"I was doing this helping out since the beginning. Now I'm getting paid. That's a big difference because I'm still volunteering, but I'm still making a paycheck," said George Washington, employee.

Washington is one of the 120 newly hired workers. He said it's a good thing the guard is moving out and Flint resident are stepping in to pick up the work.

"Well one, we have to think about the future of our children and our elders. We don't change this now, it won't change," Washington said.

Other residents are not as thrilled to see the guard leave.

"I think they should definitely stick around. I don't think the situation is resolved by any means and I think it's the responsibility of the government to fix it before they pull out the National Guard," said Katelyn Coegel, resident.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said this is an important step for the future of her city.

"We need to be part of the healing process. We need to be taking a more active role in our own community and we appreciate everything the National Guard did because they stepped in in a time of need. But now it's time to hand this off and for our own people to be paid," Weaver said.

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