State agencies outline goals to help move Flint forward



LANSING — The state has developed comprehensive action plans focused on improving public health, repairing infrastructure, supporting educational services and creating more and better jobs to make Flint a stronger city after the water crisis, Gov. Rick Snyder said Monday.

“We are committed to addressing immediate concerns and finding longterm solutions to improve the quality of life for the people of Flint,” Snyder said. “Many departments have been involved in addressing the immediate crisis in whatever way they could. At the same time, they have been working on longer-term plans that address Flint’s future prosperity. These action plans lay out our next steps as we continue to work together as one Michigan to solve the challenges residents may face.”

The Michigan Department of Education, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Talent and Economic Development, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and the Talent Investment Agency have coordinated short-, intermediate-, and long-term goals aimed at leveraging services to benefit residents. The plans have been created with input and coordination among local officials, community leaders and residents.

“We need the state to do all it can to help Flint recover and rise from this crisis,” said Ridgway White, president of the Flint-based Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. “We’re pleased to see these robust plans, and our Foundation will continue to work with the state, the city and others to help meet the needs of Flint’s families.”

The action plans feature short-term, intermediate-term and long-term goals addressing healthcare, education, infrastructure and economic improvements. Many of the short-term goals are already in progress, and state agencies are looking to complete intermediate-term goals in the next 60 to 120 days. Long-term objectives will continue to be worked on until finalized.

Key tasks proposed in the action plans include:

Health and Human Services

Children under 6 with high blood lead levels offered professional support and case management.

Work with Flint’s community groups to review grocery options in underserved areas and secure new options if needed.

Add three additional Child and Adolescent Health Centers in the city.

Place professionals trained in development and cognitive screening throughout the county.

Mobile food distribution program meeting community needs geographically.

Water Supply and Infrastructure

Replace drinking water faucets and fixtures in public facilities connected to the Flint water system, including schools, daycares and elder care homes.

Support the city of Flint to identify and prioritize replacement of lead service lines and other infrastructure to ensure Flint’s water system is suitable for drinking and everyday use.

Replace 30 lead services lines with Rowe Professional Services under Mayor Weaver’s Fast Start Program.

Flint (and all Michigan communities) will comply with a much higher standard than existing federal Lead & Copper Rule.

Partner with the city and county to plan for future connection to Karegnondi Water Authority.

Education

Increase resources for Flint Community Schools and Genesee Intermediate School District to expand early education services to children up to age 3.

Add nine school nurses to Flint Community Schools.

Expand free breakfast program into all Flint Community Schools classrooms; partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield to facilitate salad bars at 20 additional schools.

Provide Flint children under 6 with robust screening for additional behavioral health needs.

Jobs and Economic Development

Complete Flint Riverfront Development Project, including removal of Hamilton Dam, by end of 2019.

Finalize $5.5 million financing on redevelopment of Capitol Theater.

Develop home mortgage lending/financing options for undervalued homes.

Complete training and development for at least 500 Flint residents to achieve long-term employment by the end of 2017. – B.P.


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