The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced it is providing $77.7 million to the City of Flint to pay for water infrastructure improvements. Interest will be zero percent and 100 percent of the principal will be forgiven, effectively making it a grant. The loan will fund the completion of a secondary water source pipeline, Dort Street and Cedar Street Reservoir and Pump Station improvements, construction of a chemical feed building, replacement of the Northwest transmission main, water main and water meter replacement, water quality monitoring panels, and contingency service line replacement funding.
Rob Bincsik, director of public works for the City of Flint explained that the funding is not new.
“While we are grateful for this funding it’s important to understand it’s not “new funding” or “state funding” in any way,” Bincsik said in a statement.
“The $77.7 million in funding they are referring to is part of the $100 million “Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation Act” grant we received some time ago. The Federal Government awarded this funding and is utilizing the MDEQ’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund as the mechanism to disperse it to the City of Flint. We intend to use this funding to satisfy several regulatory requirements including: Corrosion Study, Chemical Feed Building and Secondary Water Supply. These projects will help the short and long-term sustainability of the water System in the City of Flint but as stated in the Water Distribution Optimization Plan the water system needs in excess of another $300 million in capital improvements over the next 20 years.”