Flint approves 30-year water deal with GLWA - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Flint approves 30-year water deal with GLWA

FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

The city of Flint finally has a deal done on a water source.

It took a marathon of a meeting for city council to OK it Tuesday night, but it wasn’t without drama.

The vote to sign a 30-year contract with Detroit’s Great Lakes Water Authority passed by the narrowest of margins, 5-4.

Mayor Karen Weaver said the people of Flint have been waiting a long time for it and the city has been losing money over it.

“I think the residents should be happy we put public health and being fiscally responsible as the two priorities,” Weaver said.

However, not everyone was thrilled, including some members of the council who said a lawsuit by the MDEQ pressured others into making a decision.

“I just believe that it was in spite of what everybody says, it was an intimidation tactic that was successful,” Councilwoman Monica Galloway said.

The GLWA from Detroit has been providing water to Flint since the fall of 2015.

"I don't believe that it's a good deal for the residents," Galloway said.

She fears the contract will keep high water rates in place for residents for years.

"There is no release on the water rates and that should've been a priority. And the fact that it wasn't, made it - in my opinion - a bad deal from the start," Galloway said.

Councilman Eric Mays said he reluctantly voted yet.

"I wanted to vote no. I'm still contemplating whether I'll put a motion for reconsideration on the floor in the next council meeting," Mays said.

Mays said he voted yes to keep the authority from choosing a water source without the city council.

Earlier in the week, a federal judge ordered council members to approve a permanent water source by the end of the day on Tuesday. It was part of the lawsuit filed by the MDEQ against Flint. 

"I could not let a receiver or master come in and take over the role of city council and or mayor," Mays said.

Mays said the fight may not be over. He said the city has complied with the judge's order by meeting the Tuesday deadline, but this move bought him more time to explore other options.

"If I could find one of the best appeal court lawyers in the country, he needs to come forward and we need to talk," Mays said.

As for Galloway, she said the Vehicle City is going through a lot. She reminds residents still can't drink unfiltered water from their taps.

She hopes somehow this latest deal will be a positive one for Flint.

"Even though I voted no, my hope is that this was or turns out to be a good decision for this community," Galloway said.

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