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Michigan says it's willing to spend millions to restore Flint properties ripped up by pipe replacement

City of Flint offering tours of water facility on 10-year anniversary of water crisis
City of Flint offering tours of water facility on 10-year anniversary of water crisis 02:18

The state of Michigan said it's willing to step in and oversee property repairs at 1,900 homes in Flint where water pipes have been inspected or replaced but the grounds remain a mess.

The city in March was found in civil contempt by a judge after blowing past deadlines to get the work done, years after a water switch in Flint in 2014 caused lead to leach off old pipes, spoiling the drinking water system.

Between 10,000 and 11,000 lead or galvanized steel pipes have been replaced, under a lawsuit settlement between Flint and residents, the Natural Resources Defense Council said.

"But there are 1,900 homes where the city has not gone back to fix the property," NRDC attorney Sarah Tallman said, noting broken driveways and sidewalks and ripped-up lawns.

In a court filing, the state asked U.S. District Judge David Lawson to allow it to step in.

"The state has agreed to assume responsibility for managing the work being conducted by the city's contractors, including payment of additional funds required to complete that work," the attorney general's office said Wednesday.

Flint has no objection to the state's help. The balance of the work will likely cost more than $4.75 million.

"We welcome the state's involvement," Tallman said. "Our goal is just to finish the job. It's already years overdue, and the city has not lived up to its commitments."

Nearly $100 million for the overall pipe replacement project came from state and federal governments. Flint returned to a Detroit-area water supplier in fall 2015.

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