Flint residents upset over water rates, leaders try to calm them down
Fri, 01 Jun 2012 11:35:00 GMT —
In April, Flint's emergency manager Mike Brown increased water and sewer rates by 25%.
Thursday night, he and the director of infrastructure face the city council and public.
After settling up their water bills downtown, NBC25 found people more than willing to complain about how much they pay for H2O.
Their bills have more than doubled in the past year.
Flint's Allen Leitch says, "I've been paying over $100 a month for two people to live in my house."
Flint's Darnell Jones says, "It's just me and my grandfather, and it's $112 dollars a month, every month. I have a cousin in Mt. Morris and he tells me his is only $150 for 3 months."
Flint leaders say $100 a month is not on the high end. They say that's the average.
Officials say Flint's population is half of what it used to be, forcing residents to pay for twice as much for the system.
County leaders from Genesee County to Port Huron have joined the Karegnondi Water Authority with hopes of reducing the cost of water in the future by building and owning their own pipe rather than purchasing water from Detroit.
It's been years in the making and would take several more years to see any savings.
"You build a pipe from here to Port Huron, who's going to pay for it?" asks Jones. "And who's it going to help?"
"I think we ought to find another source of water coming into the city because we're paying too much for what we're getting," says Leitch.
The meeting is not intended to be a brain-storm session. It's meant to explain the factors into why water costs so much in Flint.
City leaders say if Flint had twice the population, rates would be lower.