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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Michigan Allots $87 Million to Replace Flint’s Tainted Water Pipes

By JULIE BOSMANMARCH 27, 2017


The State of Michigan has agreed to spend $87 million in a proposed settlement to replace thousands of lead pipes throughout Flint over the next three years, the latest effort by state and city officials to fix the contaminated water system.

The state may use a combination of federal and state funds for the project, which, if approved, would settle a lawsuit brought last year by a coalition of Flint residents and national groups. The suit blamed city and state officials for failing to protect residents from drinking lead-tainted water for more than a year.

A federal judge is expected to review the agreement during a hearing in Detroit on Tuesday. The proposed deal also calls for the state to provide free bottled water and to conduct extensive testing of Flint’s tap water for lead in the coming months. By January 2020, the agreement says, the city will have replaced pipes in and around thousands of homes — perhaps 18,000 of them — speeding up a project that began last year to replace corroded lead pipes. Pipes made of lead or galvanized steel are expected to be replaced with copper.

“This proposed agreement is a win for the people of Flint,” said Dimple Chaudhary, a lawyer for the National Resources Defense Council. “It provides a comprehensive framework to address lead contamination in Flint’s tap water. The agreement is a significant step forward for the Flint community, covering a number of critical issues related to water safety.”

The lawsuit was filed against Michigan and Flint officials in January 2016 by a group including the Natural Resources Defense Council; the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan; Concerned Pastors for Social Action; and Melissa Mays, a Flint resident. The group asserted that the state and the city were in violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Ari Adler, a spokesman for Gov. Rick Snyder, said he could not comment because the agreement was still under mediation.

Under the terms of the deal, residents are entitled to lead testing of their water four times a year. Residents who are homebound may receive deliveries of bottled water, and nine distribution centers will offer free bottled water, filters and replacement cartridges for filters.
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Teams dispatched by the city will inspect water filters on faucets, ensure that they are installed correctly and explain proper use to residents, a step to further educate people in Flint about lead contamination.

In April 2014, Flint officials switched the city’s water source from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River, and residents immediately began to report health problems, water discoloration and foul smells from their faucets. It took more than a year before state officials publicly acknowledged the problem. Experts said that water from the Flint River had corroded the pipes and caused lead to leach into the water.

Jacob D. Abernethy, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, collaborated with Flint officials on a study last year that analyzed the water system and the undertaking to replace lead pipes in homes. He said that finishing the replacement in three years seemed possible with enough money and resources.

The pipe replacement in Flint did not begin as quickly as officials had initially hoped. “It’s been a slow project for a lot of reasons,” Mr. Abernethy said. “There’s a lot of hurdles in the way: The City Council has to approve the locations. Every time you want to go to a home, you have to get approval from the homeowner. Contractors encounter problems they didn’t expect to find.”

But after months of construction, he said, officials in Flint “have figured out how to make this thing go fast.”
Post Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:25 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint News

Local contractors unhappy with bidding process for replacing Flint pipes
Updated on June 8, 2016 at 4:23 PM Posted on June 8, 2016 at 3:25 PM
Flint water infrastructure replacement.JPG
Michael McDaniel, project coordinator for Mayor Karen Weaver's Fast Start program replacing lead lines throughout the city of Flint, speaks to a group of potential contractors wanting to submit bids to replace infrastructure in the city under the programs second phase.


By Jiquanda Johnson

FLINT, MI - Local contractors say they will be shut out of the bidding process to replace water lines at about 500 homes in the Flint area because of upfront costs and fees associated with the city's request for proposal process.

Nearly 100 people packed Flint City Council chambers today, June 8, for a mandatory pre-bid meeting to discuss the project which officials hope will start again sometime this month.
Contractors listen city officials at a mandatory pre-bidding meeting on Wednesday, June 8 to address questions and concerns regarding replacing water lines in Flint. (Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com)


"This language is so outdated that it's absurd -- especially for the city of Flint," said Baru Belin, Executive Vice President of Great Lakes Facility Management in Flint. "Everyone has some type of language in their RFP to support local businesses. Even if big companies win the bids, there is no language in place guaranteeing that they hire local contractors to do the work."

Belin shared his concerns during the meeting and was told by city officials that they would look into it.

"All decisions have been made and this is just a dog and pony show at this point," he said.

City officials said they made note of questions and concerns raised in the meeting and said there may be an addendum added to the RFP sometime this week.

Flint's Purchasing Manager, Derrick Jones, did address specification questions but did not specifically address complaints regarding the bidding process during the meeting.

