Mayor of Detroit and Michigan Governor Unite on Deal to Lease Detroit’s Famous ‘Belle Isle’

Detroit's Belle Isle is being leased to the state.

If you know anything about Detroit, Michigan, affectionately known as The D, one of the favorite and one of the most famous venues is a unique island that sits between the city and another country, Canada. Now the city is in danger of losing the island to the state.

Belle Isle is where everyone has at one time or another had a family reunion, birthday party, or simply hung out on the “strip” to show off their ride and socialize.  Well, the Detroit treasure has been a bargaining chip between the city and the state for some time.  Residents have long feared that the city would leased or sell the island to an outside company that would change the island in ways that the city’s resident would not appreciate.  

At the top of the list of those complaints is the restrictions that will be placed on the city’s residents.  Mayor David Bing has struck a deal with Governor Snyder to lease the island to the state for 30 years and charge a $10 per year passport fee to come and go from the island, according to the Detroit Free Press.  The Department of Natural Resources will operate the island as a state park.

The City Council is not completely sold on the deal and they have not been privy to all the details.  Councilman Kwame Kenyatta and Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, held a protest rally because they don’t want the state to take over the park. City Council Chairperson Charles Pugh, said the latest proposal limits the state’s proposed lease to 30 years, but he said he wants the agreement to contain a way for the city to back out of the lease if need be:

“Even if we have to pay to get out of it, I still want an out,” Pugh said. “I don’t want to bind future mayors and councils for a third of a century. I want them to be able to revisit this in 10 years” to decide if the deal remains beneficial.”

Well, Detroit!  It’s not a completely done deal as of yet.  Let’s see what happens.

Read more here.

-J.C. Brooks

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