In spring of 2013, Flint Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz proposed a construction of alternative water supply infrastructure as a solution to Flint financial crisis. Negotiations took place between KWA (Karegnondi water authority) Water Authority ) CEO Jeff Wright, Governor Rick Snyder, state treasurer Andy Dillon, and a number of water corporations. The project was approved shortly, securing contracts for KWA, L. D’Agostini & Sons, American Cast Iron Pipe Company, E & L Construction, Veolia North America, AECOM, Lockwood, Andrews and Norman, and a law firm, Mayer Brown.
As Flint moved away from long term future contracts with Detroit, treasured Andy Dillon encouraged DWSA (Detroit Water and Sewage Authority) to increase the rates, making reliance on Detroit water supply during the construction of the pipeline more expensive and ultimately unfeasible for Flint.
On June 26, 2013, in response to these changes, Ed Kurtz signed an order authorising companies contracted for the pipeline to also explore the possibility of tapping into Flint River as a water source for the city during the years of the construction. Ed Kurtz however ensured that the counties surrounding Flint remained on the Detroit pipeline and only Flint was redirected to a supply from the Flint River, a switch that led to a corrosion of pipes and mass poisoning of the city.
Since then, close to US$60 million has been spent on solutions to the Flint water crisis. In 2017, during an annual budget hearing, Governor Snyder requested another US$45 million in additional funding. US$285 million has been budgeted for the KWA pipeline itself. It would take the city of Flint 28 years to pay off this debt.
Flint City Councillor, Eric Mays - Flint Michigan, 2017