Citizens 'Let it Rip' during packed hearing on Belle Isle - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Detroit Citizens 'Let it Rip' during packed hearing on Belle Isle

Posted: Updated:

By Robin Schwartz
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- Belle Isle, a place known for its beauty, peace and tranquility, brought out anger and frustration Monday at a public hearing in city council chambers.

Many people who came to speak lashed out at council members who support a deal to lease Belle Isle to the state.

"They are evil.  They view us with a lack of respect.  They don't care anything about what the people here in the city of Detroit want," a woman said.

The deal involves a 30 year lease with 30 year renewals, but the city and state both have the option to terminate the agreement every ten years.  It's expected to save the city six to eight million dollars in operating costs.  Residents could purchase an $11 pass to gain access to the island and other state parks for a year, but the money generated would go to the DNR and not Belle Isle.

There are also other concerns.

"If this contract is written, it doesn't stop the state from demolishing any of the buildings, bathrooms, bridges on the park if they so choose to," a woman said.

"The state is not doing anything that Detroit cannot already do," another woman remarked.

Supporters say the deal is a prime opportunity to restore the 985 acre park, which has seen better days.

"We wouldn't be here today if Detroit were able to maintain Belle Isle and I wouldn't be here.  I wouldn't need to feel sad about the disrepair and the sorry state of the island," a woman said.

Others call the agreement illegal because the state owes the city money and the charter says the city cannot enter into deals with debtors.

So many people attended the hearing many were forced to sit in an auditorium and watch on a video screen with two armed police officers standing by.

The mayor and the governor both support this plan.  We know at least three city council members oppose it.

It now does not appear council will vote on the issue Tuesday.  It has been taken off the agenda, and, at this point, it is unclear when they will vote.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Detroit Police's 'Green Machine 40' stages crackdown of suspected drug houses

    Detroit Police's 'Green Machine 40' stages crackdown of suspected drug houses

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:34 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:34:02 GMT
    Heavily armed members of the Detroit Police Special Response Team move in -- swarming this house on Tacoma with the state police helicopter overhead.This residence is believed to be a drug house where people were selling cocaine. No evidence and no arrests were found this time, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the message is loud and clear"We'll come back to this location and we'll send the owner a nice note and if we have to come back again we'll take it," said Craig. Elsewhere ther...
    Heavily armed members of the Detroit Police Special Response Team move in -- swarming this house on Tacoma with the state police helicopter overhead.This residence is believed to be a drug house where people were selling cocaine. No evidence and no arrests were found this time, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the message is loud and clear"We'll come back to this location and we'll send the owner a nice note and if we have to come back again we'll take it," said Craig. Elsewhere ther...
  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • 33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:10:22 GMT
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • VIDEO: Witness says man roughed up by Clinton Township police, hospital security

    VIDEO: Witness says man roughed up by Clinton Township police, hospital security

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:25:38 GMT
    In a video spreading across social media, a Michigan man says police and hospital security roughed up a man.
    In a video spreading across social media, a Michigan man says police and hospital security roughed up a man.
  • Large two truck crash closes I-75, second accident nearby

    Large two truck crash closes I-75, second accident nearby

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:57 PM EDT2014-08-01 02:57:29 GMT
    A crash involving two semi trucks shut down I-75 tonight, according to Michigan State Police.
    A crash involving two semi trucks shut down I-75 tonight, according to Michigan State Police.
  • Detroit Tigers acquire pitcher David Price

    Detroit Tigers acquire pitcher David Price

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-08-01 02:35:47 GMT
    The Tigers have acquired pitcher David Price from the Rays in a three-team trade that reportedly involves the Mariners, according to reports. The clubs have not commented on or confirmed the report.  Jackson goes to Mariners; Smyly, Franklin also involved in three-way deal
    The Tigers have acquired pitcher David Price from the Rays in a three-team trade that reportedly involves the Mariners, according to reports. The clubs have not commented on or confirmed the report.  Jackson goes to Mariners; Smyly, Franklin also involved in three-way deal
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices