For Release Friday, September 27, 2013
Thanks to the dedicated efforts of regional citizens – individuals from all sectors who think regionally and act cooperatively – a growing array of recent initiatives are addressing some of the Detroit region’s most pressing challenges.
The relatively new Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority is refurbishing Cobo Hall, the convention center, and using a regional hotel tax to keep it competitive in the future. Similarly, voters in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties passed two 10-year property tax levies, one in 2008 to keep the Detroit Zoo open and one last year to keep the world-renowned Detroit Institute of the Arts open.
A Regional Transit Authority has been created to coordinate and expand the region’s bus and transit services. It has the power to merge services and put a regional tax on the ballot to stabilize support for those critical services. Discussions are underway to lease the city’s Belle Isle Park to the state of Michigan to make critical improvements in this beloved facility.
None of those efforts has been easy, and all have seen setbacks along the way. However, they have saved regional assets that were helping stretch the City of Detroit’s financial capacity to the breaking point.