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More money coming to help Flint rebuild its water infrastructure

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The City of Flint is getting a nearly $80 million loan from the state to fix its water infrastructure.

The zero interest loan will fund the completion of a secondary water source pipeline, pump station improvements, replacing water mains and improved water quality monitoring.

Fixing the city of Flint’s aging infrastructure has been a focus of government efforts in the wake of the city’s water crisis.

City officials welcome the money, though they take some issue with the way the state is characterize it.

“It's important to understand it’s not 'new funding' or 'state funding' in any way,” says Rob Bincsik, Flint Public Works Director. "The $77.7 million in funding they are referring to is part of the $100 million 'Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation Act' grant we received some time ago.” 

Bincsik adds, according to Flint’s Water Distribution Optimization Plan, the water system needs in excess of another $300 million in capital improvements over the next 20 years."

Next week, the city will mark the fifth anniversary of the disastrous switch of the city’s drinking water source to the Flint River. 

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality also announced Monday it is providing loans to the city of East Lansing and Monroe County.

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.