Flint

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Mayor Weaver Invited to the White House to Discuss Infrastructure Needs

By | Economic Development, Flint, Leadership | No Comments

(FLINT, Mich)— Members of the Trump administration have responded to Mayor Weaver’s open letter to Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Cruz, with an invitation to the White House to discuss ways to address the critical water infrastructure needs in urban communities. Mayor Weaver issued the following statement after accepting the invitation to meet with leaders Thursday in Washington, D.C.:

“I am encouraged by the invitation extended by members of the Trump Administration and look forward to discussing how these important issues can be addressed, even before a crisis occurs as it did in Flint and San Juan. We know water systems in many cities across the U.S. are old, outdated and at risk of failing at any moment. There must be guidelines, procedures, and resources in place to address these needs before the health and safety of residents is at stake, regardless of where they live. I have spoken with Mayor Cruz who expressed support and encouragement for me to take the lead on articulating the critical infrastructure needs for communities such as Flint and San Juan.

I want to thank the Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for agreeing to talk about ways we can ensure the infrastructure in our communities are being properly maintained. There are many lessons to be learned from the man-made disaster that occurred here in Flint. We need to fix what happened here and prevent it from happening someplace else, as well as develop a plan to help cities in crisis rebuild and recover.

And as I said in my State of the City address last night, I will search near and far, high and low, until Flint has the resources to rebuild its infrastructure in a way that protects our health, creates economic opportunity, and helps make our water more affordable for all residents.”

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Announce New Plan to Continue Water Distribution

By | Flint, Health, Quality of Life | No Comments

Officials Announce New Plan to Continue
Water Distribution in Flint

Community Partners Step Forward to Continue Water Deliveries
to Homebound Residents 
 

FLINT, Mich. —City officials are pleased to announce a plan is in place to continue home delivery of bottled water to residents with access and functional needs (AFN), and provide bottled water at four water distribution sites, as well as 10 pick-up locations across the City of Flint.  The plan is the result of a partnership between the City, State, Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, United Way of Genesee County, and several community groups.

As Mayor Weaver announced in late July, due to the settlement agreement reached in the Concerned Pastors for Social Action case, if Flint’s water quality met federal testing requirements for two consecutive 6-month monitoring periods, the state could begin gradually closing the PODs (points of distribution), with all the sites possibly closed by September.  Water quality tests show Flint’s water has met federal requirements for over a year.

“We are glad the water quality in Flint is improving,” said Weaver. “However, residents have made it clear that they are still concerned about the health and well-being of our community, should bottled water and filters stop being provided. I relayed those concerns to the governor and we negotiated a plan to have four PODs remain open indefinitely, one on each side of town. And with help from many of our community leaders the home deliveries of bottled water will continue as well.”

Under the new structure, oversight of water distribution will transition from the State of Michigan to the City of Flint’s leadership, with support from community groups and organizations. The new plan includes the existing four PODs located at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church (1st Ward), Franklin Ave. Lot (4th Ward), West Court Street Church of God (6th Ward), and Eastown Bowling Alley (9th Ward). It also includes the continuation of home deliveries to more than 2,100 residents with either access or functional needs (AFN).

Several community partners have committed to continue AFN deliveries as many of the groups have previously been conducting home deliveries in an unofficial capacity.  Community partners include: Asbury United Methodist Church, Calvary United Methodist Church, Greater Holy Temple, Now Ministries, Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist, Salem Lutheran Church, Second Chance Church, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and Veterans of Now.  Residents will receive up to 16 cases of water per month.

Residents with questions about AFN water deliveries can call the new Home Delivery Hotline at 810-410-1138.

Additionally, mini-POD water pick up stations have been established.  Locations include: Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, El Shaddai Ministries, Joy Tabernacle, Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist, Salem Lutheran Church and Vernon Chapel.  Several locations serving the senior population will also receive bottled water, including: Slidell Senior Apartments, Rosehaven Manor and Court Street Village.


“This was a big undertaking,” said Jameca Patrick-Singleton, Chief Recovery Officer for the City of Flint. “We knew we had to secure help from community groups to continue to provide this service to Flint residents. We reached out to several groups that had been providing water to residents, and we also contacted some new organizations. Once we knew who was on board, we held a series of meetings and came up with a plan we believe will work well.”


Under the direction of the City, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan will now serve as the commodities distribution leader.  Operation of the four PODs will transition from the State to the Food Bank. Effective September 18, 2017, the Food Bank will provide logistical support to ensure bottled water is supplied to the various distribution sites in Flint.

“When the water crisis hit, the Food Bank was uniquely positioned to handle the influx of water shipments arriving daily in Flint, as well as the additional distribution needed within the city,” said William E. Kerr, President of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.  “Our role has continued to be providing the logistics for warehousing, transporting, and distributing water throughout Flint.  Now, as a contracted partner with the State of Michigan and the City of Flint, the Food Bank will continue to serve as the distribution hub for water as well as filters and cartridges.  The Food Bank remains dedicated to the mission of fighting hunger and helping build community solutions to community problems.  Our involvement in the water recovery efforts reflects our commitment to our mission and the health and well-being of all.”


The State of Michigan will continue to supply bottled water for all of the water distribution sites, AFN home deliveries, as well as the water filters distributed.  Additionally, the State will cover the cost of the contract with the Food Bank. 

“Flint’s water quality has been restored and the delivery system has stabilized,” said Richard Baird, Senior Advisor to Governor Snyder. “However, we also understand and want to be sensitive and responsive to residents’ concerns.  We are grateful to the community partners for their leadership and for stepping forward to allow residents additional time to prepare for the ultimate transition to using only filtered water while pipe replacement is underway.”
Workers hired and trained by GST Michigan Works! through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will remain in place through March 2018, so many of the delivery drivers and workers will remain the same.


The United Way of Genesee County has provided a $40,000 grant to assist the community partners serving as mini-pod locations and providing AFN home deliveries.  The United Way will also serve as the fiduciary for funding to support the new distribution plan.

“The continued distribution of bottled water in Flint won’t be exactly the same as before,” said Patrick-Singleton. “Some deliveries will occur once a month, instead of once a week for example. But, the important thing is that bottled water will continue being provided, which is what residents wanted. We want to thank the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, the United Way, and all the local groups and organizations that have partnered with us to make this happen.”


The “Call for CORE” (Community Outreach and Resident Education) Program will continue to serve as a resource for residents.  CORE teams have knocked on nearly 370,000 doors and had nearly 114,000 conversations with residents to ensure they are installing, using and maintaining their water filters properly and are aware of other available resources.  Residents can call 810-238-6700 with questions about filter usage or to schedule a home visit by a CORE member.


The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan will also continue to operate the three existing Help Centers in Flint located at Asbury United Methodist Church, Bethel United Methodist United Church, and Greater Holy Temple Church of God in Christ. Residents can visit the centers to obtain food, bottled water, and other health outreach services.

More information, maps and updates on the new water distribution plan is available on the City of Flint website at https://www.cityofflint.com/water-sites/.

 

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TOWN HALL MEETING

By | Community, Economic Development, Flint | No Comments

WHAT:      TOWN HALL MEETING

WHO:         Flint Mayor Karen Weaver along with other City and State Officials

WHEN:      Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE:   House of Prayer MB Church  1851 W. Carpenter Rd  Flint, MI


DETAILS:   As Flint City leaders work to recover from the water crisis, officials must determine an ultimate water source. This week Mayor Weaver announced her recommendation to stay with the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) as Flint’s primary water source, and utilize Genesee County as a secondary source of water.

It is important that Flint residents are informed and involved in the review process of the recommendation before a final decision is made. At the town hall this evening, residents will hear more about the plan and have a chance to share their thoughts. Officials will be on hand to answer questions and note feedback from residents.

* The town hall will be live streamed at www.abc12.com

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Statement from Flint Mayor Karen Weaver on Gov. Snyder’s State of the State Address

By | Community, Flint, Leadership, Michigan | No Comments

The following is a statement from Flint Mayor Karen Weaver in response to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2017 State of the State address, which she attended:

“I was happy to hear Governor Rick Snyder pledge to continue to help Flint recover from the water crisis affecting the city and its citizens through no fault of their own. While we’re grateful for the ways the state has stepped up in the past year to help Flint and its residents, so much more remains to be done.

“Replacing the lead and galvanized steel service lines at thousands more homes is imperative because residents still can’t drink the water unless it first goes through a filter. Although we’ve replaced pipes leading to nearly 800 homes, we still don’t have enough money from the state and federal governments to fulfill my pledge to replace all the lead-tainted service lines leading to nearly 20,000 homes over the next three years through my FAST Start program. That needs to change.

“As we continue to deal with this unprecedented health crisis, it’s imperative that the state continue to provide access to health care for all of Flint’s children, youth and pregnant women; early childhood education for preschoolers; access to healthier food that can help mitigate some of the effects of lead poisoning; and more jobs. We also need to know that the money won’t run out for the bottled water and filters so many people depend on. Only then can Flint, and its residents, gain a brighter future.”

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Mayor Weaver Joins with Kellogg Foundation to Proclaim Racial Healing

By | Community, Flint, Leadership | No Comments

Mayor Weaver Joins with Kellogg Foundation
 to Proclaim January 17 a National Day of Racial Healing


Mayor Karen Weaver has signed a proclamation on behalf of the City of Flint in partnership with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and more than 130 organizations to proclaim January 17, 2017 as a National Day of Racial Healing.

“I encourage residents of Flint to join me in being part of the conversation and working towards healing the wounds created by the man-made Flint Water Crisis stemming from racial bias,” said Mayor Weaver. “Scientific reports now tell us the quality of the water has improved, but that’s not enough. We deserve better and we must demand better.”  

Over the next few weeks, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) effort and collaborating organizations will carry out a number of events in support of the National Day of Racial Healing. The TRHT community is made up of corporate and non-profit partners that collectively represent a network of nearly 300 million Americans.

 

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Statement from Mayor Karen Weaver on Grant Awarded to Improve Area Parks

By | About Karen, Community, Economic Development, Flint, Quality of Life, Safety | No Comments

Statement from Mayor Karen Weaver

on Grant Awarded to Improve Area Parks

 

FLINT, Mich. — The following is a statement from Flint Mayor Karen Weaver regarding news that the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has awarded a grant to fund park improvements in Genesee County.

“We are excited to learn of the grant that has been awarded by the state which could be used to support the Flint Riverfront Restoration Project. There are some details that still need to be worked out. We look forward to discussing ways we can redevelop Chevy Commons and the Riverfront, help boost the local economy, and improve the overall quality of life in the City of Flint.”

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U.S. House Passage of Flint Aid Package

By | Community, Flint, Leadership | No Comments

Statement from Flint Mayor Karen Weaver

on U.S. House Passage of Flint Aid Package

 

FLINT, Mich. — The following is a statement from Flint Mayor Karen Weaver in response to the U.S. House passage of a $170 million Flint aid package.

“Today the U.S. House did something we’ve long been waiting for, by voting for a $170 million package that would help the City of Flint recover from the water crisis that has affected our city for two and a half years. I want to thank Congressman Dan Kildee for his tireless work to obtain this money, which we’ll be able to use to remove even more lead-tainted pipes through my FAST Start initiative.

“I strongly urge the same approval be given Friday in the U.S. Senate, where Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters have been pushing hard to pass this aid for Flint. We need this funding to help replace the city’s damaged and aging water infrastructure and to provide resources to our children who have suffered from ingesting lead-tainted water through no fault of their own. I am hopeful the Senate will see how critical this funding is for the people of Flint and pass the bills to help our community move forward on the road to recovery.”

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Tree Lighting/Holiday Kick Off

By | Community, Events, Flint | No Comments

WHAT:         Tree Lighting/Holiday Kick Off Event  


WHERE:      Flint City Hall

WHEN:        Friday, December 2, 2016 from 4:30-6:00 p.m.


Details:
         The holiday season is upon us! The Weaver Administration would like to invite the entire community to Flint City Hall Friday, December 2, 2016 for a Tree Lighting Ceremony/Holiday Kick Off event. We recognize that this has been a challenging year for the citizens and the city, but this is an ideal time to come together, be thankful for the progress that has been made, and celebrate the holiday season.

In addition to honoring our local police and firefighters with trees lit with blue and red lights we will also have a tree lit with white lights to represent unity and peace. We’ve called on many community partners and retailers to help make this year’s event a little more special than recent years, and we are pleased to report they have answered the call!

Flint’s own community choir “Cho’Zen” will lead the crowd in singing a medley of carols. Once the tree lighting ceremony is complete, everyone will be invited into the lobby of City Hall for free refreshments including hot chocolate provided by Walli’s Family Restaurant, coffee and juice provided by McDonald’s and Timbits provided by Tim Hortons. There will also be other treats and surprises thanks to a monetary donation from Pasty Lou Automotive and gift cards from Meijer, Sam’s Club, Kroger and Wal-Mart. We hear Santa plans to stop by the event, so with help from the ReCAST Grant which is geared toward children’s outreach, we’ve secured Making Memories Photography Studio to come take pictures. Kids from the Flint community will be able to have their picture taken with Santa and Mayor Weaver.

Home Depot has donated hundreds of toy building kits for the children who attend. There will be other fun things for the entire family to enjoy including music from the Flint Institute of Music’s Dort Honors String Quartet.  We hope everyone will come out this Friday, December 2nd as we kick off the holiday season in the City of Flint and spread some holiday cheer!

 

Photo Credit: Joseph Dennis, Flint Foto Factory

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Mayor Weaver’s FAST Start Initiative: Pipes at 460 Homes Replaced

By | Accountability, Community, Flint, Health, Leadership, Quality of Life | No Comments

Pipes at 460 Homes Replaced So Far through
Mayor Weaver’s FAST Start Initiative

FLINT, Mich. —Lead-tainted service lines at 460 homes have been replaced so far as part of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative, with 55 homes getting new copper pipes last week.

Crews from two area companies are replacing lead and galvanized steel service lines leading from the street to the water meter in residents’ homes during this third phase of the FAST Start initiative, extending the mayor’s efforts to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents. A total of 788 homes are set to get new pipes this fall.

Work crews plan to replace service pipes this week at homes on Copeman Boulevard and Begole Street between Forest Hill Avenue and Ballenger Highway; on Cumings Avenue between Pershing and Downey Street; and on Leland and Crawford streets and Alvord Avenue between South Grand Traverse Street and Fenton Road.

Mayor Weaver launched the FAST Start initiative to help resolve a number of problems created after a state-appointed emergency manager switched the City’s water source to the Flint River in 2014 without the necessary corrosion control chemicals being added. The corrosive water removed a protective coating on the inside of the pipes, causing lead to leach into the water flowing to homes and businesses in the City of Flint.

While the level of lead in Flint’s water supply has been substantially reduced since the city switched back a year ago to water delivered from Lake Huron by the Great Lakes Water Authority, residents are still being urged to drink only filtered water, and to replace their filters when needed.

So far, crews have installed new service lines at a total of 460 residences in Flint and capped the lines at three abandoned homes. Mayor Weaver’s goal is to have residents in 1,000 homes receive new pipes by the end of the year, and for thousands more to get new service lines in 2017.

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Flint Officials Granted Extension of Water Relief Credits

By | Flint, Leadership, Michigan, Quality of Life | No Comments

Mayor Karen Weaver has received a letter from State Treasurer Nick Khouri stating the Water Relief program in the City of Flint has officially been extended through December 31, 2016. The program has provided residential customers with a 65% credit on the water charges of their utility account and commercial customers with a 20% credit dating back to April 2014 when the City’s water source was switched to the Flint River.

The $12.75 million in relief provided in the current State of Michigan budget includes a stipulation requiring the City to have a 70% collection rate on water/sewer bills. In order for the credits to stay in place, the City must show that customers are paying their bills as required by the state. Though the collection rate has not been achieved, state treasury officials acknowledged the recent progress made through the collection program for commercial customers and the upcoming start of the collection program for residential accounts. In a successful and ongoing effort to meet state guidelines, City officials have worked with customers and increased the collection rate of commercial utility accounts to 76%. 

“The City of Flint welcomes the extension and acknowledgment that good progress is being made in our collections,” said David Sabuda Flint’s Chief Financial Officer.   “We thank the commercial customers who have complied with the program and now we are asking residents to do the same and help the City cover the cost of water and sewer services being provided. Doing so will benefit all our customers as our community works to move past the worst days of the man-made water disaster.”

Starting next week, along with their utility bills, residential customers with past due balances will receive a letter informing them they must pay the current balance on their utility account plus 10% of past due balances.  The letter will also explain what is at stake if the balance on their water/sewer account remains past due. Customers who do not make the required payment will not receive the 65% relief credits in December, a late penalty will be added to their account, and shut offs will be scheduled.  This plan is necessary to help the City increase its collection rate and preserve the credit program for all utility customers as the City of Flint continues to recover from the effects of the water crisis.

Earlier this year, the state provided $30 million in water relief credits. The funds were used to apply credits to customers’ utility accounts for the period of April 2014 through April 2016. Subsequent water relief credits of $8.1 million have also been applied to accounts of residential and commercial customers.  

Again, residential customers should expect a letter with their next utility bill informing them of the program, its benefits, and what they can do to help make sure the credits continue for as long as possible. Those not current on their water bills will not receive the relief credit on their next bill, and their accounts will once again be subject to the late interest on past due balances. Furthermore, commercial customers who do not pay their monthly payment plus 10% of the previous balance will be placed on a shut off list.

“We are willing to work with residents unable to meet the full terms of the payment requirement, but we City officials must also show the state that our customers are paying for the services we provide,” stated Sabuda.

Customers with financial hardships who want to ensure that their credits stay in place and that they are not placed on the shut off list, should come to City Hall to discuss payment options with a representative in the Customer Service Center. Customers with questions can also call the Customer Service Center at (810) 766-7015.     

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