The Flint Journal could not immediately reach Mayor Karen Weaver for comment.

The infrastructure replacement is being done under Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's Fast Start program which was launched in March to replace lead lines at Flint homes. Thirty-three homes had water lines replaced under the program which was paid for by a $500,000 contract state had with Rowe Engineering.


Work on replacing lead service lines for Flint homes has been halted until city officials complete the process to secure bids for infrastructure replacement.

On May 27, the city opened up the bid process for Fast Start. This time officials plan to $2 million the state repaid Flint for reconnecting to back to Detroit's water system last year to continuing replacing infrastructure in Flint.

As it stands, contractors are to bid on the entire project which includes the 500 homes. City officials said even though contractors are bidding on the entire project work will spread out over a number of contractors and they are looking to award each winner 50 to 100 homes.

"That eliminates other small companies because the companies that do sidewalk repairs, yard repairs and excavation work can't submit bids," said Muhammad Abdur-Rahman, operations manager for Barnett Construction Services in Flint. "If you can't bond it, that eliminates some of the contractors."
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Contractors will be required to obtain insurance bonds to cover their bids. For example, if a contractor submits a bid of $1.5 million for the project, they also have to have $1.5 million in insurance.

Some said they were concerned about bidding on more work than their companies could handle, bidding on work that may need to be outsourced, insurance costs and upfront fees associated with the process.

"How do you turn in a bid bond for the entire project if you not going to do them all?" asked Abdur-Rahman who has contracted with the city in the past.

Barnett who is a general contractor said he has contracted with the city in the past.

Chester Coburn said the RFP process is unfair and the city should hold the contract and subcontract with local business. Coburn also said that the city should break the project up by ward.

"It's uncalled for," Coburn said of some of the RFP requirements. "Local contractors in the city of Flint are no qualified. In the city of Flint you have 10 contractors who are qualified to do the job. Right now we are at a standstill and this standstill is going to stay the way it is."

Coburn's company, L.I.G. Construction, specializes in demolition, lead abatement and renovations. His nephew, Lu Walker Jr., said they will not be bidding on the lead line replacement project in Flint.

Initially, officials said they were looking to complete the second phase of the program by August but project coordinator Michael McDaniel told potential contractors that it will take 60 to 90 days to complete this phase of the Fast Start program.

The original timeline of August didn't seem realistic said Flint City Council President Kerry Nelson who also said he was concerned that local businesses are not going to be able to be part of the project under the city's current RFP.

"I have concerns of the community being put to work," Nelson said. "We said (lead line replacement) was going to be behind a lot of the community people in the city and it seems that that's not going to happen."

Nelson said he listened to complaints of contractors while at the meeting and said the council will have to look at some of the concerns before moving forward on any decisions regarding contractors including approving bids.

"What we don't want to do is jump start something and it's not done correctly," Nelson said. "Residents are already upset and been through enough. We really need to look at this and make sure we are heading down the right path."

There are an estimated 43,000 service lines in the Flint including 3,500 lead lines, 9,000 known galvanized lines and 9,000 unknown service lines. McDaniel said all of the lines do not need to be replaced.

The deadline for proposals is June 16.
Post Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:30 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint News

Fast Start plan to replace Flint water pipes stuck in neutral
Updated on May 24, 2016 at 7:10 AM Posted on May 24, 2016 at 7:00 AM
20

By Jiquanda Johnson

Fast Start Program Flint Mayor Karen Weaver kicks off the Fast Start Program to replace lead lines throughout the city.

FLINT, MI - Work on replacing lead service lines for Flint homes has been halted until city officials complete the process to secure bids for infrastructure replacement.

Flint City Administrator, Sylvester Jones said they are about 30 days from finishing the request for proposal process before contractors can submit bids to continue Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's Fast Start program.

"We are getting lots of interest," Jones said. "We are getting a lot of qualified and experience local people who are looking to submit bids."

Jones said after they complete the request for proposal also known as a RFP process they will hold a pre-bidding meeting for potential contractors to discuss the project further but that probably won't happen before next month.

"We are on an aggressive time line," Jones said. "We are hoping to get this going as soon as possible."

In an April 25 Flint Committee of the Whole meeting, Jones said after the Fast Start program relaunches they are looking to replace lines at about 500 homes by August.

The program launched in March using funding provided by the state under a $500,000 contract with Rowe Engineering. The city has plans to use $2 million the state repaid Flint for reconnecting to back to Detroit's water system last year to continuing replacing infrastructure in Flint. Since the launch of the program, 33 homes have had lead-tainted service lines replaced.

