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.”
The Flint water crisis began in 2014 when the Flint River became the drinking water source for the city of Flint, Michigan. Due to insufficient water treatment, over 100,000 residents were potentially exposed to high levels of lead in the drinking water. A federal state of emergency was declared in January 2016 and Flint residents were instructed to use only bottled or filtered water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing. As of early 2017, the water quality had returned to acceptable levels; however, residents were instructed to continue to use bottled or filtered water until all the lead pipes have been replaced, which is expected to be completed no sooner than 2020. (Wikipedia).