(10/18/13) - Flint's new emergency manager says the issues surrounding water,
blight and public safety are top concerns for the city.
He does say that these are manageable issues when it comes to moving the city forward.
For the past two weeks, Darnell Earley has been talking with his staff about some of the priorities that need to be addressed immediately.
The water issues are at the top of this list. The water rates have been the topic of discussion for quite some time for the people who live in Flint.
"With construction of the KWA intake and pipeline looming, I'm expressing my commitment to thoroughly reviewing and accessing the scope of that issue, there's a lot of discussion about the rates," Earley said.
Earley says he's looking ahead in terms of the future. He says in order to make decisions on water-related issues such as the funds, the rates and the costs of self-sustaining the water system, he's going to bring in a third party consultant.
"In order to make a fair and impartial assessment, a rate study will ensure that the long term costs of providing water and of the KWA decision are accurately and openly reflected in the rates charged to Flint water customers," Earley said.
Blight elimination is also on the list. This week kicked off with a major Michigan State Housing Development demolition project. MHSDA is working with the city and Genesee County Landbank to demolish 1,600 abandoned and blighted buildings over the next year and a half.
"With that removal will come new interest and reinvestment in the communities, new interest in stabilizing neighborhoods and these are all very critical elements to quality of life in any community," Earley said.
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