Detroit plans to sell off closed fire stations. By Bryan Dyne 5 June 2013 Eight vacant buildings once operated by the Detroit Fire Department─seven fire stations and the former firehouse headquarters─are being sold by the city of Detroit to private investors and developers to be transformed into restaurants, wineries or micro-distilleries in an effort to raise money for the city.
The minimum bid for the fire stations are $637,000 while the former headquarters is being sold for $1.25 million. It is not yet clear who has bought the fire stations or for what price, though it is known that Southfield, Michigan developer Walter Cohen has plans to purchase the former headquarters and turn it into a boutique hotel. He plans to have eighty upscale rooms and a Cajun restaurant on the first floor. Pay cuts coming to Detroit police, fire officers - Aug. 2, 2013. The 10% cuts apply to 1,200 police lieutenants and sergeants and 400 comparable officers in the fire department.
The cuts, announced this week, will take effect in September. Bill Nowling, spokesman for Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager overseeing the city's reorganization effort, said other city employees took the same 10% cut in 2012. The cuts for these officers was delayed because of union contracts that were in effect. Detroit firefighters protesting bankruptcy discuss expanding fight against pension and budget cuts.
By our reporters 25 July 2013.
Fewest cops are patrolling Detroit streets since 1920s. Detroit — There are fewer police officers patrolling the city than at any time since the 1920s, a manpower shortage that sometimes leaves precincts with only one squad car, posing what some say is a danger to cops and residents.
Detroit has lost nearly half its patrol officers since 2000; ranks have shrunk by 37 percent in the past three years, as officers retired or bolted for other police departments amid the city's bankruptcy and cuts to pay and benefits. Left behind are 1,590 officers — the lowest since Detroit beefed up its police force to battle Prohibition bootleggers. "This is a crisis, and the dam is going to break," said Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association. "It's a Catch-22: I know the city is broke, but we're not going to be able to build up a tax base of residents and businesses until we can provide a safe environment for them. " Police Chief James Craig acknowledges he doesn't have as many officers as he'd like. Staffing challenges Deployment shuffle. Detroit firefighters speak out on bankruptcy. By Tim Rivers and Jerry White 29 July 2013 In fire stations across the city of Detroit, discussions are being held about the impact of the city’s bankruptcy filing and initial efforts by rank-and-file firefighters to mobilize opposition to the emergency manager’s attack on pensions and essential services.
Last week, scores of red T-shirted firefighters, organized in the ad hoc Public Safety Workers Action Group (PSWAG), fanned out across the city holding informational pickets and protests outside of fire stations and the Federal Bankruptcy Court. They have explained the connection between decades of layoffs, fire station closings and other budget reductions, and the increased dangers facing residents in the sprawling city of 139 square miles.
Since 1983, the number of firefighters has been reduced from 1,800 to 830, and the number of fire companies reduced from 77 to 42. “Why stay on the job and risk your life with no guarantee of a future?” “It’s all about money. Some Detroit officers don’t like city’s time clock plan. Is Detroit getting better? Some key findings. Detroit Rising: One year after exiting bankruptcy, are city services in Detroit improving?
How is Detroit doing one year after leaving bankruptcy? Any realistic estimation of the city's progress has to take more than finances into account. As Detroit approaches the anniversary of its exit from emergency control and bankruptcy, we look at a range of city services to see whether daily life has actually changed for the majority of Detroit's residents. Streetlights Entity: Public Lighting Authority of Detroit This new entity, using bond money, is a $185-million project to modernize Detroit’s streetlight system.
Result: Residents are generally happy, but some have complained the new lights do not cover as much area as the old ones, including leaving sidewalks in the dark. Blight Entity: The Detroit Land Bank Authority Since May 2014: More than 7,000 blighted homes torn down The city now routinely demolishes 100-150 houses a week. Tax collection. Detroit could leave state's financial oversight by 2017. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan told the City Council today that the city’s 2016-17 financial plan would mark the third straight year of balanced budgets, clearing the way for Detroit to come out of state oversight in 2017 — even with a $490-million hole in pension funding the city must begin to address.
Detroit will end the current fiscal year with a surplus of at least $30 million on its $1.077-billion general fund budget, Duggan and the city’s chief financial officer, John Hill, told the council this morning in the administration’s presentation of the budget. “We are running this city in a responsible manner,” Duggan said, cautioning the council that it is critical that the city stay within its next budget so Detroit will be positioned to move out of state oversight as early as December 2017.