Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board approves 30-year lease of Belle Isle to State of Michigan

DETROIT (WXYZ) - After a unanimous vote the Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board in Lansing approved Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's plan for Detroit to lease Belle Isle to the state for 30 years.

This will help the city save up to 6 million dollars a year it was said during the meeting where the vote took place.

It is a lease Detroit City Council members said should have been shorter.  They asked for a 10 year lease, saying the city is set to make a financial turn-a-round.  They also wanted to require the state invest a minimum amount of money.

"We want to save the city money by leasing Belle Isle to the state," said Detroit City Councilman James Tate. "But we also want accountability."

The Emergency Manager's Spokesperson, Bill Nowling, says that there is no minimum amount guaranteed because the state hasn't looked into all the park will need over the next 30 years.  He says the process to make plans will be transparent, and the state will make improvements. He says the 30 year term was needed to allow for financing of improvements.

The state now gets a chance to inspect Belle Isle,  and then in ninety days if all goes as planned the lease will start.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the state has many partners that will bring improvements right away.  For example MDOT will help with maintaining roads and Michigan State Police and DNR officers with security.


"This is a city-state partnership that makes good sense for the future of  Belle Isle and the people of Detroit," said Gov. Rick Snyder.

When the lease goes into effect people will need to have a state recreation passport to enter the park.  It is $11 per vehicle per year for Michigan residents and provides entry into all state parks.

After a unanimous vote the Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board in Lansing approved Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's plan for Detroit to lease Belle Isle to the state for 30 years.

This will help the city save up to 6 million dollars a year it was said during the meeting where the vote took place.

It is a lease Detroit City Council members said should have been shorter.  They asked for a 10 year lease, saying the city is set to make a financial turn-a-round.  They also wanted to require the state invest a minimum amount of money.

The Emergency Manager's Spokesperson, Bill Nowling, says that there is no minimum amount guaranteed because the state hasn't looked into all the park will need over the next 30 years.  He says the process to make plans will be transparent, and the state will make improvements. He says the 30 year term was needed to allow for financing of improvements.

The state now gets a chance to inspect Belle Isle,  and then in ninety days if all goes as planned the lease will start.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the state has many partners that will bring improvements right away.  For example MDOT will help with maintaining roads and Michigan State Police and DNR officers with security.

"This is a city-state partnership that makes good sense for the future of  Belle  Isle and the people of Detroit," said Gov. Rick Snyder.

When the lease goes into effect people will need to have a state recreation passport to enter the park.  It is $11 per vehicle per year for Michigan residents and provides entry into all state parks.

You can contact 7 Action News Reporter Kim Russell at krussell@wxyz.com.

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