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Flint water fund was projected to be in the red. New mayor says, actually, it has $20 million.

City of Flint Water Plant
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Flint's newly-elected mayor, Sheldon Neeley, says it appears the city's water fund doesn't have a deficit, as previously projected. Rather, there's a $20 million balance for the 2020 fiscal year. 

With less than a month on the job, newly elected Mayor Sheldon Neeley says it's pretty clear the previous financial department was, as he puts it, "anemic, to say the least. They really had no capacity...no quality control element."

He says it looks like they just used estimates and projections for years, rather than what money was actually coming in and going out. 

"So many pieces have been going unrecognized, until we have our counterparts at the state level saying to us, 'You have some issues here,'" says Neeley.

One of those issues, Neeley says, was "this excess of money that was not being executed upon to the tune of more than $20 million dollars." The city's asked Michigan State University professor Eric Scorsone, who served as an interim deputy state treasurer, to double check those preliminary findings.

The city's water fund is funded by residential and commercial water bills. It’s desperately needed to help Flint's aging water system, according to a press release from the city, and this $20 million "is still just a drop in the bucket of funding we need for our water system,” Neeley stated in the release.


Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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