Detroit City Council puts Belle Isle lease deal on hold, waiting for state to revise proposal

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit City Council has placed a hold on a proposed lease deal that would have allowed the State of Michigan to run Belle Isle.

Some council members say they want to see the length of the lease shortened from 30 years down to 10, and they want details on what improvements will be made on the island.

State officials say they want the deal to be a partnership with the city, and they are working to answer 159 questions presented to them by various council members.

A public hearing that was set to take place this week has been placed on hold until the state presents council with a revised lease proposal. Council expects to have a revised version in the next two to three weeks.

Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh tells 7 Action News, "We've been very clear about what we don't like. So, now the ball is in the state's court to fix what we don't like and come back to us with another lease".

"Where it stands now there are still a lot of questions", said Council member James Tate.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing released the following statement:

"My administration presented City Council with the framework for a proposal that would result in a cost savings of $6.1 million annually to the City and restore Belle Isle's beauty through major improvements, efficient operations and regular maintenance — thereby creating a better quality of life for our residents.  This proposal allows City Council to have significant input in the agreement, yet they are proposing to delay a vote or do nothing at all.  A recent poll showed that 66 percent of those surveyed want the Council to vote favorably on the Belle Isle lease proposal. I simply want the Council to do what the citizens want".

In the proposed lease, drivers will have to buy a $10 annual state park pass to get on the island, but people would still be able to bike and walk onto the island free of charge.

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