LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Since the Flint water crisis has come to light, two of the most vocal individuals calling for support efforts, have been the people who represent the city.
This afternoon, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich met with lawmakers to discuss the next steps for Flint’s recovery.
And the mayor came to the State Capitol with a goal in mind, to put more pressure on lawmakers to take action quickly.
“One of the things we keep stressing is the urgency of which we need things to happen,” Mayor Weaver said.
She’s on a mission to turn Flint’s water crisis around. In a meeting with leaders from both parties in the senate this afternoon, Weaver said her intent was to have that face-to-face dialogue, rid any misconceptions, advocate for the residents in Flint, and push Michigan lawmakers to pass a pending Supplemental Appropriations Bill, worth $144.4 million, to put the city on the right path to recovery.
“So we’re trying to put things aside so we can move forward because there’s a bigger picture than are we fussing and fighting and that’s the part that I know a lot of people like to pick up on,” she said.
Mayor Weaver said there’s still a dire need in Flint. The water is still not drinkable, all of the lead-tainted service lines need to be replaced, the water infrastructure needs to be upgraded, and the future of public health needs to be considered.
“Really we wanted to come and talk about what we were doing and how we’re trying to continuously build this partnership because that’s what it is,” she said. “It’s a partnership and doing whatever we need to do that’s necessary.”
The city estimates it needs as much as $1.2 billion in resources to move forward with it’s recovery process.
The Michigan House approved the budget for 2017, setting aside more than $20 million for Flint.
Mayor Weaver and Senator Ananich said the funds are necessary so Flint residents get the resources they need.
Ari Adler, spokesman for Governor Rick Snyder, said Flint has $2 million to replace lead lines at 500 homes and the city should use the money to replace the pipes right away.
“The more urgent the better, the quicker the better, because we can put those resources to use for the citizens of Flint,” he said. “Whether it’s a pipe replacement or health, nutrition, all of these important programs now and the longer we wait the supplemental in particular, because of the large amount of money for pipe replacement, we’re cutting into the construction season the longer they wait; the mayor’s crews are ready to go.”
Mayor Weaver is expected to meet with House Speaker Kevin Cotter on Thursday.
Both Weaver and Senator Ananich said they’re hoping to have a vote on the Supplemental Bill next week.