The Latest: More federal assistance coming Flint's way

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 26, 2016 2:40 PM

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is making more money available to Flint business owners affected by the city's lead-tainted water crisis.

The agency says it will direct $100,000 in loans toward Flint and make another $100,000 available for training and technical assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs.

That and other help was announced Friday during a visit by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet to Flint. Contreras-Sweet is a member of President Barack Obama's cabinet.

SBA officials also will meet with money managers, private equity firms and banks to encourage fund managers to invest in small businesses in Flint as part of its disaster assistance for the city.

Earlier this month, the agency approved Gov. Rick Snyder's request for low-interest disaster loans for businesses in the area.

___

12:15 p.m.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has authorized spending $30 million in aid to help pay Flint residents' water bills amid the city's crisis with lead-tainted water.

Snyder signed the legislation on Friday in Flint, saying people shouldn't have to pay for water they cannot drink.

The plan will pay for 65 percent of the water portion of the bills. That includes water used for drinking, cooking or bathing. Residents will still have to foot the sewage portion of their bills. The Republican-controlled Legislature had shot down Democrats' efforts to double the aid to cover people's entire water bills.

State regulators failed to require Flint to treat river water with anti-corrosion chemicals when its water source was switched in 2014, allowing lead to be scraped from aging pipes and into drinking water.

___

8:45 a.m.

Two lawyers in Gov. Rick Snyder's office urged his top aides to switch Flint back to Detroit's water system only months after the city began using the Flint River, according to emails.

The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News report Friday that Valerie Brader and Mike Gadola expressed concerns about Flint's water in October 2014, citing E. coli and General Motors plant's switch because the water was rusting engine parts. It was a year before the state helped Flint return to Detroit's system after water leached lead from pipes into homes.

In emails to then-chief of staff Dennis Muchmore and others, Brader said it was an "urgent matter to fix." Gadola, Snyder's then-legal counsel, called the idea of using the Flint River as a water source "downright scary."