The City of Jackson could be getting a boost from the State of Michigan for its lead water service line replacement program. The City is applying for a $3 million loan from the State to partially cover the $120 million cost of replacing Jackson’s 11,339 lead service lines. The first step of this application process is a public hearing for residents to give input on the project plan. The hearing will take place during the Tuesday, June 8 virtual Jackson City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. It will be live-streamed on the City’s website, Facebook page, and Comcast Cable Channel 21.
The project plan can be viewed on the City website by visiting cityofjackson.org/water. A $3 million loan is available through the Disadvantaged Community Lead Service Line Replacement Program. Because Jackson has a high number of low-income residents and is considered a “disadvantaged community”, the loan will be forgiven by the State through principal forgiveness. The City’s commitment to this project plan would be $300,000 to cover administrative costs.
If awarded, the $3 million funding will cover the cost of replacing an estimated 1,860 lead service lines. The City Council recently approved a 12% water rate increase to pay for lead service line replacements. However, funds generated from that rate increase will not be used until 2024. The proposed $3 million from the State will help the City get a head start on funding replacements, with work planning to ramp up in 2022. City officials also believe it will help lower costs long term, and reduce the financial burden on the City.
Following the hearing, the City Council will vote on the project proposal. Jackson residents are invited to submit written comments on the proposed project plan. All comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on June 8 to be considered as part of the public record. Written comments may be mailed or placed in the drop box in front of City Hall: City of Jackson, Attn: City Clerk, 161 W Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI 49201, or emailed to email@example.com.