Following the weeks of public outcry that first alerted the nation to its noxious water system, Flint mayor Karen Weaver has announced plans to replace the city’s corrosive, lead-filled pipes.
Mayor Weaver was joined on stage by General G.H. McDaniel Tuesday as she put forth a plan to remove and replace all residential pipes as quickly as possible, stating that priority would be given to high risk households.
When asked about the particulars of impending plans from Governor Snyder’s office, she boldly quipped, “We’re putting forth our plan. We can’t wait for that. We don’t trust that. We need new pipes.” Weaver’s caustic words come on the heels of Snyder’s second decline to Congress’ offer for him to testify before House Democrats.
Expected to cost nearly $55 million, Weaver’s “Fast Start Plan” will require coordination among each branch of state, local, and federal government. Mayor Weaver’s appeal for support was followed by General McDaniel’s explanation that the current projected tally is merely a cost estimate. It is based on the outputs of a similar undertaking in Lansing, Michigan, which has 13,500 pipes in comparison to Flint’s 15,000 pipes, so that number may change.
President Obama promised $5 million in funds to aid the crisis with FEMA’s response when he declared a state of emergency over the man-made disaster in January, but further assistance will be needed to account for the large cost deficit.
In a final deafening blow to Snyder’s character, Weaver stated, “I cannot imagine that he would not support this plan, and if he does not, shame on him.”