Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan wants Detroit City Council to amend the current fiscal budget to allow his administration to use $156 million in surplus funds for city improvements and protecting retiree pensions.
Duggan is proposing to use $86 million to help fix up city parks, as well as remove blighted buildings, dangerous trees and replace sidewalks.
In addition, the plan calls for buying new cars for the city’s People Mover system and developing a State Fair Transit Center.
The proposal for city improvements breaks down the spending as follows:
- $20.5 million neighborhood sidewalk replacement program to address approximately 70,000 damaged sidewalk slabs across the city.
- $16.2 million to renovate city parks ahead of schedule with new landscaping, equipment, and other amenities.
- $13 million for demolition of dangerous or unsalvageable buildings that are unable to use Proposal N bonds.
- $5 million for dangerous/dead tree removal.
- $19.9 million for transportation, including replacement cars for the Detroit People Mover.
- $17.9 million in additional one-time expenses, including replacement bulletproof vests for police officers, elections equipment, citywide blight mapping, expanding EV fleets, and pandemic response.
Duggan wants to earmark $70 million to pad the city’s retiree protection plan and risk management fund.
The mayor says the city has more money available than officials initially estimated because an influx of new jobs has created extra tax revenue.
He also cites a recent University of Michigan study that Detroit could still grow its economy — even in the midst of a moderate recession.