Downtown fountain goes dry because city is broke

Riverfront fountainThe city of Detroit is so broke it can’t afford to turn on its popular fountain at Hart Plaza along the riverfront.

City officials said it would cost $300,000 to $400,000 to activate the Horace E. Dodge and Son Memorial Fountain after it was vandalized in January.


It’s just the latest city service to be slashed as Detroit careens toward bankruptcy. Grass is chest-high in many neighborhoods because the city can’t afford to cut it. Toppled trees, light poles and road signs are scattered throughout the city. And malfunctioning fire hydrants are left unfixed.

The General Motors Plaza fountain behind the Renaissance Center also isn’t operating because of maintenance problems, according to the building’s management company.

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.