Surprise: Flint finds $20M in the Water Fund
By: Hannah Wiegand/Mid-Michigan NOW
FLINT, Mich. - A review of the City of Flint's Water Fund has unexpectedly found more than $20 million.
The fund was previously projected to go into a deficit.
The money was found after a preliminary assessment by the City of Flint Finance Department
The city says the money will be used to make EPA-ordered improvements to the Flint water system.
“These dollars will help us move closer to giving the residents of Flint the service they need and deserve, but, unfortunately, it is still just a drop in the bucket of funding we need for our water system,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said.
Those improvements will based on the Water Distribution Optimization Plan Prioritization. The plan, done by consulting firm Arcadis in March 2018, found $200 million in capital improvements needed over the next 20 years in the Flint water system. The improvements are separate from the lead pipe replacement program which was funded through state and federal funding.
Before any money is spent, Municipal Finance Expert Eric Scorsone will review the findings to ensure all Water Fund obligations are accounted for.
According to the city, the previous administration used budget estimates and forecasts for years when assessing the status of the Water Fund -- without updating the balance based on actual revenue and expenditures.
“We continue to triage the needs of our Flint Water Department. It’s shocking to find out that poor fiscal oversight potentially created such a large discrepancy in actual versus reported dollars in the Water Fund. Our first step will be to confirm those initial findings,” Mayor Neeley said.
Shortly after taking office on November 11, Mayor Neeley ordered an audit of finances and operations at Flint City Hall.
As of November, 1,000 Flint homes have not been checked for lead pipes.
Shortly after Mayor Neeley took officer, he urged Flint residents to opt-in to lead pipe replacement program. If you have not opted-in please click here.