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Flint gets only one applicant for water consultant

Jan 30, 2015

Flint’s search for a consultant to help with its water problems is down to one, by default.

Only one company applied for the water consultant job.  

City officials hope a consultant will help find solutions to Flint's water woes.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Emergency Manager Jerry Ambrose says he “would have preferred more.” 

But he promises Flint will hire outside experts to examine the city’s water problems.

“Someone who may look at us and say ‘Did you try this?’  ‘Did you try that?'” Ambrose told reporters at a news conference.

Flint Emergency Manager Jerry Ambrose (right) says “We got what we got and we’re going to evaluate it. But I tell you we’re going to end up with an expert consultant." Flint Public Works Director Howard Croft listens.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents have complained about the water since the city switched from Detroit water to the Flint River.

During the past nine months, the water pouring from the taps in Flint homes has often appeared cloudy.   Residents have complained about the water’s smell as well. 

Several times since the city switched to the Flint River, the city had to issue boil water advisories. It's also been cited for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act. 

The city wants to hire a consultant with experience with how to handle water taken from a river, as opposed to other sources.

Ambrose hopes to complete the review of the lone applicant’s qualifications by the end of next week.

Ambrose downplays going back to Detroit water as an option.  

He says the $1 million a month price tag is too high. Also, the city sold a key section of pipeline that used to connect Flint to Detroit. 

Flint city officials remain committed to a plan to get its future water from a new pipeline being constructed from Lake Huron. But water won’t be flowing through the KWA pipeline until sometime in 2016. 

Meanwhile, Flint residents have been lining up for free bottled water.