LANSING, MI — Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and Gov. Rick Snyder met in Lansing about the city’s water crisis Thursday morning and came out with a promise to address the problem with a broad array of services.
“We’ve had a very constructive, helpful meeting. I really appreciate the mayor’s attitude. This is about solving problems, improving the water situation in Flint, and actually trying to improve all of Flint for the longer term,” Snyder said after emerging from the meeting.
The city’s drinking water became tainted with lead after the city switched its drinking water supply to the Flint River in October 2014. A study in September 2015 found elevated lead levels in the city’s children. The city switched back to Detroit water in October 2015, and Snyder officially made a disaster declaration earlier this week.
That disaster declaration activated the State Emergency Operations Center. With the mayor’s cooperation Snyder plans to set up an inter-agency group next. The group will work with the SEOC on tangible actions like more water testing, more filter distribution, follow-up health care for affected individuals and educational opportunities, Snyder said.
Weaver said the meeting had been productive and praised the next steps Snyder outlined.
“We’re excited about what’s going to be happening to the city of Flint. We are working together to move things forward and we’re going to be putting some things in place and this is good, this is a great thing for the citizens of Flint and I know they’re excited to hear this news,” Weaver said.
Weaver said the city has gotten estimates on replacing the aging infrastructure that is contributing to the lead problem in Flint. Those numbers range from millions to $1.5 billion, she said.
Snyder apologized again for the water crisis in Flint and said his office was being transparent in its activities to address the problem.
“We want to be open and honest and say let’s address it proactively, let’s go after the issues,” Snyder said.
The meeting also included Interim Department of Environmental Quality Director Keith Creagh and Office of Urban, Metropolitan Issues Director Harvey Hollins, Snyder Chief of Staff Jarrod Agen and members of the Mayor’s staff.