This is the daily 2-1-1 summary on the Flint Water Response for Thursday, March 2, 2016
- Governor Snyder held a Tele Town Hall this evening from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. His opening remarks touched on a variety of topics including:
- Encouraging water and lead testing
- Efforts underway to hire local residents to take over water distribution role of National Guard
- 600 sites being regularly sampled for lead and copper levels in water
- Mapping is continuing to prepare to replace lead pipes in water distribution system
- Hoping to replace 30 pipes in the next 3 weeks to test the replacement process
- Mobile Food Banks are coming to neighborhoods to provide protective foods
- School nurses program is getting ready to hire for elementary schools
- Replacing school water fixtures
- CMS Waiver announced (see below for details)
- The Center For Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved a waiver for Flint today.
- A five year demonstration project called, “Flint Michigan Section 1115 Demonstration”.
- Expands Medicaid coverage to children up to age 21 years and to pregnant women with incomes up to and including 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL ) who were served by the Flint water system from April 2014 through a later date to be determined by the State of Michigan.
- Medicaid-eligible children and pregnant women served by the Flint water system during the specified period will be eligible for all services covered under the state plan.
- They will be exempt from cost sharing or premiums.
- Will have access to Targeted Case Management services and evaluation of potential sources of lead exposure in the home. The Targeted Case Management services will include assistance in gaining access to needed medical, social, educational, and other services.
- All state plan services, except for Targeted Case Management Services, will be delivered through the state’s existing system.
- More details will be available in the next week or two.
- Head Start/Great Start openings for preschool education are expanding in Flint. Parents wanting to enroll their kids in Head Start or with questions about program expansion, can contact:
- Genesee ISD’s Head Start program: 810-591-5437
- Genesee County Community Action Resource Department: 810-235-5613, or
- Kaitlin Ferrick, Director of the State Head Start Collaboration Office: 517-335-8125
- Water Bill Credit program is getting started. Following Gov. Snyder’s signing of a $30 million bill to provide help with Flint water bills, the program to provide credits to residents bills is getting started.
For more information visit www.helpforflint.org or call the Flint Water Customer Service Center 810-766-7015.
City of Flint issued the following FAQs about the water credit program.
- When will my credit start? The City anticipates the credits will be on bills issued within a few weeks, once the systems are in place.
- Will the credit only be for the drinking water portion of my bill? The credit covers 65% water used (representing the percent of drinking, cooking, or bathing) from April 2014 until the water is safe to drink. Commercial customers will receive a 20% credit. It does not cover sewage.
- Does the credit apply to past late fee penalties? The City will apply the 65 percent credit for residential customers and the 20 percent credit for commercial entities to penalties received for unpaid bills between April 2014 until the water is safe to drink. The state will reimburse the city approximately $2 million to cover these penalty charges.
- What if I am behind in paying my bill? For customers who are behind in paying their water bill, they will have the option to receive the same credit as paid customers, as long as they agree to pay their sewage fees and 35% of the water charges. The city will not turn off any water accounts after the water has been declared safe so long as customers agree to a payment plan or pay past due amounts in full. The City will receive direct reimbursement for the credited amount.
- What is the breakdown of charges on a Flint water bill? A Flint resident’s water bill contains charges for both water and sewer. Within the bill for water and sewer, there is a variable cost component based on usage and a fixed monthly fee.
- Should I expect to pay for sewer each month or will the credit cover sewage until my credits are up? Residents are expected to pay the sewer portion of their combined bill. The credit will be applied to 100 percent of the water portion of their future bills until it is exhausted.
NOTE: On the governor’s town hall there was a reference to customers who have moved within Flint that stated they will be asked to verify the location and dates of their previous residence(s), then all credits can be combined and applied to the current water bill. CAN THE WATER DEPARTMENT OR CITY OF FLINT REVIEW THE ABOVE INFORMATION FOR ACCURACY? IF ANY INFORMATION IS INACCURATE, PLEASE CONTACT email@example.com WITH CORRECTIONS.
- Lead service line replacement was a hot topic on the Tele Town Hall. Key information from the call:
- City and state are working to complete mapping of 50,000 service lines.
- 25,000 lines are confirmed to NOT be lead,
- About 5,000 ARE CONFIRMED LEAD. Working to determine the status of remaining lines, then will move forward with replacement.
- The Mayor’s Office is leading pipe replacement in coordination with the state.
- Initial test digs took place last week.
- Expectation is 30 service lines will be replaced in the next month. As replacement teams develop experience, expect the replacement process to speed up.
- Flint residents are being hired to staff water resource sites through a partnership with State of Michigan and Michigan Works! Flint residents will be hired to assist with water distribution for clean water resource sites across the city. Available positions will be open to all qualified applicants. For up-to-date postings and details on how to apply visit gstmiworks.org/hotjobs or the Pure Michigan Talent Connect website at www.mitalent.org. Available positions will also be posted in the Employment Services area of GST Michigan Works! at 711 North Saginaw St. in Flint.
The governor’s Tele Town Hall coincided with a news report on ABC 12 about dermatologists providing free consultations for skin rashes (see below). These two events generated a much larger number of calls than anticipated from the town hall alone and resulted in a brief period when caller wait times reached 20 minutes. Callers were patient and did not express any frustration or anger with the wait.
- ABC 12 reported local dermatologists are providing free consultations to residents with skin rashes and to call 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment. 2-1-1 received no advance warning about this story and had no information about this new service or scheduling appointments. We are working to track down information and will contact callers with accurate information as soon as it is available. View the story at abc12.com/news/localnews/headlines/Mid-Michigan-Dermatologists-providing-free-screenings-for-Flint-residents-with-skin-rashes-370987991.html.
- Former Flint residents looking for water bill credit/refund information have contacted 2-1-1.
- CAN FLINT WATER DEPARTMENT OR ANOTHER PARTNER CONTACT 2-1-1 WITH INFORMATION ON THE PROCESS FOR FORMER RESIDENTS TO RECEIVE A WATER BILL CREDIT?
- A Tele Town Hall caller asked about assistance replacing damaged water heaters. The response stated, “There is no replacement program at this time. When MDEQ teams are inspecting homes there is a plumber looking at heaters to check their condition and provide some basic maintenance to extend their life.
NOTE: DHHS clients who own their home and need water heater replacement may be eligible for assistance through the State Emergency Relief (SER) program. They should contact their DHHS caseworker for assistance.
- Seeking guidance on managing open wounds following recent surgery/injury. A few callers have contacted 2-1-1 asking about the safety of using Flint water to clean open wounds. 2-1-1 is telling these callers to contact their physician and advise using bottled water to cleanse wounds unless advised otherwise. CAN DHHS VERIFY THIS IS THE APPROPRIATE GUIDANCE FOR CALLERS?
- The Attorney General’s Office investigates reports of potential scams. These can be reported to the Charitable Trust Section at firstname.lastname@example.org. The AG has tips on how to avoid falling victim to con artists at http://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,4534,7-164-17337_20942-375279–,00.html.
- From 2/29/16: The City of Flint Water Plant can no handle water sample pick-up/drop-off for homebound residents due to increasing demand. 2-1-1 is coordinating with the Water Plant to identify another option for serving these residents and will provide updates until we confirm a solution. In the meantime, please do not refer homebound callers to the Water Plant for assistance. Have them call 2-1-1.
- Related Issue: The form distributed with water testing sample bottles still states that samples must be returned to either City Hall or the Water Plant.
THIS NO LONGER CORRECT. WATER SAMPLE BOTTLES MAY BE RETURNED TO ANY OF THE FIRE STATION WATER RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION SITES.