The Flint City Council has approved spending $2 million toward temporarily reconnecting with Detroit's water system amid a health emergency.
The Flint Journal reports the council on Monday unanimously approved contributing to the $12 million tab. Gov. Rick Snyder is asking lawmakers for half of that, while a foundation has committed $4 million.
The council's action paves the way for Flint's Receivership Transition Advisory Board to consider the same move Wednesday.
Flint stopped using Detroit water last year to cut costs, opting for the Flint River. Almost immediately after the switch to Flint River water last April, residents began posting photos online of tea-colored and sometimes pee-colored tap water. Shortly afterward, the water’s high levels of bacteria, which are linked to conditions such as nausea and diarrhea, forced the city to announce a series of boil-water advisories. The city tried to eliminate the bacteria by treating the water with more chlorine, which in turn created the THM problem.
In the fall the local General Motors plant stopped using the river water out of fear that the chemicals would corrode car engines. Meanwhile, residents continued to receive astronomical monthly water and sewer bills — Flint’s rates are about eight times the national average — for water that many deemed undrinkable.
On Thursday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder called Thursday for Flint to switch back to Detroit's water system to address a public health emergency over the city's water supply.
The expenditure the Flint City Council approved on Monday night is part of a plan Snyder announced last week in which he was asking the state for $6 million for the reconnection. A local charity, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, has committed $4 million.
The city plans next year to join a regional authority piping water from Lake Huron.
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press