Council votes to approve key contract; city will receive $30M from state

DETROIT (WXYZ) - City Council has agreed to pass the contentious Miller-Canfield contract in a five to four vote Tuesday.

It  was one of the milestones the Detroit leaders needed to reach in order to draw money from a  state escrow account.

The council had voted down the contract for legal services with Miller Canfield just a few weeks ago, but some said it was now in the best interest of the city to overlook some shortcomings for the greater good.

"Sometimes you have to hold your nose and vote, that's how I voted on Miller-Canfield," said Council President Charles Pugh.

During the session Tuesday, critic Marie Thorton had multiple outbursts. One included laying on the ground and refusing to leave the meeting. Eventually Thorton was permitted to stay.

Like Thorton, many other Detroit citizens are upset, saying council is bending to the state and the mayor under Public Act 4, which was repealed by voters.

The city is up against time right now. Without the state releasing the escrow money, Detroit  could run out of cash by the end of the month.

Despite today's late morning vote, the state treasury department says it has not yet received a request from the city for the escrow money. That mean the $10-million that are now available since the city reached November's milestones will not be released until a request is sent.

In separate news, the city council also narrowly approved a land deal with Hantz Farms. The company wants to purchase 140-acres of land near Indian Village to develop urban farms.

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