April 25 marks the 5-year anniversary that the City of Flint switched its drinking water from the Detroit water system to the Flint River.
It’s a day that remains fresh in the minds of those still struggling with the effects of the water crisis.
Neglect of proper corrosion control methods caused lead to leach into the water supply.
The crippling effect it had on residents played out on the national stage.
This anniversary marks a dark moment for the city, but a local program wants to use this day to get people the help they need.
“We’ve made a lot of good things happen in spite of what happened in the city of Flint,” Mayor Karen Weaver said.
Weaver was elected over a year after the water problems started, she said she’s been trying to correct it ever since.
“We want to see stable results, and they’ll tell me for how long. But I know as long as we don’t have all the pipes changed they’re not going to get to that point where they feel they can sign off on it,” Weaver said.
Although the state says the drinking water is safe, Weaver said she isn’t sure. She said that until the medical community and technical advisory teams approve it after all the pipes are replaced, she will think it’s safe.
“We really want to make sure that we are putting public health before anything else,” Weaver said.
The Flint Registry encourages people in the city to enroll if they were impacted by the crisis.
The program connects residents to services and resources.
And from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on April 25, the registry will have five sign-up locations in Flint. They include: Flint City Hall and the Greater Holy Temple. Starting at 11 a.m., you can sign-up at the registry offices at MSU College of Human Medicine, and at 4 p.m., the Latinx Technology and Community Center and Mott Community College.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist are also using the day to help offer resources.
“The pipes that are bringing water to our homes are made of lead in a lot of communities and most communities frankly. And we’ve got to get serious about replacing and that’s why we fix the roads with the gas tax, it will give us the ability to put the general fund money out of potholes and back into the general fund, so that we can get serious about replacing the pipes across this state,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.
Gov. Whitmer said that it is not lost on her that many of Flint’s residents have already lost faith in their government. She explained that while she was not in office when the crisis started, she does plan to end it.
“You know, once trust is lost, it’s incredibly hard to rebuild. It starts with showing up and listening and living our values. And that’s exactly what my budget does, as introduced and I’ve got a fight on my hands with the legislature, but I need the help of everyone to make sure that we deliver so that people can count on government,” Gov. Whitmer said.
They join with cabinet directors and volunteers to take part in a Flint Day of Service.
Federal and local agencies will be available to speak with residents at Hasselbring Park in Flint, starting at 2 p.m.