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Flint leaders delay decision on water pipeline project again

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Flint city council has delayed a decision on whether to take part in a quarter billion dollar project to tap water from Lake Huron for the city’s drinking water. The panel delayed taking action on the proposal last week as well.

The project has been in development for years. But supporters say they will soon have to start work on the project. They want Flint leaders to decide now if the city is going to be part of the project. 

Council members are concerned the city will end up paying too much. There is also concern that whatever decision they make could be overruled by Flint’s emergency financial manager.

Jeff Wright is the Genesee County Drain Commissioner. He says the Flint city council must decide in the next two weeks whether it wants to be part of the pipeline project or it will be left out.

“We have no option but to build a pipeline. So we will move forward…hopefully Flint will be a partner,” says Wright, “I’ll make the point again. We’re going to build the pipeline…whether Flint’s a partner or not.”

The Flint city council will take up the issue again next week, just a few days before Michigan’s new emergency manager law takes effect. City leaders worry that the new law with strip the Flint city council of the authority to make the decision.

Flint’s emergency financial manager has not weighed in the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline proposal. 

If it does not join the pipeline project, Flint could be stuck paying higher water bills to Detroit.

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.
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