Detroit to lose 50 parks in wake of failed Belle Isle deal

Published On: Feb 01 2013 11:30:08 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 01 2013 05:28:50 PM EST

Mayor Dave Bing said the aftermath of the failed Belle Isle lease deal with the state has left with the city short on cash. “When we thumb our nose at $6 million, I think its nuts," Bing said

DETROIT -

Detroit is losing 50 parks.

READ LIST: Detroit parks that are closing in Spring 2013

Mayor Dave Bing on Friday said the aftermath of the failed Belle Isle lease deal with the state has left with the city short on cash.

Had the deal been approved, Belle Isle would have been managed by the state for 30 years. Residents would have paid a $10 annual vehicle pass but upkeep and renovations would have been paid for by the state, saving the city of Detroit millions of dollars a year.

The offer from the state was yanked this week by Gov. Rick Snyder after City Council failed to vote on it.

“When we thumb our nose at $6 million, I think its nuts," Bing said. "We had a deal that was workable, doing, that would not have closed parks. Why we didn't act on that, I don't know," Bing said. "We got to stop all of this wishful thinking and all of this pie in the sky. Let’s be real with each other. People want to help, we need the help.”

Bing called the plan a "no-brainer" and said that although he's disappointed and angry, it's time to go forward with practical decisions and not emotional decisions to do the best the city could do with what they had.

Other city parks to go longer without grass cutting

General Services Department Director Brad Dick said other parks are going to have to be pushed back to longer maintenance cycles -- some as much as 40 days.

“They will look pretty awful," Dick said -- referring to the fact that grass and trash won't be picked up as often.

Recreation centers affected, too

A planned extension of operational hours will not proceed at six City recreation centers: Adams-Butzel; Coleman A. Young; Patton; Williams; Heilmann; and the Northwest Activities Center.  The Recreation Department must also terminate plans to hire 10 fulltime employees and 40 part-time employees to help launch new programs, especially those designed for young people and senior citizens.

Gallery

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INFO: Detroit parks closing, services cut for others

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