FLINT, MI — Mayor Sheldon Neeley is continuing to advocate for his proposed $8.6-million program to provide $300 water bill credits to every customer in Flint despite stubborn resistance from the City Council.
Neeley highlighted his American Rescue Plan Act spending priorities during a news conference on Thursday, Sept. 22, urging the council to take action on the plan when it next meets.
“Hopefully next week coming up we will have that … credit that’s before City Council,” the mayor said. “It’s an equal and equitable way to do things whether you are current or past-due on your bill, whether you make a million dollars or $11,000 …. It’s a fair water credit.”
The proposal has yet to pick up steam among council members, some of whom have said they want more details about Neeley’s overall plan for spending roughly 75 percent of the city’s $94.7 million in ARPA funds. Other council members have said the water credit proposal amounts to election-year politics by Neeley and doesn’t address the long-term cost of water for customers.
Neeley said Thursday that the council has had the broad outlines of the water credit proposal since June 14.
The council has approved some APRA spending proposed by the mayor, including $16 million to demolish abandoned homes, $2.7 million for employee premium pay tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, and $2.2 million for the reconstruction of a section of Miller Road in the city.
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