FAST Start ahead of schedule in Flint, coordinator leaving position

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FLINT (WJRT) - (12/12/2017) - "This is just another great day for the City of Flint," Mayor Karen Weaver said at a press conference Tuesday.

Mayor Weaver explained state and federal dollars have helped push the FAST Start project ahead of schedule.

"We have put those dollars to great use; and, have made significant progress toward our goal to bring our City not just back to where it used to be before the crisis, but to an even better position," she said.

The Mayor was joined by the four local contractors who have excavated 8,000 homes so far in 2017. Because about 15% had copper lines, crews have only had to replace 5,600 lead or galvanized pipes this year. The goal now is making it to up to 400 more homes by the end of the year.

"For right now, we're in good shape," said coordinator Brigadier General Michael McDaniel.

"Because of you and the crews, we are where we are today," Mayor Weaver said as she handed McDaniel a certificate of appreciation.

McDaniel is stepping down after serving two years in Flint.

"I won't go so far as to call myself a Flintstone; but, in my heart, I have a special place for this City," he said.

He'll leave in January after helping AECom transition into his role. McDaniel said he's confident the company is a great fit to finish the project.

"I think that we will definitely meet the goal of having them all done in 2019, and maybe in early 2019; and, that's frankly early enough, people have been waiting," he said.

Brigadier General McDaniel will resume his position as a professor at WMU Cooley Law School in Lansing.

The project will shut down for the winter and the goal of reaching 6,000 more homes begins next spring.

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