Quality of Life

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Mayor Weaver on MSF’s Vote to Fund Flint Grocer Improvement Program

By | Community, Economic Development, Quality of Life | No Comments

The following is a statement from Flint Mayor Karen Weaver on the Michigan Strategic Fund’s vote today to fund the Flint Grocer Improvement Program. The four stores on the north end of Flint that will benefit from today’s vote are Mr. B’s Foodland on Dupont Street, Hutchinson Food and Drug on Saginaw Street, Landmark Food Center on Pierson Road and the Local Grocer on Martin Luther King Avenue.

“Today’s vote by the Michigan Strategic Fund is an important step toward making groceries more accessible to residents on the north side of Flint,” said Mayor Weaver. “These grocers have stood by Flint and its residents, and we’re thrilled that they will be supported in their efforts to improve their offerings in the year ahead.

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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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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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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.”

 

Image: Courtesy of Mlive

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Mayor Weaver Responds to Announcement of Spending Deal which Includes Funds for Flint

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

Mayor Karen Weaver issued the following statement Wednesday after learning of the deal approved by Congressional leaders:

“I am encouraged that members of Congress have approved a deal designed to deliver federal aid to Flint as we continue our efforts to help the citizens and the City of Flint recover from the devastating effects of this man-made water crisis.

Residents of Flint still can’t turn on their faucets and drink the water straight from the tap, this is a problem that must be fixed. The citizens of Flint deserve new lead-free pipes and funding from our federal government would help us provide essential infrastructure needs and other resources. I thank Senators Stabenow and Peters and Representatives Kildee and Moolenaar for their hard work and commitment to help secure this much needed funding for Flint. It’s great to see so many people working together to help our city and those who live and work here. We can only hope that others will get on board, do the right thing and continue the progress being made to help the City of Flint move forward.”

Update from Mayor Weaver on Status of Garbage Collection in Flint

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

Update from Mayor Weaver on Status of
Garbage Collection in Flint

 

(Flint, Mich) – As negotiations continue on a new long-term solid waste collection contract for the City of Flint, Mayor Karen Weaver has reached an interim agreement with Republic Services to ensure residents will continue receiving this critical service. City officials have asked Republic Services to resume trash pickup Tuesday, August 2, 2016 and representatives for the company have accepted the offer. The arrangement will remain in place until Friday, August 12. Residents should be mindful that trash collection will be delayed by one day for the rest of this week and should be back on schedule by the start of next week.

Members of the Receivership Transition Advisory Board (RTAB) are scheduled to meet August 10, 2016. At that meeting the board should decide which company will be awarded the contract to collect waste in Flint on a more permanent basis.

“I want to thank Republic Services for agreeing to resume trash collection in Flint while we work to resolve this matter,” said Mayor Weaver. “My main objective is to do what’s best for the citizens and the City of Flint. Members of city council and I may have different views on what that is, but residents should not be inconvenienced because of it.”

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Message from Mayor Weaver Regarding Garbage Collection in Flint

By | Accountability, Flint, Quality of Life, Safety | No Comments

Message from Mayor Weaver Regarding Garbage Collection in Flint

(Flint, Mich) – Flint city leaders are still working to secure a waste collection contract now that the previous service agreement with Republic Services has expired.  Due to the circumstances, there will be no trash pick up in the city starting this Monday, August 1, 2016Until a new agreement is officially in place, we ask that residents not set their trash out at the curb to prevent animals from disturbing it and making the situation worse. 

“We hope to have a new agreement in place that will allow crews to resume trash collection by the middle of the week,” said Mayor Weaver. “We realize this is an inconvenience and we’re working to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, we appreciate and thank the citizens of Flint for their cooperation.

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Mayor and Project Manager of FAST Start Address Inaccurate Information

By | Accountability, Community, Media, Quality of Life, Safety | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2016

 

Contact:
Kristin Moore
kmoore@cityofflint.com

Mayor and Project Manager of FAST Start Address Inaccurate Information Published about First Round of Pipes Replaced

 

(Flint, Mich) – Brigadier General Michael McDaniel, manager of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative, spent Thursday afternoon in meetings regarding the next round of pipes replacements in the City of Flint. City officials are focused on the progress being made and want the public to be informed with the correct information on the work that’s being done.

After getting several requests for comment regarding an online media report stating more than a third of pipes replaced in the city earlier this year by Rowe Engineering as part of the state’s pilot study on the FAST Start plan were to homes that did not have high lead levels, McDaniel wanted to set the record straight.

“There is a lot of false and misleading information in the article,” stated General McDaniel. “First of all, the resident quoted in the article lives at an address that was not part of the FAST Start pilot study. The pipes at her house on Church Street were replaced by, and at the request of, Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards.”

City officials also take issue with the amount of 15 parts per billion used in the article to define a “high lead” level. It’s important to note that 15 parts per billion is the federal action level, but Mayor Weaver, other officials and experts say action should be taken before the level of lead in citizens’ water reaches that point.

“The City of Flint has not and never will agree that 15 parts per billion is an acceptable level of lead in the water our residents drink,” said Mayor Weaver.

“As an example, the house on Church Street, which the article claims never submitted a water test, had a lead level of 13 parts per billion on March 16, prior to the pipe being replaced on April 6,” added McDaniel.

The article also implies the majority of the homes selected for the pipe replacements in the pilot study were not in the “high risk” categories set forth by Mayor Weaver which are homes with high lead levels, seniors, pregnant women, and/or children under the age of six. Selection of the homes was a collaborative effort between the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Rowe Engineering, U of M-Flint and the City.

“Some privacy laws prevented us from accessing data to confirm areas with pregnant mothers, so we relied on 2014 census records for information on neighborhoods with young children and senior citizens,” stated McDaniel.

Overall, McDaniel feels the state’s pilot study with Rowe Engineering, which cost around $250,000, was productive and will provide useful information that will be applied as the effort continues to replace lead tainted pipes in the City of Flint.

“This was truly a pilot study to find out what pipes were around the city and what the construction of the pipes were,” said McDaniel. “Homes were selected in every area in Flint. If we couldn’t get permission from a homeowner to do the work, we went to the next house on the list. According to our test results, an overwhelming majority of the homes where pipes were replaced showed a significant decrease in lead levels in the water, that is what’s important.”

“We have no intention of responding to every media report we disagree with,” Mayor Weaver added. “But, it would be doing the public a disservice to know they are getting bad information and we not take time to address it.”

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Flint Civilians Help Protect Each Other from Violent Crime

By | Community, Flint, Quality of Life, Safety | No Comments

For years, crime has been running rampant on the streets of Flint. It all started when the auto industry moved out of the city and left many people jobless and struggling to get by. The city of Flint has not been able to provide ample police support to take the city back from the criminals so many citizens are taking matters into their own hands. A group in Flint has begun to post information on social media networks including when and where crime is happening so innocent citizens and bystanders can keep themselves safe and out of the mix. Check out the video below to learn more about this group.

 

 

To learn more about crime in Flint and what mayoral candidate Karen Weaver plans to do about it, visit www.karenaboutflint.com.

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