You have probably heard all about the Flint Water Crisis over the past few years. A federal judge recently approved the $97 million settlement that will pay to replace at least 18,000 water lines in Flint, Michigan. The battle isn’t over for these residents, however. Since the settlement was approved, the county has begun asking residents to pay their past water bills and if they choose not to, they will be forced out of their homes and their homes will be foreclosed on.
That’s right. The county actually expects their residents to pay for water that was literally poisonous. Over two years ago, this water was deemed dangerous due to high levels of lead and other toxins. Since then, it has affected the entire county, causing illness and even death. Heavy metal poison is just one of the many health issues caused by drinking this tainted water. This can cause headaches, vomiting, abdominal pain, lack of appetite, joint pain, and more. Even though the water in Flint can cause so many dangerous health effects, the county is still expecting residents to pay.
NBC 25, a trusted Michigan news station, stated that at least 8,000 residents have already received notices from the county threatening them with tax liens on their home if they have not paid their water bill in the last 6 months. After living with undrinkable water for the last 2 years, residents are now having to worry about being kicked onto the streets.
One resident and water activist from the area recently received a bill for almost $900 and was given the strict deadline of May 19 to pay her past due balance before a lien is placed on her home. She and many other Flint residents feel that it is outrageous to be expected to pay for water that was poison, water they haven’t even been able to drink in so long.
The county has justified this harsh treatment by stating that revenue is needed for Flint, Michigan. After bringing in almost $3 million off the warnings last month alone, they will almost double their revenue by continuing to send out these notices and they plan to do just that.
Congressman Dan Kildee is standing behind Flint residents stating that families should not have to pay for water that they cannot drink. He believes these families deserve support from the state after everything they have been through over the past two years.
The people of Flint are paying for a service: good clean water. The service was not delivered. Therefore they shouldn’t have to pay. It is absurd that they are expected to pay to poison themselves. Being forced to pay for a non delivered service seems criminal to me. Lets hope Flint gets the full funding it needs to fix this, if we have money for the War in Iraq and bailing out Wall Street, there is no excuse for our country poisoning it’s own citizens. Scenarios like this are making the United States lose it’s moral high ground.