State of Michigan forgives Flint’s drinking water loans
LANSING, Mich. – State Treasurer Nick Khouri announced Flint’s outstanding Drinking Water Revolving Fund loans has been forgiven.
Khouri said in a news release, “effectively immediately, the city will no longer be responsible for paying more than $20 million in outstanding DWRF loans and no further amounts related to the loans will be due.”
Khouri says this decision comes at the direction of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality under the authority of the 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed by the president on May 5, 2017.
“I am pleased to support the forgiveness of these loans as provided under federal law,” Khouri said. “This action provides financial relief to the city as it continues down its path toward fiscal stability and recovery.”
According to the release, more than $20 million in outstanding debt was from four DWRF loans that originated between 1999 and 2003 and used for upgrades and improvements to the water treatment plant. Flint is the only community eligible for DWRF loan forgiveness nationwide per federal guidelines.
“This loan forgiveness will help provide some financial relief and stability for the city of Flint,” said C. Heidi Grether, director of DEQ. “The department will continue to coordinate with the city to address critical water and infrastructure needs.”
“This is indeed good news for the City of Flint,” said Mayor Karen Weaver. “We appreciate the state’s approval of the DEQ's request to forgive the City's Drinking Water Revolving Fund debt. The people and the City of Flint continue to deal with the effects of the water crisis emotionally, physically, and financially. And I am thankful for the state officials who continue to try and help make the city whole as we work to transition from crisis to recovery."