City officials say the state will stop paying for Flint’s drinking water and end water credits for customers beginning March 1.
The changes follow state officials’ declarations that the water quality has improved, but city residents are still being advised not to drink the water unless it has been properly filtered.
“A senior advisor to Governor Rick Snyder has sent Flint’s Interim Chief Financial Officer, David Sabuda, a letter to inform him the credits currently being applied to the water portion of Flint utility customers’ accounts will no longer be provided after February 28, 2017,” Flint spokeswoman Kristin Moore wrote in a press release on Feb. 9. “State officials note the latest 6-month cycle of water testing that had results below the federal action level for the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).”
MLive reports that in addition to the credits ending, Moore said after this month the state will no longer provide funding for Flint’s connection to the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), which adds up to about $1.2 million a month.
The state pointed to findings from November of last year that showed sentinel site water testing of Flint’s water had a 90th percentile value of 8 ppb of lead. It citied the outcome as its reason for discontinuing the funding.
March bills will be the last to include the state water relief credits of 20 percent for commercial accounts and 55 percent for residential accounts.
“I am aware that the water quality in the City of Flint is improving and that is a good thing,” said Mayor Karen Weaver. “We knew the state’s assistance with these water related expenses would come to an end at some point, I just wish we were given more notice so we at City Hall, and the residents had more time to prepare for the changes.”
The water relief act was introduced by Gov. Rick Snyder in Feb. 2016. It was meant to help offset utility cost for Flint customers.