After weeks of delay, Flint City Council members voted 7 to 1 to join Genesee, Lapeer and Sanilac counties to get water from Lake Huron through a new pipeline.
The 25-year contract with the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) would allow the city of Flint to get raw water from the lake, treat it at the city's plant and distribute it to customers. The city currently pays the city of Detroit for its water.
Mayor Dayne Walling has touted the deal as a responsible financial decision. He said going with the KWA is expected to save the city millions of dollars a year.
Under amended contract council members approved Monday evening, Flint would purchase 16 million gallons of water per day from the pipeline.
Councilman Sheldon Neeley said, "It's a better option than the current option that we have now but we have to make sure that we have the best deal available for residents in order to make the best possible move for the future.â??
Genesee County Drain Commissioner Jeff Wright, who has encouraged council members to approve the deal, said, "The decision that [the council] did make makes me exceptionally happy, that they've decided to partner in this world. We have to be partners to compete and I think that's a vote toward that tonight."
Walling said last week construction of the pipeline is expected to last about three years. Flint will continue to get its water from Detroit until then.