Mayor Bing to city council: Approve lease of Belle Isle or 50 parks will close

Mayor Dave Bing threatened city council today that he would close 50 city parks and other recreation areas if the council doesn’t reconsider its decision on leasing Belle Isle to the state.

Bing was to make the announcement in a press conference this morning.

The cash-strapped city, which soon should be taken over by a state-appointed manager, spends about million a year to maintain Belle Isle, the largest municipal island park in the country.
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Under a deal with the state, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources would take over the park at no cost to the city under a 30-year lease.

Most council members opposed the proposal Tuesday, saying they don’t trust the city gem in state hands.

The council’s refusal to enter into the lease is one reason Gov. Rick Snyder plans to appoint an emergency manager over Detroit within the next two months, as first reported by Motor City Muckraker.

The leading candidate is former Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, a story we broke Thursday.

It’s too early to tell whether Bing’s threats will prompt a revote.

Got tips or suggestions? Contact Steve at [email protected]

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates, investigations and photos of Detroit. 

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.

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