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Flint city council delays decision on extending GLWA tap water contract

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
The Flint city council ponders its next decision

The Flint city council Monday night delayed a vote on extending the contract with the city’s drinking water supplier.

Flint has been getting its tap water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since October, 2015. The switch to GLWA ended an 18-month experiment that had the city get its drinking water from the Flint River, with disastrous results.

Flint’s current contract with GLWA ends June 30th. The state of Michigan had been subsidizing Flint's water purchases from GLWA, but that ended earlier this year.

Flint’s mayor is negotiating a new 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority. Mayor Karen Weaver says they are close to an agreement.

“We’re hoping to hear something by the end of the month,” Flint Mayor Karen Weaver told reporters Monday. “Just stay tuned.”

In order to cover the period between the old temporary contract and the new 30 year deal, there is a 3-month extension on the table. But last night, the city council put off the vote for two weeks.

Councilman Scott Kincaid would like to expand the extension until after November’s election.

“There’s our election (referring the city council).  There’s a potential recall of the mayor.  She could be up for election. A new mayor might want to go in a new different direction,”says Kincaid. 

It’s not known if the Great Lakes Water Authority or the mayor’s office would be interested in a longer temporary deal, while both sides finalize a 30-year contract.

The Flint city council will take up the water contract again in two weeks.   

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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