Belle Isle to become state park?
October 3, 2013
The Detroit News reports that Governor Rick Snyder has made a deal with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr for the State of Michigan to lease Belle Isle for 30-60 years:
Under the deal, Detroit will not receive any direct monetary payment for the lease, but state operation of Belle Isle is expected to save the cash-strapped city $4 million to $6 million annually, officials said. The state also plans to apply for grants to invest $10 million to $20 million in the park’s aging infrastructure.
The deal also gives the council, which was largely sidelined when Orr took over City Hall in March, the chance to approve the lease or offer an alternative plan that would save the same amount of money.
Starting Jan. 1, Detroiters and other state residents would be required to have Michigan’s $11-a-year Recreation Passport on their vehicles to enter the park. Pedestrians, bicyclists and individuals using public transportation could get onto the island for free.
The president of the Belle Isle Conservancy said the lease agreement is “a very important step” toward keeping the park in the public’s hands at a time when city assets are being targeted for liquidation in Detroit’s historic bankruptcy.
Under Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law, the Detroit City Council has 10 days to approve the lease or propose an alternative that would save the same amount of money or more. Read on for more.
About his photo Derek writes:
Taken from a few miles away ( 3.4 miles I believe ) on the 63rd floor of the Rencen, Detroit’s Belle Isle Park is one of the most popular summer destinations in the city. The land was purchased in 1879 and opened to the public 10 years later – the park itself was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the designer of New York City’s Central Park. Admission is free but on a hot summer day get there early or all the best spots on this 982 acre island will be taken. It is America’s largest City-Owned Island Park.
PS: Go back in time at Belle Isle on Michigan in Pictures.