City council approves next phase of lead pipe replacement - WNEM TV 5

City council approves next phase of lead pipe replacement

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Flint's City Council met Monday night to discuss digging up lead service lines for hundreds more homes.

The council needs to approve a new deal before contractors start putting shovels in the ground.

More than 200 lines have been replaced at homes in Flint so far. On Monday the council was asked to approve two contractors that would replace an additional 788 lines.

The replacements would take place in the next phase of Mayor Karen Weaver's Fast Start program.

However, the city council and the mayor are at odds over which garbage service to use and that took the focus of the meeting.

Residents said the fight is getting in the way of the real issue, safe drinking water for Flint.

"Why are we taking some money away from something that isn't broken? Our garbage isn't broken. So why are we taking the focus off where it needs to be and why are we spending money where it doesn't need to be," said Lee Anne Walters, Flint resident.

In a recent meeting the council voted to delay action on the mayor's resolutions for 30 days in protest. Some council members have even gone as far as calling the mayor a dictator for pressing Rizzo Environmental Services to be the trash hauler, rather than Republic.

The protest raised the question if the council would move on to the next phase of water pipe replacement. In a unanimous vote the council said yes to the two bids. The two companies will be put to work immediately.

"If we didn't have approval tonight we wouldn't be doing anymore lines yet this year. We'd be done for the year. So it's very gratifying," said General Michael McDaniel, leading the pipe replacement.

McDaniel said 300 or more pipes will be replaced in the next 35 days. Then the work will likely stop because of winter.

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