Detroit council's rejection of Duggan's $250M demolition bond plan to stand

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — The City Council's rejection of the Duggan administration's request to add a $250 million bond proposal to the March ballot will stand.

The City Clerk's Office on Monday confirmed that none of the panel's nine members had filed a motion to have the vote reconsidered by the 4 p.m. deadline. The council turned down the proposal by a 6-3 vote last Tuesday after weeks of contentious debate and a packed town hall meeting that drew upwards of 500 residents, activists, clergy and lawmakers.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaks to the media last week after the Detroit City Council rejected a proposal, 6-3, to put a $250 million bond before city voters in the spring.

The council's vote came soon after Detroit's auditor general released a critical report of city-administered demolition work that cited unreliable data, a lack of transparency and documentation and other failures.

Duggan has said he respected the council's decision and intended to meet with each member to discuss alternatives to the original measure that met opposition over its timing and a lack of details over how the city-funded program will operate going forward and who will oversee it, among other concerns.

Duggan and council members have not counted out the prospect of a proposal to put a bond initiative before voters in November 2020. 

The mayor's effort to come up with additional funding for demolition comes as some $265 million in federal Hardest Hit dollars wind down. Duggan has touted that the 30-year bond would have wiped out the city's remaining 19,000 blighted houses by 2025.

Under its debt-cutting bankruptcy plan, the city gets $50 million each year for blight, $30 million of which is earmarked for residential demolition.