Gov. Snyder announces return to Detroit water for Flint

Old pipes and new side-by-side in Flint. Photo Credit: Mike Horne/NBC25 News

Gov. Rick Snyder says that Flint will go back to Detroit water.

Gov. Snyder also says that the Mott Foundation will provide $4 million and the city of Flint will provide $2 million in order to make the switch. Gov. Snyder will ask the Michigan Legislature for an additional $6 million.

The cost to return to Detroit water for Flint, according to the Governor, will be $12 million.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says that the switch to Detroit water will happen in about two weeks.

Flint will also, when it is completed, move to the KWA Pipeline system. That is not expected to be completed until late next year.

Yesterday, the Technical Advisory Committee met and discussed solutions to Flint's water crisis. The group recommended going back to Detroit water as the best possible solution.

"All Flint residents need clean, safe drinking water," Gov. Snyder said. "The technical experts helping the city on its water advisory all agree this move back to the Great Lakes Water Authority provides the best public health protection for children and families. This effort today is the result of people coming together to solve a problem. I appreciate Detroit's willingness to reconnect with Flint, the Mott Foundation's generous commitment, and the dedication of all parties to come together to protect Flint families and children."

Flint Community Schools Superintendent Bilal Tawwab said in a statement, "Flint Community Schools believes this is a good first step, however, we urge state and local officials to act quickly. We thank the MDEQ for making Flint Community Schools a priority. We are working proactively with the community and continue to ask everyone to help our students by providing bottled water and filter donations until we find a sustainable, long-term solution that can ensure our students have access to safe, clean drinking water in our schools and in their homes."

U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee also released a statement about the shift back to Detroit water. While Rep. Kildee appreciates the move back to Detroit water, he does not like where part of the funding is coming from. His full statement reads:

"Reconnecting to the Detroit water system is the right next step to provide Flint residents with safe drinking water. But how Flint pays for safe water until the Karegnondi Water Authority is operational is a separate question.

"Flint is a financially distressed city, and it should not have to empty out its bank account to pay for the state's failures. The decision to switch to the Flint River water source was made while the city was under state emergency management, and now it is incumbent on Governor Snyder and the state to fix - and pay - for the problem they created.

"Flint paying anything for the problem that the state created in the first place means that other improvements, including to the city's aging water infrastructure system, could be delayed. This is especially troublesome considering that the state of Michigan has consistently cut tens of millions of dollars of revenue sharing to the city of Flint in recent years.

"Flint residents are also Michigan residents, who pay state taxes and, like every other city in our state, expect clean and safe drinking water. The state of Michigan created this problem, and they need to pay for the solution to fix it."

Watch NBC25 News tonight at 6 for more on this still developing story.

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