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Flint preps to cut water rates, if it doesn't get a court order stayed

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Flint may soon cut its water billsto comply with a court injunction.  Maybe.

The injunction requires the city to reduce its rates, stop disconnecting delinquent water customers and reimburse the city’s water fund for $15 million. 

The city announced Monday it plans to utilize a lower rate structure with its next water bills.

But the city is asking the Court of Appeals to stay the injunction.   If it gets the stay, the rates will be unchanged.

Councilman Scott Kincaid is part of the suit that won the injunction this month.  He’s frustrated by the uncertainty about what the next round of water bills will bring.

“You know this city administration has a responsibility to inform the public and all they’ve been saying is we’re going to comply with the court order,” says Kincaid.

City Administrator Natasha Henderson says Flint is already paying a price because of the injunction.

“For instance we can already see residents coming in to pay their bills, we’ve had a significant reduction,” says Henderson.

Henderson says the city is putting off filling 14 positions and postponing $7 million in water system capital projects. 

City attorneys suggest Flint may move toward bankruptcy if the judge’s injunction stands.   

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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