Flint mayor announces pipe replacement plan

- Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced Monday her plan to remove lead pipes begins soon.

"The people of Flint have suffered long enough," she said.

Weaver said her research suggests an estimated 8,000 Flint homes and businesses are being fed with lead pipe and revealed their latest mapping on where the pipes are.

Some pipes can be found in older neighborhoods, including a home near Bassett Park where 88-year-old Marie Blacknall has lived for decades.

The state's latest testing still found 11 percent of their samples exceeded the action level.

"They tested it and they're saying it's all good, but I don't know how it could be good," Blacknall said.

Two streets over, 70-year-old Walter Johnson said he wants his lead pipes replaced.

"I think the mayor's right," he said. "I stand behind her 100 percent on that deal. If they wait it could be another 10 years. I'd probably be dead by that time."

Weaver asked state lawmakers to approve $25 million dollars for pipe replacement and she's still at odds with the governor over how to proceed. Gov. Rick Snyder said he’s planning another study.

"It's about a $500,000 project in terms of it involves 30 service line replacements," he said. "It involves a lot of study and research. It has an asset management plan as part of it."

Weaver said she's looking for more money to come in, but they do have the $2 million needed to get started. She said the estimated total cost of her fast start pipe removal initiative is $55 million.

"I won't rest until every lead service line is removed and the people of Flint deserve no less," she said.

The mayor did not specify an exact location but said the project would begin soon.

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