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Work to Replace 6,000 Lead-Tainted Service Lines to Begin Next Week

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

Work to Replace 6,000 Lead-Tainted
Service Lines to Begin Next Week

AARP Volunteers to Bring Consent Cards to Residents’ Homes Starting Saturday

 

FLINT, Mich. ― Mayor Karen Weaver announced today that dozens of Flint residents will have their water service lines replaced next week as crews begin working to replace lead-tainted pipes leading to 6,000 homes during the 2017 phase of her FAST Start replacement initiative.

It’s estimated up to 20,000 Flint residences still have lead and galvanized service lines that need to be replaced. The pipe replacement work is expected to be completed by 2020.

To be eligible to have their service lines replaced, residents must have an active water account. They also must have signed a consent card giving permission for the work to be done. In rental homes, both the owner and the tenant must sign consent cards.

AARP volunteers have begun mailing consent forms to be signed. On Saturday, the volunteers will be going door-to-door to provide the consent cards and answer residents’ questions.

“We’ve replaced service lines at more than 850 homes since my FAST Start initiative began last year. This year our goal is 6,000 homes,” Mayor Weaver said. “With more work crews in the field starting next week, service lines to 900 homes will be replaced each month, so we’ll really start making progress.”

AARP State Director Paula Cunningham said the volunteers are eager to assist in Mayor Weaver’s efforts to get the lead out of Flint.

“Last fall, AARP volunteers visited more than 500 homes to collect consent cards,” Cunningham said. “This weekend, we’ll be picking up where we let off, with plans to knock on doors or reach residents by mail at 6,000 homes through May and June.”

State lawmakers on Thursday approved sending $100 million to Flint in federal funds allocated in December by Congress to fix the damaged water system. Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the bill. The action came after a federal judge in March signed off on a settlement that will guarantee that the City gets the state and federal funds it needs to inspect and replace the remaining lead-tainted service lines leading to residents’ homes over the next three years. The settlement also includes requirements that bottled water and filters continue to be available to help Flint address the unprecedented water crisis that allowed lead-tainted water to flow to residents’ homes.

Companies awarded city contracts to do the work are Goyette Mechanical Co., W.T. Stevens Construction Inc., Lang Constructors Inc., and Waldorf and Sons Inc. The first three are headquartered in Flint, while Waldorf is located in nearby Mt. Morris.

Retired National Guard Brigadier General Michael C.H. McDaniel, who’s coordinating the FAST Start initiative, said he’ll continue to concentrate pipe replacement work in areas of the city that are most likely to have lead service lines, and where a significant number of young children or seniors live. Two crews will work in each of 10 zones around the city to replace the service lines in 2017.

“The pace of service line replacements will be much faster,” he said. “Residents in affected neighborhoods will see FAST Start yard signs going up when crews are coming to their neighborhoods, and can get more information on the City of Flint FAST Start Facebook page, and FAST Start’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.”

Flint residents also can expect to see Hydrovac trucks in some neighborhoods starting in mid-May. The hydro-excavation trucks use pressurized water and an industrial-strength vacuum to dig two small holes near the water curb box down to the service line, allowing crews to identify what the service line is made of and whether it needs to be replaced. The holes are backfilled and the sod is restored once the service line is checked. Service lines at around 2,000 homes will be checked this way in coming months so crews will know which homes already have copper service lines. Crews will leave a door hanger at homes whose lines have been checked.

Residents whose homes are getting new service lines must flush their water for 15 minutes before the pipe replacement takes place and for at least 15 minutes after the pipes are replaced to remove sediment from their lines. Filters should be turned off and aerators removed while the pipe flushing takes place, and all water lines in the home should be flushed, McDaniel said.

Areas where the street has not been fixed after pipe replacements are now being restored by City of Flint crews and private contractors, he added.

Mayor Weaver launched her 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 significantly reduced since the city switched back to water delivered from Lake Huron by the Great Lakes Water Authority, residents still are being urged to drink only filtered water, and to replace their filters when needed.

For more information and updates on the work, visit the City of Flint FAST Start Facebook page, as well as on Instagram and Twitter. Questions about FAST Start can be directed to the FAST Start office by emailing faststart@cityofflint.com or by calling (810) 410-1133.

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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 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.”

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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.

Other Crimes Down, Murder Up in Flint for 2015

By | Quality of Life, Safety | No Comments

Although last year’s murder count in Flint indicated things may finally be looking up for the city, this year, the situation got worse. As of this past May, the city was on pace for averaging one murder a week for the year 2015.

While this year has brought a decrease in other violent crimes in Flint such as larceny and arson, it is hard to argue for a bright side with a murder rate this high. Police officers in Flint attribute the decrease in certain crimes to community vigilance and claim that if more community members speak up and cooperate with police, it is likely that the city can get the murder count down as well. Click here to read the article below for more information on Flint crime in 2015.

To learn more about 2015 Flint crime or what mayoral candidate Karen Weaver plans to do about it, visit www.karenaboutflint.com.

Gov. Snyder actively working toward solution for water crisis in Flint

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

FLINT (WJRT) - (09/30/15) – Governor Rick Snyder is talking Flint water in Lansing, but still one big question remains – will Flint switch back to the Detroit water system?

The move has been gaining momentum in Flint and Lansing.

Wednesday, Snyder was asked about the Flint water crisis at a press conference for the newly-appointed Michigan Supreme Court Justice.

He told reporters that he’s working with city, state and federal leaders to come up with a plan to get better quality water flowing to the people of Flint – faster.

Whether or not that means switching to the Detroit water system from the Flint River is still a mystery.

“It appears that lead levels could be higher, or have increased. What can be done to deal with that in an effective fashion. Again, were looking at making sure they’re within safe limits according to the Federal Government, and I would expect us to have more to talk about this subject before the end of the week,” Snyder said.

ABC12 News learned this week that Snyder had a hand in distributing 1,500 water filters to Flint homes about a month ago.

He confirmed that at least part of the state’s future involvement in the crisis will include bringing more of those filters to the people of Flint.

House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church holds free water giveaway

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

FLINT (WJRT) - (09/30/15) – Cases of bottled water went fast at a giveaway Wednesday afternoon in Flint.

The House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church on West Carpenter Road had about 700 cases of water to hand out.

A long line of cars stretched around the building, so they began a little early.

The water was gone in about an hour.

So far, the church hasn’t scheduled another giveaway.

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