A black-owned construction firm has been put in charge of replacing the lead-contaminated water pipes in Flint, Michigan. W.T. Stevens Construction has been awarded a multi-million dollar service contract to replace more than 18,000 lead corroded pipes across the city of Flint.
W.T. Stevens Construction has been awarded a multi-million dollar service contract to replace more than 18,000 lead corroded pipes across the city of Flint. The company, which is made up of 25 employees, is one of four companies that have been contracted under a court order to complete the task.
Created by black entrepreneur W.T. Stevens in the 1990s, the construction firm is now led by Stevens’ daughter Rhonda Grayer and her husband Jeff Grayer (Jeff is also a former NBA player, having played for the Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks). Rhonda serves as the company’s vice president while Jeff serves as its project manager.
“This is home for me and my family and I wasn’t going to sit back and do nothing as a person or as a businessman,” Jeff said in an interview with TNJ.com. “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.” Jeff expects to have 6,000 water lines replaced in the city by the end of 2017, with all 18,000 lead pipes replaced by December 2019.
Recently, the Flint City Council agreed to stop issuing tax liens on homes with unpaid water bills, following outrage from residents about the city’s handling of its water crisis.
The council voted on and passed a resolution that puts a year-long suspension on the city’s policy of imposing tax liens on homes throughout the city that have outstanding water bills.