Flint city council leaders discuss water rates - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint city council leaders discuss water rates

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FLINT (WJRT) - (05/20/14) - Flint city leaders continue to talk about ways get out of debt.
    
It's a topic that has a lot of people upset because addressing the budget could mean cuts to public safety and an increase to the water rates.
    
Flint city council met again Tuesday night to discuss a new budget.
    
The main focus was on the water rates, and how they would impact city residents.
    
Part of the plan to get the budget afloat includes raising water rates, and that's something Flint residents like Quincy Murphy can't afford.

"We are the last on the totem pole when it comes to getting help, but we the first on the totem poll when it comes to increasing water rates, increasing in taxes," he said.

In Emergency Manager Darnell Earley's proposed budget, there's a plan to increase water rates by 6. 5 percent this year.
    
The city just recently began using the Flint River as a temporary source for water.
    
Some thought the switch would help ease rates, however the EM says increasing rates would help to update the city's water system.

"The residents are still not seeing a relief for they water bills or some funding to help them improve they water leaks in they homes," Murphy said.

In the latest turn in the water debate, Monday night, city council members rejected Earley's proposal to sell a portion of the water pipeline for nearly $4 million to the county.
    
Council members say that's because they want to work on a better deal that would not only benefit the city, but its residents as well.

"One of the things that I was questioning the administration on is if we sell the pipeline, would the administration then not be willing to not raise the water rates, the 6.5 percent over the next two years," said council president Scott Kincaid.

"We have to keep the residents as the focal point because the focal point is not pushing them out of this city," said councilman Wantwaz Davis.

There will be another meeting Wednesday night, where council members will revisit the pipeline issue.
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