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Mayors call for more help from feds for water infrastructure

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The nation’s mayors want Washington to spend more to fix problems with water infrastructure in America’s cities.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors-Water Council was in Flint this week to learn more about the city’s water crisisand how it relates to a growing infrastructure problem nationwide.

Lima, Ohio Mayor David Berger says the federal government has been stepping away its obligation to partner with local governments since the mid-1980’s. 

He’s got a message for Congress.

“You are not providing us with enough financial assistance, so that we at the local level can meet the costly mandates that you, Congress and the federal government, have given to us,” Berger said during a break in Friday’s meeting in Flint.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has been critical of the president’s infrastructure plan, which would require cities to put up an 80% match for infrastructure projects. 

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett says it doesn’t matter where the solution comes from, as long as there is a solution to the funding problem.

“Whether it’s from a progressive congressperson or a conservative congressperson, whatever wing it comes from, whatever collaborative effort results in something that we can implement in our communities, we’ll be grateful,” says Barnett. 

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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