Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said she would ask the city council to approve contracts this week to hire two companies to replace 250 of the city’s water lines.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the cash-strapped city originally had hoped to replace double the amount of pipes using money from the state. But high cost estimates delayed the process and then forced the city to scale back. The most recent development reveals just how difficult it has been for the city to recover from the crisis.
The initial proposed contracts are expected to go to two Flint companies: Goyette Mechanical and WT Stevens Construction, Inc.
Last month, efforts to replace many of the city’s damaged lead pipes in order to restore safe drinking water hit a major snag after bids to complete the work proved to be too costly for the city to pay.
Federal officials have cleared Flint’s tap water as safe to drink for all residents — if the water is properly filtered. But city, state and federal officials have yet to provide residents a target date by which they believe the water supply will be safe to consume without using a filter.
Testing last week revealed that Flint’s water system was improving despite a slight uptick in lead levels. New water tests at selected sites found Flint to be below the federal action limit for the second straight round. More than 91 percent of the higher-risk target sights tested at or below the federal standard of 15 parts per billion lead.