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Federal judge tells Flint officials to decide on city's long-term water source by Monday

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
Flint's mayor and city council are at odds over where the city will get its drinking water from in the long term.

A federal judge is tired of waiting for officials to choose the city of Flint’s long-term drinking water source.

Flint has been getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since the fall of 2015, when the city officially ended the ill-fated experiment of getting its tap water from the Flint River.

For months, a final decision on whether Flint would sign a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority has been on hold. Flint’s mayor and state officials signed off on the deal last spring.   

However, a majority of Flint’s city council has balked at signing the contract over concerns about future water rate increases.

Federal Judge David Lawson ordered negotiations to settle the disagreement. But the judge’s patience appears to have reached its end.

Lawson is giving the city until next Monday to decide what its long-term source of tap water will be. The judge accused the Flint City Council of a "breathtaking" failure of leadership in its dealings with the state of Michigan on the water issue.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver issued a statement on the Judge’s order:

“I appreciate Judge Lawson for recognizing there is no need to wait to make a decision that could have, and should have, been made months ago. We can only hope that now City Council will put the people of Flint first, and comply with the judge’s order so we can move forward.”

There’s been no comment yet from members of the Flint City Council.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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