Finance

Michigan to Give $194.5M to Help Detroit Exit Bankruptcy

by | June 20, 2014
 

By Kathleen Gray

Gov. Rick Snyder will travel to the Globe building in Detroit on Friday to sign a package of bills that will send $194.5 million to Detroit to help the city emerge from bankruptcy.

The building serves as a powerful symbol, Snyder said today, because it, too, has transformed.

"The Globe building is a great representation of the comeback of Detroit. It's a 100-year-old-plus building that was essentially vacant in the last 20 years," Snyder said. "It was one of the key industrial buildings in Detroit for decades. It's been vacant and now it's coming back, and that's the same kind of message for the city."

The Globe Trading Building, on Atwater along the Detroit Riverfront, had been targeted for demolition when a plan to place all three casinos in Detroit along the riverfront between the Renaissance Center and Belle Isle. But that plan died, and the building went into disrepair until the state invested $12.8 million to transform it into a recreation center for the relatively new Milliken State Park along the Detroit River.

Snyder will sign the legislation, which sends money to Detroit and attaches strings to the funding. A nine-member commission will oversee the city's finances, budgets and contracts for at least 13 years and set the level of contributions made to city employees' retirement and health care plans.

The state's proposed onetime contribution would be combined with $370 million pledged from charitable foundations and $100 million from the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Snyder said he continues to encourage retirees to vote in favor of yes on the city's plan of adjustment "because it's in their best interest, along with the city and state. So far, the voting is working in a positive fashion."

Pensioners have until July 11 to vote on the package. The so-called grand bargain of money from the state, DIA and foundations goes away if pensioners vote against the plan of adjustment.

As far as the city emerging from bankruptcy by Oct. 1, Snyder said he wouldn't speculate on when it actually will happen, "but it would be great to have them finish up by then."

The invitation-only bill signing will begin at 10 a.m. Friday. "I'm looking forward to tomorrow in terms of signing the bills," Snyder said.

(c)2014 the Detroit Free Press

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