Flint mayor calls for lead pipes to be removed immediately

- The mayor of Flint is hoping to get the ball rolling on an ambitious plan to help repair all the broken pipes in her beleaguered city. And that means removing lead pipes immediately.

"We are here today to take a stand to get the lead out of Flint," Mayor Karen Weaver said. "And we want to start with the highest risk homes of kids under six and pregnant women," Weaver said.

Weaver was joined by other mayors from around the country and across Michigan in announcing her plan.

"Everyone within the U.S. mayor's office wants to offer our assistance, our experiences and our support," said Shirley Franklin, the former mayor of Atlanta. 

They are not sure how many pipes actually need to be replaced they're not sure of the cost and they're not  sure how they are going to get the money to do it.

"You could do it in a year," said General Michael McDaniel. "That's if you have all the other factors that are lined up in terms of money and you're following a method."

A similar method in Lansing cost $32 million to replace 13,000 lead pipes paid for by locals paid for in private money. That started 10 years ago and is continuing today.

"We really dug into the testing, the methodology and everything," said Mayor Virg Bernero. "We made that a priority to clean it up."

Congresswoman Candace Miller introduced legislation would that allocate $1 billion  for infrastructure repairs.

"Some accommodation of state, federal and NGO can do this, should and can do this," Bernero said.

NGO means essentially private money. Weaver is not saying replace every single line but certainly there's that perception that you might need at some point to replace everything.

This plan comes on the heels of criminal investigations as well as a congressional hearing but that is not a priority for Weaver.

"I'm going to let them have their congressional hearing," Weaver said. "We'll see what comes from that. I just want to stay focused on this plan we have in place."


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