Proposed 99 -year lease of ‘Detroit Gem’ Belle Isle Draws Controversy @mayordavebing
DETROIT - While thing’s are heating up politically between President Barrack Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney on a national level, on a local level, there is alot going on politically in Detroit as volunteer’s prepare to have a big canvass in celebration for President Obama’s Birthday this Saturday, August 4th 2012.
The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News reported today, that under the terms of the city consent agreement designed by Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Synder to fix the city’s finances. Mayor Dave Bing and others agreed to have the state create funding to maintain the beautiful city park Belle Ilse.
The proposed 99 -year state lease of Belle Ilse has sparked controversy/protests from Detroit politician’s and citizen’s.
Belle Ilse was home to the Grand Prix in 2012 and the city owned public park has more that 3 million visitor’s each year. Belle Ilse has become a second home to generations, many political leader’s outside of Detroit believe that Belle Ilse need’s to be taken under the guidance of the state (under a new proposed 99 -year lease) to maintain it’s natural and historic treasures. All maintenance and upgrade cost’s would be funded by the state Endowment Fund under a cooperative relationship with Milliken State Park.
The new transformed Belle Ilse under state control would resemble William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor that is located in the heart of downtown Detroit. William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor (formerly Tri-Centennial Park) is the first urban state park and offers 31 acres carved out on the banks of the Detroit River will offer a green oasis in the midst of downtown Detroit.
Opponents say that the proposed 99 -year leases is nothing more than the state taking control of the city owned property. About 200 people attended the rally today against the deal and the rally was organized by the popular Detroit City Council member Kwame Kenyatta, who will be retiring from his post after his term is finished.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has addressed the proposed deal in a written statement said “An operating management agreement is being proposed, under which the city would retain ownership of Belle Isle,” and ” Our discussions have been amicable an are progressing well. No final terms have been reached.”
Regardless of the political affiliation, opponent’s of the consent agreement and this current land grab, argue that it directly challenges their political rights and takes away their seat at the political round table.
(Written/Photos by Adrian Mitchell for Woodlawn Post)
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