Grayer and his wife Rhonda Grayer oversee the W.T. Stevens Construction, a Black family-owned construction firm that has been awarded a multi-million dollar service contract to replace more than 18,000 lead corroded pipes across Flint. The construction firm, made-up of 25 employees, is one of just four companies recently contracted under a court order to complete the project TNJ.com reported.
Talk about giving back to your community.
According to TNJ.com, their company is also the only African American-owned and locally-based company to be awarded a multi million dollar service contract. Grayer has yet to divulge the specifics of the project, but stresses that it’s the largest project they have ever done.
“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.”
He added that while they have replaced 800 pipes thus far but that “the target is to have all 18,000 lead corroded residential pipes replaced by December 2019.”
As we previously reported, in order to save money, in April 2014, Gov. Rick Snyder switched the water supply from the Detroit water system to the Flint River, a body of water known to have copious amounts of trash, pollution and iron. And despite residents complaining for 18 months afterwards that something was “funny” about the water, officials assured them that everything was fine, offering them water filters to relieve their anxiety. Since then there have been hundreds of reports of hair loss and rashes, thousands exposed to dangerous toxins and a whopping 9,000 children diagnosed with lead poisoning.
Flint residents were instructed to use only bottled or filtered water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing. As TNJ pointed out, while water quality has returned to acceptable levels this year, residents are told to continue to use bottled or filtered water until all the lead pipes have been replaced.
A court ruled this March in favor of a $97 million settlement to help provide federal funding to replace the pipes. Additionally, Michigan has committed to an additional $10 million. Grayer is confident that this will change the lives of Flint’s residents.
“This is a major project that will ensure public safety and start rebuilding trust between the city and the community…something that has been missing awhile.”