Legislative Leaders Hope to End Standoff on Money for Flint, Macomb Sinkhole

Jake Neher/WDET

State Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof

Lawmakers are back at the state Capitol following their spring break. One job facing them is ending a standoff over money to help Macomb County deal with a giant sinkhole.

The sinkhole is as big as a football field and displaced two dozen families after an underground pipe collapsed on Christmas Eve in Fraser. Now, the disaster threatens to rupture sewer lines that could send a giant mess into Lake Saint Clair, which is part of the Great Lakes system.

The state House approved a $3 million grant before the spring break. But the Senate wants the money to be a loan.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) says there’s been a number of meetings with Gov. Rick Snyder and House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) to try to resolve the impasse.

Lots of discussions, but no decisions yet,” said Meekhof. “Had a good meeting with the speaker, the governor over the past couple of days and working toward some solution, but we don’t have one yet.”

The standoff is also holding up $100 million to upgrade Flint’s water infrastructure, including replacing lead pipes and improvements to the water treatment plant. That money from the federal government is part of the same budget bill as the money for the Macomb County sinkhole.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

About the Author

Rick Pluta

REPORTER / PRODUCER - MICHIGAN PUBLIC RADIO NETWORK

Rick Pluta has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.

Follow @rickpluta

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