PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) - The financial emergency is finally over in Pontiac and 7 Action News set out to see how the city has changed over the past four years.
Governor Rick Snyder said a Transition Advisory Board has been appointed to guide the city as the mayor and city council retake control.
John McDonald has lived in Pontiac for 30 years and says things are finally getting back to good again.
“Yep, it’s looking up pretty good,” said John McDonald. He and others on his street tell 7 Action News they feel the safest they have in years with Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.
“When they get one come, it’s not long before they get another one and another one,” said McDonald.
“More response time is good,” said his neighbor.
Since the department took over patrols in Pontiac, crime has been cut in half. The merger happened under an Emergency Manager to save the city roughly $2 million dollars a year.
Glenn Konopaske said without the financial overhaul, he probably would have set up his business, Future Help Designs, elsewhere.
“I think we probably would’ve ended up in the tech corridor in Detroit,” said Glenn Konopaske.
A private program helped bring the company to downtown Pontiac in 2011, but the safe and more stable environment helped convince Glenn, and has convinced large scale developments to set up shop here.
“We know people are enjoying living down here. Now that you have a market, a fitness center, and a new restaurant that opened up,” said Konopaske.
Glenn also serves as president of the Downtown Business Association and said that Emergency Manager Lou Schimmel made a positive difference.
“He made sure that we weren’t working with Lou. We were working with city management, and we tried to work with city council members and everyone else that would be in place after he left,” said Konopaske.
The city still has a long way to go. Everyone knows you cannot completely rebuild in a city in just four years, but they are well on their way.
“Things are sort of slow but I think there will be a turnaround. Yep,” said McDonald.
The city’s bond rating improved and Pontiac is now considered a financial stable outlook.
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