Legislative Leaders Hope To End Standoff On Money For Flint, Macomb Sinkhole

Apr 19, 2017

Michigan House of Representatives
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

State lawmakers are back at the Capitol following their spring break.  One job facing them is ending a standoff over money to help Macomb County deal with a giant sinkhole. 

The sinkhole is as big as a football field and displaced two dozen families after an underground pipe collapsed on Christmas Eve in Fraser.  Now, the disaster threatens to rupture sewer lines that could send a giant mess into Lake Saint Clair, which is part of the Great Lakes system.

The state House approved a $3 million dollar grant before the spring break.  But the Senate wants the money to be a loan. 

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) says there’s been a number of meetings with Governor Rick Snyder and House Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) to try to resolve the impasse.

“Lots of discussions, but no decisions yet,” said Meekhof.  “Had a good meeting with the speaker, the governor over the past couple of days and working toward some solution, but we don’t have one yet.”

The standoff is also holding up $100 million to upgrade Flint’s water infrastructure, including replacing lead pipes and improvements to the water treatment plant.  That money from the federal government is part of the same budget bill as the money for the Macomb sinkhole.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU todayto keep your community NPR station thriving.

— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org