(WJBK) - The state budget director reports that nailing down a figure on how much the state needs to address the Flint water crisis remains a work in progress, but John Roberts promises a number on February 10 when the governor releases his new budget for the next fiscal year.
MIRS reported last night that during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday "a couple of hundred million dollars" was discussed and Mr. Roberts confirms some estimates fall within that range but "it's very early for us to lock down a number."
"There are definitely requests that fall where the amount could absolutely be in there, but there are requests where it could be more or less," he indicates. The final figure is dependent on several factors including the future financial support, if any, from the Obama administration and the outcome of an infrastructure study whereby the administration wants to know how many lead pipes in Flint homes have to be replaced.
The ACLU in a law suit filed today is seeking total replacement with the state picking up the tab. The money for the state infrastructure study is in the $28 million supplemental bill pending in the legislature and obviously until the review is completed, the budget director can not speculate on the cost but he does explain, "I think there are a lot of people who believe there are parts of the system that are intact and can stay that way without being replaced."
But if that is true, at this read, no one can offer how many homes may fall into that category if any.