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Flint mayor wants help from state with city's water problems

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor says the governor has some responsibility to ensure that Flint residents have “clean, safe and affordable water.”

Mayor Dayne Walling sent a letter to the governorthis week.   

The letter outlines the mayor’s plan to address Flint’s water problems.  It makes specific recommendations on safety, investment, access and education needs.

The letter also says since Flint is under state oversight the governor must help.

“The struggle with our water has gone on for too long. The state must take action and do its part,” Walling wrote in his letter to Governor Snyder. 

The governor’s office has not responded yet. 

Flint’s water system has been beset by complaints about its quality and whether it is safe to drink.

City residents have complained about the water's smell and taste for nearly a year.

In addition to numerous boil water advisories last year, Flint’s water system was cited for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act.      

The city of Flint has been getting its tap water from the Flint River since last Spring. For decades before that, Flint got its water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.    

DWSD has offered to resume service at the city's old rate .  

“Of course we would negotiate a new rate starting July 1," says Greg Eno, DWSD spokesman.  

But city officials say Detroit water is too expensive, even at the old price.  

Eventually, Flint will get its water from a new pipeline currently under construction. The Karegnondi water pipeline will take water from Lake Huron. But the pipeline is not scheduled to be in operation until late in 2016.  

A public meeting tonight will focus on concerns about Flint’s water.    

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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