Mayor: General Motors switching Flint Engine Operations back to city water

Published: Oct. 18, 2018 at 11:55 PM EDT
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(10/18/2018) - Flint Mayor Karen Weaver ended her third State of the City speech at the Capitol Theater on a powerful note Thursday night.

"We will roar loud and proud for the world to hear," she said. "Flint proud, Flint strong, Flintstone. Welcome back to Bedrock baby."

Calling it the "greatest comeback story of all time," Weaver talked about progress in three key areas during a speech that lasted nearly 45 minutes in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

A highlight of her speech was an announcement that the city and General Motors reached an agreement to switch the Flint Engine Operations plant back to city water.

The major milestone came almost four years after General Motors stopped using Flint water before the height of the water crisis after concerns about corrosion.

After the speech, a General Motors spokesman confirmed the deal but said some final details are being worked out before the switch happens.

Weaver said it's her mission to ensure Flint comes back stronger:

"We are the soldiers at the forefront doing things that have never been done before, and we're doing them quite well," she said.

Weaver said more than 15,000 lead service lines have been replaced and they're ahead of schedule to meet her goal of replacing all 22,000 by the end of 2019.

While she said the water test results are improving, Weaver still encourages residents to use filters and drink bottled water. She won't say it's safe until all of the lead service lines have been replaced and the medical community signs off.

Weaver also touted the Flint Police Department's new Intelligence Bureau to utilize more technology in preventing and fighting crime.

"Capable of analyzing crime statistics, monitoring crime patterns, and crime predictions," Weaver said.

In regards to economic development, she mentioned two new housing projects under construction in Flint, including the mixed-use Flint Marketplace.

"Making sure that as our Millennials graduate from college, they choose to stay right here in Flint," she said.

Weaver's upbeat speech was well received by those who packed the Capitol Theatre. She reminded everyone that this is first time since 2011 that the city is free from emergency managers and state oversight.