Leslie receives $1 million grant to replace water mains in city

Posted at 7:38 PM, Sep 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 19:38:53-04

A Mid-Michigan community has received $1 million dollars in grant money to upgrade it's water and sewer systems.

The city of Leslie received the Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement grant from the Michigan Economic Corporation. It was one of eight communities to receive the grant.

Since 2014, Fox 47 News has told you about about yellow water coming out of the taps.

"The water is very bad," said Mike Valdez, who's lived in Leslie for over 30 years. "The rust is bad enough to ruin your clothes over and over, the state of it smells like gas and rotten eggs."

Oak, Covert, and Race streets will be town up for larger 12-inch water mains to be installed. Once that's complete, houses will then be reconnected and road will be repaved.

"It really helps us out because it would of taken two and a half years without spending a dime on anything else for us to be able to raise this kind of revenue, so its a life saver," said Aaron Desentz, Leslie's city manager.

Desentz says replacing the city's 80-year-old plus water mains is only part of what will fix the problem. New changes in water treatment are scheduled to be in place by the end of the year which will help fix the problem.

"The addition of aeration and detention is going to increase the pH of our water so that way the water doesn't want to pick up iron sediment in those pipes," said Desentz. "Its also going to allow sulfur gases to gas off from the water naturally."

Valdez has since been received a case of bottled water a week for the city. He understands the city is doing what it can to fix the problem.

"They try their hardest to do something but they can't, bottom line the money is not there," said Valdez.

Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2017 and wrap up in December 2017.