Weaver's administration is also pushing state and federal agencies to send more money to continue pipe replacement efforts in Flint.

According to a statement for City of Flint spokeswoman, Kristin Moore, the city is still waiting for federal lawmakers to pass a bill covering the cost to replace service lines in Flint.

"It would no doubt lower the per-home cost to replace the pipes if contractor were bidding on $55 million worth of work rather than $2 million," Moore wrote in a May 13, 2016 email. "By refusing to appropriate the full $55 million, it's impossible to get the best deal for taxpayers. But since state and federal lawmakers still haven't passed the bills that would help Flint rebuild its damaged water system, Mayor Weaver must work with the money she has so far to move the Fast Start pipe replacement plan forward toward its goal of getting the lead out of Flint and that's what she is trying to do."

Before they finalize the RFP process, Jones said, city officials are looking at a number of potential issues and say they are working with community partners to locate abandoned homes, strategically replacing pipes on the same blocks at once and working with Consumer Energy to see if gas lines need to be replaced at homes where infrastructure is being replaced and training needed for contractors replacing lead lines.

"We're hoping that we will be able to do about 500 of these lead service lines," Jones said. "They plan is to really get started now on those 500 to have that work completed by August...We really want to get on this right away to make sure that people see that this administration along with the council area really working together to bring relief to the residents of Flint."

Officials say all of the lead lines in the city do not need to be replaced and they along with a number of community agencies are looking to help research service lines in Flint.

There are an estimated 43,000 service lines in the city including 3,500 lead lines, 9,000 known galvanized lines and 9,000 unknown service lines.
Post Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:41 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint News

More than $35 million approved to replace 6,000 Flint water lines
Updated on April 9, 2017 at 12:58 PM Posted on March 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM
20



By Roberto Acosta

FLINT, MI -- Equipment may begin digging up earth as soon as next month in Flint to replace thousands of lead-tainted water lines to homes in the city.

But some disagreement remains over the process being used to select the companies to complete the work.

City Council members approved seven contracts March 23 totaling more than $35 million for replacement of up to 6,000 pipes and associated clean-up work after city officials pushed for a rebid over claims previous amount proposals came in at too high a cost.

Seven contractors were awarded the work, pending receipt of funds, including $100 million in grant dollars from the federal Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016, $20 million match from the state Department of Environmental Quality and Children Health Insurance grants.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $100-million grant to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to fund drinking water infrastructure upgrades in Flint, funding that had been approved by Congress and former President Barack Obama late last year.

David Sabuda, the city's chief financial officer, said a portion of the funds is expected to be received in the next few days. Michael McDaniel, the coordinator of the Fast Start line replacement program, said contractors expect to replace at least four lines a day once the work begins.

Approximately 800 water lines have been replaced since the beginning of Mayor Karen Weaver's Fast Start Initiative in March 2016. The city has estimated around 20,000 lead and lead-tainted galvanized iron service lines leading from the water main to the water meter of homes still need to be replaced.

Councilwoman Kate Fields cast the lone no vote during the recent approval, with Councilwoman Jackie Poplar not in attendance, arguing the bid process was not being conducted properly.

"I am and a lot of people are concerned about these contracts," she said of the fourth phase of pipe replacement, adding Flint purchasing director Derrick Jones noted the bid did not meet state guidelines at the time.

Fields has submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the state and city of Flint to see documents pertaining any rebid request by the MDEQ after Goyette Mechanical previously submitted a bid for all 10 zones that fit under the state's required $5,000 cap per household for each replacement.

"I would like a written rationale into legal, a written rationale for this pipe rebid," she said. "Unless I see something that's really legitimate, my opinion is that this bid has been corrupted once again."



Flint City Council members say the decision to reopen bids for the fourth phase of a program replacing Flint's lead-tainted pipes reminds them of the controversy surrounding the city's recent trash contract.

McDaniel argued Goyette's bid was non-conforming because the dollar figures were based on a per-home basis and not the length of pipe needed to perform the work.

"It would have been wholly unfair to the other bidders if we were to accept that," he said, while later pointing out the company had calculated the amount per foot based upon an average of 30 feet and using their own inspectors.


Representatives from Goyette did attend a Feb. 22 committee meeting to address the city's decision to reopen bids, saying that their initial bid has been revealed and gives competitors an opportunity to underbid their $4,200 per house submission.

Goyette was one of the companies chosen to work on the second and third phases of the Fast Start program.



