After stops and starts, the state Legislature has finally adopted a bill to send $100 million dollars to Flint to replace lead pipes and other water infrastructure.
The money is from the federal government, but had to be approved by state lawmakers. It was part of a bigger budget bill that stalled last month as the House and the Senate deadlocked over how to help Macomb County with a giant sinkhole.
The budget bill that included the money for Flint was delayed over a disagreement about assistance to help Macomb County with a giant sinkhole. The House and the Senate deadlocked over whether the money should be a grant or a loan. Eventually, Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration was able to find $3 million in a road repair fund, which took the issue off the table.
State Rep. Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint) says this money will go a long way toward helping restore confidence in his city’s water supply.
“City of Flint residents are still frustrated,” said Neeley. “They’re still using bottled water daily. This money is going to be huge in the recovery piece for the residents of the city of Flint.”
State Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint) says it’s good news for his city.
“This is the big, tangible thing that everyone is looking for,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of good programs that are working, and we have some things that we still gotta work on, but this will be really, really important.”
Ananich says the money was approved in time to take advantage of the full spring and summer construction season.