Flint, MI– The Flint City Council voted to approve a $1.8 million contract to replace a 58-year-old water main under Miller Road before the road is repaved. 

The vote on April 11 came after warnings from officials at previous meetings that without approval, the road would be paved over without the necessary fix.

With council’s approval, the city has entered into a contract with Zito Construction Company for $1,873,634.27 to replace the water main during the repaving of Miller Road. By doing the projects simultaneously, officials say the road won’t have to be torn up a second time–and repaved again–to replace the water main.

The money for the contract is going to come out of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds. 

The city is receiving $94.7 million in ARPA funding as part of a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package intended to aid the country in recovering from the pandemic. Infrastructure is among the approved uses for the funds. 

Councilman Dennis Pfeiffer brought forth a resolution in February to use ARPA funds to replace the water main before the road is paved over. 

“Because if it breaks two months after we redo the road, where’s that money going to come from to repair the road and the water main?” Pfeiffer said at a meeting on Feb. 23. “This is the closest thing we can do to leverage these funds in my mind.”

Mike Brown, the Department of Public Works director, told the council at previous meetings that the existing water main could break at any time. He said that this project would replace the old cast iron water main, installed in 1964, with plastic pipe and new hookups to all the homes down Miller Road into that new pipe.

The council voted 7-0 to approve the resolution. By the time the council voted to approve the resolution, it was more than ten hours into the meeting. Mays and Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter were not present for the vote. 

Lewis, Murphy, Councilwoman Judy Priestley, Councilwoman Tonya Burns, Vice President Allie Herkenroder, Councilman Dennis Pfeiffer, and Worthing voted yes.

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...