Flint Mayor: Lead water pipe replacement being worked on


FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A plan to remove and replace all lead water pipes in Flint homes will cost $55 million, the city’s mayor said Tuesday.

Households were residents are deemed to be high-risk will be given priority for pipe replacement, Mayor Karen Weaver said at a news conference.

“We’re going to restore safe drinking water one house at a time, one child at a time,” she said. “All lead pipes need to be replaced. We deserve new pipes because we did not deserve what happened.”

Flint’s water supply was switched from Detroit water to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure in 2014, when Flint was under state-appointed emergency management. The untreated river water caused lead to leach from old pipes. Flint has since switched back to Detroit water.

Also Tuesday, officials with General Motors and the United Auto Workers union said they plan to donate $3 million to support increased health and education services for Flint children who have been exposed to lead. The five-year commitment from the Detroit-based automaker and the union will address “immediate, ongoing and growing needs,” the United Way of Genesee County said.

Separately, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and his office’s investigators plan to offer an update Tuesday on their probe into the crisis and the state’s response.

Flint’s city administrator said Monday that the state’s $30 million pledge to help pay water bills isn’t enough to counteract the effect of the crisis on city finances, according to The Flint Journal.

The proposal passed last week by the state Senate would only keep Flint’s water fund financially solvent until year’s end, which could force water service shutoffs to resume, Natasha Henderson told city council members. She said at least $60 million is needed.

If consumed, lead can cause developmental delays and learning disabilities.

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