Frustrated with City Council, Gov. Snyder withdraws offer to lease Belle Isle

The deal is off.

After wrangling with city council members for months over leasing Belle Isle to the state, Gov. Rick Snyder said the offer is off the table, his office told Motor City Muckraker.

The state had hoped to make the deal soon so the Department of Natural Resources could prepare its budget for Belle Isle. Now it’s too late, a frustrated Snyder said.

The failed negotiations may accelerate the state’s decision to appoint an emergency manager over the city, which is headed toward bankruptcy, the governor maintains.

The Detroit City Council opted again today to delay voting on the controversial lease agreement, which would have saved the city $6 million a year but would have placed the national treasure in state hands.

A public hearing Monday broke down after opponents of the lease heckled supporters and called some of them racists.

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Steve Neavling is an investigative journalist and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Living on the city’s east side, Neavling explores corruption, civil liberties and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.    

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.