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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 We know water systems in many cities across the U.S. are old, outdated and at risk of failing at any moment.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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Pipes Replaced at 4,924 Flint Homes To Date

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

Pipes Replaced at 4,924 Flint Homes To Date
through Mayor Weaver’s FAST Start Initiative

 

FLINT, Mich. — Lead-tainted service lines at 4,025 homes have been replaced so far in Phase 4 of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative. The effort is part of the mayor’s plan to replace lead-tainted pipes at 6,000 Flint homes in 2017.

Crews from four area companies are replacing lead and galvanized service lines leading from the street to the water meter in residents’ homes during this fourth phase of FAST Start, extending the mayor’s efforts to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents. Overall, service lines to 4,924 homes have been replaced since FAST Start launched in March 2016.

In addition, crews have identified copper service lines at a total of 1,012 homes which did not need to be replaced. Workers have begun checking the composition of 4,000 service lines using hydro-excavation. The process will allow pipe replacement crews to avoid digging up copper service lines and concentrate just on homes with lead and galvanized pipes. So far, lines at 3,840 homes have been checked.

To be eligible for service line replacements, residents must have an active water account. They also must have signed a consent card giving permission for the work to be done (consent cards are being delivered to residents). In rental homes, both the owner and the tenant must sign consent cards. Residents are urged to sign the consent cards as soon as possible, so crews working in their neighborhood can replace their service line.

FAST Start crews will continue work in the following areas this and next week:

  • Goyette Mechanical Co.: Dickenson Street, Forest Hill Avenue, Frank Street, Mackin    Road, Milbourne Avenue, Mt. Elliott Avenue, Nolen Drive, Prospect Street, St. Clair Avenue, and Wolcott Street
  • W.T. Stevens Construction: Alexander Street, Avon Street, Cassius Street, Crapo Street, East Street, Edwin Avenue, Green Street, Iroquois Avenue, Mason Street, Marvin Street, McKeighan Avenue, McKinley Street, Menton Street, North Street, Pierson Road, Red Arrow Road, Robin Street, Second Street, Shawnee Avenue, Third Street, Thomson Street, Tilden Street, W. Van Wagoner Avenue, and Young Street
  • Lang Construction: Avenue A., Bonbright Street, Buick Street, Chippewa Street, Mildred Street, and Warren Street
  • Waldorf and Sons: Burns Street, Minnesota Avenue, and N. Lynch Avenue

The goal is to have all of Flint’s lead-tainted service lines — nearly 20,000 — replaced by 2020, with 6,000 pipes replaced annually over the next three years.

More information about the FAST Start initiative can be found on the City of Flint website www.cityofflint.com as well as the City of Flint FAST Start Facebook page. Questions about FAST Start may be directed to the FAST Start office by emailing faststart@cityofflint.com or by calling (810) 410-1133.

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Mayor Issues Statement on GM Investment Announcement

By | Business, Community, Economic Development | No Comments

(FLINT, Mich)— Mayor Karen Weaver issued the following statement today in response to an announcement from General Motors that the company is investing $79 million to construct a new trim shop at its Flint Assembly Center to enhance future product development and improve the quality of its award-winning trucks:

“It is great to know that General Motors remains committed to building quality vehicles in the City of Flint,” said Mayor Weaver. “This is a huge investment. It shows that General Motors is positioning itself to continue its long history with Flint well into the future. This is a win for current and future employees of the Flint Assembly plant, and for the City of Flint overall.”

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Flint Firefighter Appreciation Day, Monday, October 9

By | Events, Safety | No Comments

WHO:         Mayor Karen Weaver, Chief Ray Barton, Flint Fire Department

WHAT:       Flint Firefighter Appreciation Day

WHEN:      Monday, October 9, 2017 at 11:45 a.m.

WHERE:  Fire Station #1   310 E. Fifth St.  Flint, MI  48502   


DETAILS:      Join Mayor Karen Weaver and Chief Ray Barton as they show appreciation to Flint Fire’s Finest for acts performed above and beyond the call of duty.  Awards will be presented and fire crews will participate in activities designed to bring unity and support to the department and the Flint community. Firefighters will also be treated to lunch served by the Fire Chief and Command Staff. For more information contact: EMS Coordinator Carrie Edwards at (810) 762-7336 ext. 5225, or cedwards-clemons@cityofflint.com

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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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Tire Buy Back Event

By | Community, Quality of Life | No Comments

City of Flint to Hold Tire Buy Back Event


What:    Free Tire Disposal & Buy Back Event

When:   Saturday, June 10, 2017  10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where:  Environmental Rubber Recycling,  6515 N. Dort Highway


Details:
City officials and employees continuously undertake projects to help make the City of Flint look its best. A recent Michigan State University study revealed maintaining the yards of vacant properties helps to reduce crime in urban neighborhoods. As part of the ongoing efforts to make Flint safer and more desirable to live, work and play, the City is holding a tire disposal event this Saturday, June 10.

Flint residents who drop off tires to Environmental Rubber Recycling between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. will receive $1 per tire up to a maximum of 25 tires, or $25 per load of 25 tires or more. Only auto and light truck tires accepted. This tire disposal event is for residential use only, no commercial vehicles allowed. Participants must show proof of Flint residency.

