(WJBK) - The Genesee County Board of Commissioners claims the Flint water crisis has cost them more than $1 million, and they want the state to pay that money back.
"Let me be blunt: This was a failure of government at all levels -- local state and federal officials -- we all failed the families of Flint," Gov. Rick Snyder said while testifying the U.S. House Oversight Committee in Washington, D.C. last week, but Genesee County officials are calling his bluff.
"When he makes the statement all levels of government have failed - that's incorrect," said GCBOC Chair Jamie Curtis. "Genesee County didn't fail."
Agreeing, Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said the "man-made disaster" wasn't created by Genesee County, but the State of Michigan.
Genesee County officials said they were the first to declare a state of emergency. Their health department was on the Legionnaire’s cases before anybody and to date, the county has spent more than $1 million dealing with the Flint water crisis.
"As we stand here today, it's $1,117,000," Curtis said.
The board of commissioners is sending a letter to Snyder demanding they be reimbursed, saying this is not in their budget and the county might have to lay people off. The said their bond rating could suffer irreversible damage, and they can't afford any cuts to their health department.
"It's beginning to be Legionnaire’s time and much concern is that because it's getting warm, we may have another outbreak. We have some real concerns, but we do not in any instance want to deplete any funds from the health department," said Commissioner Brenda Clack.
A spokesman for the governor said they will take a look at the letter once they receive it and determine what funding is available.