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Flint city council can't agree on money to keep water distribution centers open

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The Flint city council fell short tonight in an effort to keep the city’s water distribution centers open for another month.

The centers are expected to run out of bottled water by the end of the week, now that the state is pulling the plug. Gov. Rick Snyder says tests of the city’s drinking water show significant improvement since elevated lead levels were discovered in 2015. Snyder says because of that the pods are no longer needed.

The council discussed spending $2 million to keep the pods open. City Councilman Eric Mays pressed his reluctant fellow council members to get them to vote to spend the money. He stressed Flint residents will soon lose a resource they have come to rely on unless they acted.

But Flint city CFO Hughey Newsome argued against it.

“That’s our money. And we are already under significant budget pressures,” Newsome reminded Mays and the rest of the council. “So I would caution you and I would caution the council against doing that.”

Newsome equated the city spending its own money to giving a $2 million loan to the state.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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