Flint mayor has plan for new water pipes in 1 year

A lofty goal for the city of Flint, but Mayor Karen Weaver is not waiting for Lansing's help.

- Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is refusing to wait around for Gov. Rick Snyder or anyone else in Lansing.

"We have to get new pipes," Weaver said. "I cannot imagine that (Snyder) would not support this plan. If he doesn't, shame on him."

On Tuesday Weaver announced her own plan to rip up all of Flint's lead pipes and replace them starting next month.

"Do something about the pipes," said resident Veronica Pitts.

Pitts is one of many people in Flint calling for lead pipes to be replaced - now Weaver says an estimated 15,000 service lines will be replaced at an estimated cost of $55 million.

"We need to make Flint a lead-free city in every sense of the word," Weaver said. "We are going to restore safe drinking water one house at a time, one child at a time, until the lead pipes are gone."

"My goal is to do this in a year - that’s my goal," said retired National Guard Brigadier Gen. Michael McDaniel.

A lofty goal on the part of Weaver and McDaniel, who is in charge of the project, considering they don't have the funding to make it happen.

"I'd like to do about 100 immediately to give us some good data," McDaniel said.

"I'm asking Governor Snyder and the state to partner with us on this effort," Weaver said. "We'll let the investigations determine who's to blame for Flint's water crisis, but I'm focused on solving it."

But a spokesperson for Snyder tells us experts say the best plan is to first coat the pipes with phosphates to inhibit corrosion, then conduct a study to determine which pipes need to be replaced.

Many people say they'll believe it when they see it and until then, this is their life driving back and forth every day for bottled water.

"No faith in Flint no more," said resident Matt Lasley.

"It's just getting terrible," said resident Terrell McCraw. "I can't use the water for nothing."

"I've got lots of rashes on my arms and stuff," said resident Terry Shumaker. "I'm really getting messed up from my rashes from this water.

"We got little grandbabies and they're preemies - it's not good, said one woman. "You can't bathe them or nothing else - it's crazy."
 

It seems there's plenty of shame to go around in Lansing as the attorney general's investigation focusing not only on lead but the nine deaths from Legionnaire’s Disease in Genesee County after the switch to the Flint River.

Manslaughter charges are possible although nobody has been named yet  but now the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is releasing its emails regarding the Legionnaire’s outbreak in Genesee County to show they responded right away.

On October 13, 2014, the Department of Community Health advised numerous people at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services - that the source of the outbreak may be the Flint River.

They also advise- it's only a matter of time until this hits the media.
 


In another email dated October 17, 2014 the Department of Community Health advised Department of Health and Human Services they've been contacted by Liane Shekter Smith, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's chief of drinking water and municipal assistance.

The email says Shekter Smith was concerned they were making an announcement about the quality of the water - because there had already been numerous complaints and the governor's office had been involved and that any announcement by public health about the quality of the water would certainly inflame the situation.

So far Liane Shekter Smith is the only person who's been fired as a result of Flint's water crisis.

In the meantime back in Flint, the focus on replacing those lead service lines - even though they're still looking for the funding to do it.

The hope is to have the project started within a month and completed within a year

"I'm just trying to move this plan forward," said McDaniel. “Wherever we get the funding from is good with me.”


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