The Flint city council has approved two contracts that will fund the third phase of water service line replacement in the city.

Previous bid proposals have gone out with every contractor coming in too high, with the exception of Goyette, McDaniel said.

"It's on me that maybe I tried something new that I shouldn't and it was too confusing," he said. "If so, I take that (responsibility) but we did do it fairly the second time around and everybody bid per address."

Prior to a vote on the contracts, Councilman Herbert Winfrey said "I don't see where there's this attempt to do some skullduggery. If you don't listen, you might miss something."

City officials have said it could still take up to three years to replace all of the service lines, with an average of 6,000 homes to be completed each year through 2019.

Officials say it may take 3 more years to replace Flint's water pipes

Officials say it may take 3 more years to replace Flint's water pipes

The city is looking to replace service lines at 6,000 homes this year continuing with the fourth phase of Mayor Karen Weaver's Fast Start initiative.

Here's a breakdown of the contracts totaling more than $35.6 million, including amounts not be exceeded, the awarded company and work to be performed:

-$10,980,000: WT Stevens Construction Inc. for up to 2,700 residential water line replacements in Zones 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9

-$9,148,500: Goyette Mechanical for up to 2,100 residential water line replacements in Zones 2, 3, 6, and 8

-$5,344,200: Zito Construction for pavement/right-of-way repair restoration services after water service line repair for Zones 2, 4, 8, and 10

-$4,486,500: AFSCME Local 1600/AFSCME Local 1799 for pavement/right-of-way repair restoration services after water service line repair for Zones 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9

-$2,335,950: Waldorf & Sons for up to 600 residential water line replacements in Zone 4

-$1,890,675: Lang Construction Inc. for up to 600 residential water line replacements in Zone 10

-$1,159,650: Yeager Asphalt for pavement/right-of-way repair restoration services after water service line repair for Zone 1
Post Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:00 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint News

Questions raised over Flint lead line replacement contracts
Updated on February 23, 2017 at 7:09 PM Posted on February 23, 2017 at 7:07 PM


By Jiquanda Johnson

FLINT, MI -- Flint City Council members say the decision to reopen bids for the fourth phase of a program replacing Flint's lead-tainted pipes reminds them of the controversy surrounding the city's recent trash contract.

It has also left one contractor seeking the contract claiming the administration is giving competitors an opportunity to undercut their bid.

City officials opened up bidding for the fourth phase of Mayor Karen Weaver's FAST Start program in late January with a Feb. 2 submission deadline.

Since then, officials have reopened the bidding process for the infrastructure replacement program and pushed the submission deadline to March 1 instead.

"I want to find out what went wrong," said Flint City Councilwoman Monica Galloway during a Feb. 22 committee meeting. "The process doesn't seem fair. We had the trash contract. We see what that did. My question is, is this turning into another one of those?"



There were two requests for proposals, one for the water line replacement and another for restoration after the work is completed.

City officials say bids came in too high again, an obstacle Weaver's administration ran into during the second phase of the process when they put out a RFP for the project.

Flint Purchasing Manager Derrick Jones said the bids were too high and didn't meet the financial guidelines required in the state's grant for the project.

Jones and the city's chief financial officer, David Sabuda, said the city has to comply with grant and state requirements.

"State law says we can only spend X amount of dollars per parcel," Sabuda said. "It's right in the law and we will be audited."

Jones added that a memo was sent from program coordinator Michael McDaniel advising the city to reopen the bid process.

Representatives from Goyette Mechanical attended the committee meeting to address the city's decision to reopen bids, saying that their initial bid has been revealed and gives competitors an opportunity to under bid their $4,200 per house submission.

Goyette was one of the companies chosen to work on the second and third phases of the Fast Start program.

Council members asked for information in writing as to why the city is rebidding, criteria for rebidding and a copy of the memo Jones said was sent by McDaniel.

"Here we go again," said Council President Kerry Nelson. "I thought one thing the Rizzo situation taught us is we just need to communicate. We just need to talk."

Both Nelson and Galloway are referring to a trash dispute where eight city council members fought against Weaver's recommendation to give a $17.4-million trash contract to Rizzo Environmental Services.


The issue was settled days after reports that Rizzo was at the center of a federal investigation for corruption and bribery.

"It does not look good, again the way this process was done," Nelson said. "Once the bids come back this time, let me put it on record if it's not (Goyette Mechanical) I won't support it."

Under the Fast Start program, there are plans to complete Flint's infrastructure replacement over the next three years by replacing lead-tainted pipes at an estimated 6,000 houses per year.

