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Pontiac is closer to leaving receivership and overseeing its own finances, city officials announced Thursday.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder had appointed a receivership transition advisory board nearly four years ago to lead the Oakland County city’s transition back to local control after declaring the financial emergency rectified. And on Thursday, the board unanimously voted to recommend terminating receivership.

Once the governor approves the move, financial orders left by the emergency manager are slated to remain in place for a year and the advisory board will be dismissed, Pontiac representatives said in a statement.

Advisory board Chairman Edward Koryzno commended city leaders “for making the significant progress in improving the city’s financial condition. The residents should be very thankful for leadership that’s been exercised in the last four years.”

The state took over Pontiac finances in 2009, after authorities determined the city’s red ink was threatening to send it into bankruptcy.

Under three emergency managers the city dramatically cut expenses, chopped the workforce and either combined or eliminated with some departments. They whittled down $87 million in debt partly by selling off costly or underused city-owned properties like its wastewater treatment facility and the Pontiac Silverdome, while shuttering community centers and a golf course.

In August 2013, Snyder granted a request to end the state-declared emergency, which triggered the formation of the receivership transition advisory board.

Last year, the group unanimously approved changes to return spending powers to local government. Until then, the City Council had been banned from approving any contracts or purchases exceeding $10,000.

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