Flint councilperson reacts to lead pipe replacement project deadline
After a federal judge gave the city of Flint until August 1st to finish the job of lead pipe replacement, residents await confirmation.
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - After a federal judge gave the city of Flint until August 1st to finish the job of lead pipe replacement, residents await confirmation.
6th ward councilwoman Tonya Burns speaks for herself and some residents that they are skeptical of completion.
"I've received calls as early as this morning with a new address on Darrell drive for restoration. I received one on Kent Street this morning about service line replacement, but they received a hang tag," said Burns. "We need to get it done. Nobody should be living with service or lead lines in their homes."
This original deadline required the city to excavate over 31,500 of service lines in residents' homes. Flint agreed to replace all lead pipes by 2020, but repeatedly missed deadlines - blaming delays on the COVID-19 pandemic and supply shortages. A federal judge gave the city until Aug. 1 to get the job done.
"If this was taken care of, it wouldn't be in court. We missed not one deadline, but two, but three," she added.
The city of Flint released a statement,
"As required by the Concerned Pastors for Social Action settlement agreement, City of Flint staff and our project management and construction contractors are reviewing records from all phases of the lead service line replacement project to confirm that all required excavations and replacements are complete as of August 1, 2023."
Since 2016, the city has completed more than 28,000 excavations of residential or service lines, identified the composition of those service lines, and replaced more than 10 thousand lead or galvanized lines. The city also released more than 1,000 flint residents declined or failed to cooperate.
While confirmation of those deadline numbers are in review, Burns says the best interest is to make sure residents are at the forefront.
"We need to make sure if we're taking care of the City of Flint, we need to be taking care of the residents. No one should have to at this day and age, have to have service and lead lines that haven't been replaced."
ABC 12 did reach out to the mayor, but he was unavailable to go on-camera for an interview at this time.