Detroit City Council members this week start reviewing a plan to "get the blight finally erased," as Mayor Mike Duggan puts it.
He pushes a $250-million bond issue to help eliminate thousands of derelict properties by mid-2025. Voter approval is required for the 30-year borrowing authority, and Duggan hopes to put it on city ballots next March 10, the date of statewide Democratic and Republican presidential primaries. A council OK by Dec. 17 is needed to include the propoisal in that first election of 2020.
Christine Ferretti of The Detroit News provides context:
The mayor's plan comes as the last of $265 million in federal dollars to raze blighted homes in Detroit winds down, leaving the city at the "halfway point," he said, with nearly 19,000 more vacant houses to demolish or restore.
"We feel like we have an obligation as a city to get every abandoned house out of every neighborhood," Duggan told The Detroit News. "This is the proposal that will do this. We're confident this will get the blight finally erased." . . .
The administration will ask the council to support a plan to allocate an average of $15,000 to $20,000 per house for renovation, when it's feasible, sparing some of Detroit's blighted properties from being razed.
The general obligation bonds wouldn't raise property taxes above the current rate of 9 mills, say the mayor and his chief financial officer, Dave Massaron.
Massaron said the city has nearly $675 million in capital borrowing capacity for this kind of debt.
Fox 2 News covers the topic in this three-and-a-half-minute segment: