Leadership

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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 We know water systems in many cities across the U.S. are old, outdated and at risk of failing at any moment.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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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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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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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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Statement from Flint Mayor Weaver on Order from Federal Judge Regarding Water Deliveries

By | Community, Flint, Leadership | No Comments

Statement from Flint Mayor Weaver on Order from Federal Judge Regarding Water Deliveries: 

“I have always been a proponent for clean safe drinking water, the people of Flint deserve nothing less. We appreciate the judge’s order and agree that clean water should be easily accessible to everyone in the City of Flint and more needs to be done to make that happen. We will do everything we can to abide by the order including reaching out to leaders at the state level for help.

We also know that making sure everyone has access to bottled water is just an immediate and temporary fix. We can’t rely on bottled water forever. The people of Flint should be able to turn on their faucets and get safe clean water without a filter, and that is our ultimate goal.

We continue to make progress with the FAST Start pipe replacement initiative and are working to gain additional resources to be able to replace even more lead-tainted pipes in Flint and eliminate the ongoing effects of this man-made water disaster for good.”

Jesse Jackson Leads National March In Flint To End Water Crisis

Mayor Weaver’s FAST Start Initiative – Pipes at 192 Homes Replaced

By | Community, Economic Development, Flint, Leadership | No Comments

Pipes at 192 Homes Replaced So Far through
Mayor Weaver’s FAST Start Initiative

Lead-tainted service lines at 192 homes have been replaced so far as part of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative, with 29 homes getting new copper pipes last week. Rainy weather kept work crews from replacing even more pipes, but they’re on track to finish at least 200 homes by the end of this week, completing the second phase of the FAST Start program.

Crews from three area companies are replacing lead and galvanized steel service lines leading from the street to the water meter in residents’ homes during this second phase of the FAST Start initiative, extending the mayor’s efforts to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents.

“Rain this past week slowed work, but crews won’t quit until they get lead-tainted pipes replaced at 200 homes or more in this second phase of FAST Start,” Mayor Karen Weaver said. “We’re on track to soon begin the third phase of FAST Start and replace service lines at hundreds more homes this fall.”

Crews are scheduled to continue to replace service pipes this week at homes on Dartmouth Street between Brownell Boulevard and Trumbull Avenue; Ida Street between Miller Road and Corunna Road; Boston Avenue between Miller Road and Becker Street; and Durand Street between Miller Road and Corunna 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 reduced significantly since the city switched back to water delivered from Lake Huron by the Great Lakes Water Authority a year ago, residents are still being urged to drink only filtered water, and to replace their filters when needed.

During the first phase of FAST Start earlier this year, service pipes to 33 homes were replaced.

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Mayor Weaver Responds to Latest Ruling from State Court of Appeals

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

The Michigan Court of Appeals issued another ruling Monday in a case involving the City of Flint waste collection dispute. The Court overturned the temporary restraining order issued by Genesee County Judge Farah. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver released the following statement in response to the Court of Appeals’ decision:

“This is the third time the Michigan Court of Appeals has found that actions taken by me and members of my administration were indeed lawful and within the scope of our authority. I am glad to be vindicated and found on the right side of the law.
As I have stated before, my goal is to do what is in the best interest of the citizens and the City of Flint. My hope is that the Flint City Council will now join me and my administration to move forward and work together to do what is right for the City so we can resolve this matter once and for all.”

 

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