Flint City Council recesses without making decision on water source; more talks planned Friday

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FLINT (WJRT) (11/16/2017) - Flint City Council members spent much of their day on Thursday debating an agreement for a long-term water source for the city, but ended without making a decision.

Flint City Council President Herbert Winfrey

Council President Herbert Winfrey insisted the group is getting much closer to a decision.

"We're really trying to pull the best deal for the citizens of Flint, in order to do that we just need more information," he said.

Council members met in closed session for nearly nine hours on Thursday debating between contracts with the Great Lakes Water Authority in Detroit or the Karegnondi Water Authority, which will provide drinking water for several Genesee County municipalities outside Flint.

Five of the nine council members were sworn into their positions on Monday.

"We have different players at the table now, " said Winfrey. "We're finding out new information. We're able to make better decisions because of it. We're able to ask even better probing questions because of it. That's what happens when there's a fair exchange of information."

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality filed a lawsuit against the city and the council asking a federal judge to demand the city sign a long-term water supply contract, which would prevent a repeat of the Flint water emergency.

Mayor Karen Weaver already has signed a 30-year deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority, but the previous city council refused to ratify it. The new-look council seated on Monday is picking up where their predecessors left off.

Thursday night Flint residents continued to voice concerns over the deal.

Winfrey said he will not let be pressured into making a decision.

"We're working it out and we're not going to be rushed, we're going to get good information and make a good deal," he said.

The city council reconvened at 10:30 a.m. Friday to continue talks in executive session. There was no word on whether a final decision would come on Friday or wait until next week.

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