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Flint's mayor renews fight over end of water bill subsidy

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
"In June … after we get the results of the next water testing round, we can have the conversation about when the credits would end," says Mayor Weaver.";

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is once again criticizing the Snyder administration’s decision to end the state subsidy on city water bills.

The state has spent more than $40 million subsidizing Flint’s water bills.  

But the governor’s office says the credits are ending this month because Flint’s water quality is improving. 

Weaver says she wants to hold the state “accountable” to promises to help Flint through its water crisis.

“I think we deserve the credits until the water is ‘tap drinkable’ without a filter,” says Weaver.

Weaver would prefer to wait until June, when the next round of water testing should be complete. 

The governor’s office says Flint residents don’t “have” to use filters now, except when work is being done to remove damaged lead and galvanized pipes, which could release lead into the drinking water. 

Weaver also renewed her complaint that her office was only notified a few weeks ago of the decision to end the state credits Feb. 28.

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A spokeswoman for Gov. Snyder says that’s just not correct.  Spokeswoman Anna Heaton says an agreement reached last year states that the bill credits would last until the water met or exceeded federal standards. She says that standard was met in the latest round of testing, which concluded in December.   

“This was an agreement between the mayor, the governor, and lawmakers a year ago,” says Heaton. “So we aren't going to keep quibbling over when the city was most recently reminded of this.”

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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