ALLEN PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) - Still reeling from a failed multi-million dollar deal with a Hollywood movie producer, Allen Park could face financial ruin and an emergency manager takeover if city leaders don't take quick action.
Tuesday night the mayor and council failed to reach a deal on a vote to add a two-year, 4-mill levy to the May ballot. The vote was a 3-3 tie, which means the council must vote again. One member was absent.
Mayor William Matakas says the millage is needed to generate $2.6-million in revenue to help pay off the failed land deal that allowed Lifton to move in to the 104-acre facility next door to Allen Park city hall. Lifton and the former mayor of Allen Park, along with former council members, brokered the arrangement in 2009 that eventually ended with Lifton moving out of town. Lifton promised the facility would become a hub for movie making in the midwest and opened a production training center in the space.
Council members who voted down the millage Tuesday night said they did so because they first want police and fire unions to agree to concessions. Officials are asking for a 10% base wage cut and want fire fighters and police officers to pay 20% toward their health premiums. According to the mayor they currently do not pay anything on their health premiums.
If voters approve the millage it would cost the average Allen Park citizen about $167 annually. The mayor says the cost is offset by a drop in home values -- meaning tax assessments are lower than in years past.
The mayor says the state gave him and his administration until the end of the month to outline a plan to stabilize the city's finances.
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