Flint mayor to make recommendation on city's water source - WNEM TV 5

Flint mayor to make recommendation on city's water source

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Flint's mayor is poised to make a recommendation on where the city should get its drinking water long term in the wake of the crisis that left the supply contaminated with lead.

Mayor Karen Weaver is expected to disclose on Tuesday whether the city of Flint will continue to purchase pre-treated water of make another attempt at treating raw water at its own water plant.

That state contributed millions of dollars to support Flint's water connection to Detroit. However, since the water levels improved the state stopped that support.

There are a handful of options on the table. One of them is staying with Detroit as the water source.

Councilman Scott Kincaid said he thinks that's the right call for the short term, but long term options will need to be considered.

"Until we get the lead service lines replaced in the homes because we know that we're getting good quality, clean water right now," Kincaid said.

A potential long term solution is switching to the Karegnodi Water Authority, known as the KWA.

The city is currently in a deal that requires about $7 million in annual payments to support the KWA, but Flint's treatment plant is not ready to handle the KWA's water supply.

In March, the state stopped support of the current supply from Detroit - leaving the city to pick up monthly payments of more than $1 million.

Essentially, Flint is paying for two water sources and only using one. Which Kincaid said is not sustainable.

"What is the cost going to be? I mean residents in this community pay the highest water bills in the country and we have to make sure we do everything we can to lower those costs," Kincaid said.

Councilman Wantwaz Davis said it is important to remember the water crisis occurred when the city changed a water supply that was already working.

"We should stick with Detroit. Why try to fix something that is not broke," Davis said.

He said he has concerns about switching to KWA because Flint could possibly lose its stake in the deal.

"If we miss one payment we lose ownership, even over the 34 percent and I just believe that we should become independent," Davis said.

The mayor will have to make a final decision in about a month. She is holding a town hall with residents on Thursday to discuss her recommendation.

It will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the House of Prayer church in Flint.

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