The Flint, Mich., water crisis has weighed heavily on the hearts of those of us within the black community. But five years after its onset, it would appear that the city is now one step closer to finally leaving its deadly water infrastructure in the past.
Colorlines reports that on Monday, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality provided Flint with the remaining $77 million of a $120 million federal and state loan that was granted to the Vehicle City in March 2017, courtesy of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016.
But before you groan at the fact that the $77 million is a loan, it not only was 100 percent forgiven but carries zero interest—and it doesn’t have to be repaid.
The funding will be used for a number of projects, including installation of water quality monitoring panels, improving the Dort and Cedar Street Reservoir and Pump Station, construction of a new chemical feed building, water meter replacements for homes, replacement of the Northwest Transmission Main, and completion of a pipeline that will connect to a secondary water source.
According to state officials, this funding will help to ensure that Flint’s inadequate water system meets the quality standards that have been imposed to protect public health.
“These projects will help the short and long-term sustainability of the water system in the city of Flint,” Department of Public Works Director Rob Bincsik told MLive. “But as stated in the Water Distribution Optimization Plan, the water system needs in excess of another $300 million in capital improvements over the next 20 years.”
It’s estimated that Flint’s FAST Start pipe program, which will replace lead and galvanized steel water service lines throughout the city, will conclude in 2020 and replace approximately 20,000 lines.
Count this as another thing that Donald Trump had nothing to do with, but will more than likely take credit for.