So far, officials say there are about 20,000 homes that still need service lines replaced.

Last year, an estimated 800 homes had lines replaced under Mayor Karen Weavers Fast Start program, which launched in March 2016.

From March to April 2016, service lines were replaced at 33 homes under the program's first phase. During phase two, which launched in July, contractors replaced service lines at 250 homes. The rest of the homes had service lines replaced under the program's third phase.

The fourth phase is expected to start in mid- to late-March.

The program's first phase was funded by a $500,000 contract between the state and Rowe Engineering. City officials used $2 million that the state repaid Flint for connecting to Detroit's water system in 2015 for the second phase.

For the third phase, officials tapped into $25 million approved by the Michigan Legislature June 2016 that was allocated for replacing Flint lead-tainted pipes.
Post Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:09 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint RTAB Packet 3-29-17 - State of Michigan
www.michigan.gov/documents/treasury/Flint_RTAB_Meeti...

Mar 16, 2017 ... Resolution #170155 – Contract to Goyette Mechanical for Service Line ... The city of Flint (City) exceeded the AL for lead during the most recent ...
Post Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:33 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The bids are shown in this meeting and it is amazing how WT Stevens can bid $2,000 to nearly $3,000 below the competition.
Post Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:39 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Atlanta Star
Home National Black-Owned Construction Company Awarded Contract to Replace Flint Water Pipes
NationalNews
Black-Owned Construction Company Awarded Contract to Replace Flint Water Pipes
By Tanasia Kenney - May 21, 201707219
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Rhonda Grayer serves as vice president of Black-owned firm W.T. Stevens Construction in Flint, Mich. (Image courtesy of The Hub Flint.com)
A Black-owned construction company in the heart of Flint, Mich., is slated to play a key role in the city’s recovery following a crippling water contamination crisis.

W.T. Stevens Construction, a minority- and woman-owned business enterprise employing about 25 full- and part-time workers, has been awarded a major contract to replace more than 18,000 lead corroded water pipes across the city. The firm was one of four companies awarded a contract but is the only Black-owned and locally based company to ink a multimillion-dollar service deal to carry out the gargantuan project, The Network Journal reported.

“This is home for me and my family, and I was not going to sit back and do nothing as a person or as a businessman,” project manager Jeff Grayer told the magazine. “This is the biggest project our company has ever done and as a result of the water line contract, our gross revenues have increased by about 70 percent.”


Grayer, a former NBA player with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors, works alongside his wife, Rhonda, who heads the company as vice president. The family firm has been in business for 25 years, carrying on the work and legacy of Rhonda Grayer’s father, who the company is named after.

The city of Flint suffered a contamination crisis after a state-appointed emergency manager switched the city’s water source from Detroit’s water to the contaminated Flint River, causing toxic lead to leach into the drinking water. Thousands of men, women and children became sick after they were unknowingly exposed to the lead-tainted water for months before the state notified them of the crisis. It’s been three years since the switch, but many of the city’s residents are still forced to rely on bottled and/or filtered water for drinking, cooking and bathing.

In March 2017, a federal magistrate approved a $97-million settlement mandating that the city replace thousands of contaminated lead pipes. Jeff Grayer said almost 800 waterlines have been replaced so far and 6,000 are expected to be replaced by the end of the year.


“The target is to have all 18,000 lead corroded residential pipes replaced by December 2019,” he told The Journal Network.

Rhonda Grayer rejoiced at the opportunity to rebuild Flint and help those in need.

“I will tell you that it is really exciting and the most important part of it is the opportunity to employ people who may not have had other opportunities,” she said.

More than $250 million in private and federal funds have since been earmarked to help Flint recover from the man-made crisis.
Post Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:54 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Michigan.gov HomeLicense Verification Home|BPL Home|Contact BPL|CS&CL Home|Contact CS&CL|LARA Home
Bureau of Professional Licensing / Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
VERIFY A LICENSE/REGISTRATION
Licensee Information
Name: W T STEVENS CONSTRUCTION INC
QO/Owner: STEVENS, DONALD RAY
Address: Flint MI 48505
County: Genesee
License Information
License Type: Builder - Company
License Number: 2102175141
Specialties:
Status: Active
Limitations:
Issue Date: 02/03/2005
Expiration Date: 05/31/2020
Employed/Managed By
Employer/Manager: STEVENS, DONALD RAY
License Number: 2101214195
Address: Grand Blanc MI 48439
County: Genesee
Post Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:40 am 
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