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Judge denies state request to let Flint mayor sign 30-year water deal before recall election

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver

Update 9:30 p.m.

A federal judge has denied the state’s request to give Flint’s mayor the power to sign a 30-year water contract before she faces a recall election next week.

The Flint city council has fought against the deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority. 

Mayor Karen Weaver supports the deal, but she faces a recall election next Tuesday. 

Judge David Lawson agreed to consider the state’s request, but not before the recall.   The judge scheduled a hearing on the state’s motion for November 13. 

Original Post 3:30 p.m.

There’s a new push to settle Flint’s long-term drinking water source before city voters decide next week if they want to recall their mayor.

Since April, the Flint city council has stymied efforts by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Mayor Karen Weaver to ink a long-term deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

Late last month, a federal judge rejected the council’s efforts to delay the issue further.

A new agreement already has approvals from all the interested parties: The Great Lakes Water Authority, the Karegnondi Water Authority, The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the Genesee County Drain Commissioner. But not the city of Flint. 

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver supportsa 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.     

The state is asking the federal judge to let Mayor Weaver sign, without getting the city council’s approval. And they want the judge to give her the power by Tuesday.

Timing is important.  

Weaver faces a recall election Tuesday, and her main challenger, city councilman Scott Kincaid, is a leading opponent of the deal.

The issue could end up in a federal courtroom in Detroit next Tuesday, as Flint voters decide whether Karen Weaver will continue to be their mayor.     

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.