For more information, contact the Blight Elimination Division at (810) 237-2090, or the Waste Services Coordinator at (810) 766-7135 ext. 2605.

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1,291 Homes Replaced So Far

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

Pipes at 1,291 Homes Replaced So Far through

Mayor Weaver’s FAST Start Initiative

FLINT, Mich. — Lead-tainted service lines at 405 homes have been replaced so far in Phase 4 of Mayor Karen Weaver’s FAST Start initiative. The work is part of a plan to replace lead-tainted pipes at 6,000 Flint homes in 2017.

Crews from four area companies are replacing lead and galvanized service lines leading from the street to the water meter in residents’ homes during this fourth phase of FAST Start, extending the mayor’s efforts to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents. Overall, service lines to 1,291 homes have been replaced since the launch of the FAST Start initiative in March 2016.

In addition, crews have discovered copper service lines at 357 homes which did not need to be replaced. Soon, the FAST Start initiative plans to begin checking the composition of 4,000 service lines through hydro-excavation so that pipe replacement crews can avoid digging up copper service lines and concentrate just on homes with lead and galvanized pipes.

To be eligible to have service line replacements, 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. Residents are urged to sign the consent cards as soon as possible so crews can replace their service lines.

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 decreased significantly since the City switched back to receiving water from Lake Huron by the Great Lakes Water Authority, residents are still urged to drink only filtered water, and to replace their filters when needed.

Mayor Weaver hopes to have all of Flint’s lead-tainted service lines — nearly 20,000 — replaced by 2020, with a goal of replacing 6,000 lines annually over the next three years.

More information about the FAST Start initiative can be found on the City of Flint FAST Start Facebook page, as well as on Instagram, Twitter and the City of Flint website www.cityofflint.com. 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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Image Courtesy of Detroit Free Press

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Neighborhood Business Initiative

By | Business, Community, Economic Development | No Comments

Media Advisory

Flint City Officials to Announce
Neighborhood Business Initiative


WHO:        Flint Mayor Karen Weaver &
Members of local business community

WHAT:       Press Briefing

WHEN:      Friday, May 26, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

WHERE:    Flint City Hall Lobby

DETAILS:     The Weaver Administration has launched a small business training program intended to help individuals ready to do business in the City of Flint reach their goal.  Research conducted for the City’s strategic plan indicates that residents want to see economic development in a variety of areas around Flint. To help meet this need, Mayor Weaver and her staff have established the Small Business Training Boot Camp.

More than ten business hopefuls from a variety of fields including food service, photography, transportation and skilled trades have signed up for the challenge with hopes of having their ventures become fully operational this calendar year. Come hear more about the Neighborhood Business Initiative and the future local business owners taking advantage of this new opportunity in the City of Flint.

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Statement from Mayor Weaver on Tax Lien Notices

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

Statement from Mayor Weaver on Tax Lien Notices Issued in Flint

Flint, Mich — Mayor Weaver issued the following statement today in response to the developments regarding the City of Flint Treasury Department sending lien notices to residents for unpaid water bills:

“I must say, I agree with those who have spoken out against this process. I have met with our Interim City Attorney and Finance Director and they say the city is obligated by local ordinance to follow this procedure, and we must follow the law.  As the Mayor of Flint and as a Flint resident, I understand the concerns that have been raised and I am working to see if any changes or something can be done to help those affected by this, especially given the extraordinary circumstances we have endured due to the water crisis.”

Background information:

Flint’s Interim Chief Financial Officer says it is important to note that the process involving the lien transfer to tax bills is routine and has been performed for years in accordance with the City ordinance adopted in 1964. This process is typically done annually. However, it was not done in Flint last July (2016) due to the water relief credits provided by the state being applied to customers’ accounts at that time.

In April 2015, the City mailed out 5,503 letters for water/sewer charges over six months in arrears that totaled $3,396,712.  The current mailing of 8,002 letters was for two years of billings totaling $5,806,448.62 of delinquent water and sewer charges. (Sewer services in Flint were not affected by the water crisis).

 

Note, the City of Flint has not put a lien on properties. In Michigan, when water is provided to a property a lien is automatically created. It is similar to what happens when you buy a car with a loan, for example. Once you sign the note, a lien is created. In Flint, once payments are missed on water/sewer accounts for longer than six months, City Ordinance requires the treasurer to transfer the lien to the property tax bill.
The letters mailed by the Treasury Dept. to current property owners provide them with notice of the balance owed on the water/sewer account for the address, and of the May 19 date when the transfer process is scheduled to begin. If payment is made on the balance, it will eliminate need for the transfer. If no payment is received, the lien would transfer to the tax bill and be combined with the property tax balance. Officials say property owners would still have until February 28, 2018, to pay the tax balance including the outstanding water and sewer charges. After February 2018, the liens are transferred to the county treasurer for collection.

The City continues to work with non-profit partners that offer assistance to help residents pay their water/sewer bills.  Agencies that regularly assist customers include MI DHHS, the Salvation Army, and GCCARD.  See the online flyer for more information: http://www.cityofflint.com/waterbillhelp.

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