Future of Flint's water source on city council's agenda - WNEM TV 5

Future of Flint's water source on city council's agenda

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

The Flint City Council could decide to approve a 30 year contract with Detroit water.

The vote comes a week and a half after the deadline presented by the state of Michigan, in which the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality threatened legal action for indecision.

Thursday's vote could finally satisfy the state's thirst for action.

"It's clearly because I do believe at the urging of Gov. Snyder's wishes," Councilmember Kate Fields said.

It is one of the most important decisions facing Flint, the source of its water.

A cohort of councilmembers suggested Mayor Karen Weaver's recommendation to enter a decade long contract to stay on Detroit water is a bias decision that came from the state.

"If the governor wishes to say this is what I want to do and I want to do it, then he has to do it. But the last time he did that we got poisoned water. So he needs to be very careful what decisions he makes for Flint," Council President Kerry Nelson said.

The councilmembers accused Weaver of being dishonest and leaving them out of the process to negotiate the best deal for Flint.

Fields said she wasn't receiving information she wanted from Weaver and Snyder. So she filed a Freedom of Information request to obtain emails and documents.

"It's unheard of for us to not be a part of the negotiation process," Councilmember Monica Galloway said.

Weaver said her recommendation to stay on the same source Flint has been on since October 2015 is the result of several months of work and research.

Snyder agrees. A spokesperson for the governor supported the city staying with the Great Lakes Water Authority, saying the decision is based on local, federal and state agency recommendations.

"They've sat on their hands for months," Councilmember Eric Mays said.

Not all councilmembers are on the same page. Mays accused his colleagues of playing politics. He said it's not the council's job to negotiate contracts.

"We should call special meetings. We should have exclusive sessions and we should vet contracts that come to us and make a decision," Mays said.

The state has taken legal action against Flint for the council's failure to select a long term water source.

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