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Politics & Government

State officials want Flint to decide 'soon' what its primary drinking water source will be

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steve carmody
/
Michigan Radio

State officials want Flint’s elected leaders to make a decision “soon” as to whether the city will hook up to the new KWA pipeline.

But city officials say there are questions that need to be answered first.

Construction of the new Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline from Lake Huron to Genesee County should be complete this summer. But more work must be done to connect the city to the new pipeline and that may take months. 

State Treasurer Nick Khouri delivered a report on a review of the KWA pipeline to the governor’s Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee today in Flint. Khouri said the city must “soon” decide on what will be its primary and back-up drinking water sources. He listed KWA, Detroit’s water system and Genesee County as the city’s options. He declined to discuss the report after the meeting. 

But “soon” may not be enough time for Flint’s elected leaders to decide what they are going to do. 

“Flint wants to gather all the information possible so we can make an informed decision,” says Sylvester Jones, Flint’s city administrator.

Jones says Flint city leaders want to know about the original decision that lead former Flint emergency manager Ed Kurtz to sign the city up to the KWA pipeline in 2013. They also want to evaluate which option will provide Flint residents with the best water rates. Flint residents already pay some of the highest water rates in the nation. 

Whether Flint switches to KWA or not, the city is obligated to pay the new pipeline $7 million annually, under the agreement signed by the emergency manager.   

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