State releases Allen Park from receivership

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Allen Park is no longer under receivership and city leaders can now manage its finances without state oversight, Michigan Department of Treasury officials announced Tuesday.

The department’s decision follows a recommendation from members of the Allen Park Receivership Transition Advisory Board, which was appointed in 2014. That September, Gov. Rick Snyder announced that the city’s financial emergency found in 2012 had been resolved after its structural and cumulative deficits were eliminated, among other measures.

Since the group was appointed, the city “has made significant financial and operational progress,” the Treasury said Tuesday — including increasing its general fund balance; passing 10-year public safety and road millages; and saving $1.1 million by tendering 62 percent of Allen Park’s outstanding bonds issued through the Michigan Finance Authority. Meanwhile, the municipality also made required contributions into the pension and retiree healthcare systems, including an additional $500,000 annual payment toward other post-employment benefit liabilities.

“On behalf of the city, I express my gratitude to the members of the Receivership Transition Advisory Board for their professionalism during Allen Park’s transition from emergency management to local control,” said Allen Park Mayor William Matakas in a statement. “I look forward to working with local and state officials to ensure we continue down a path of financial success.”

With the Local Financial Stability and Choice Act releasing the city from receivership and ending the advisory board, Allen Park leaders can regain control and proceed with tasks such as approving ordinances, the Treasury said.

“This is an important day for the residents of Allen Park, the city and all who worked diligently to move the city back to fiscal stability,” state Treasurer Nick Khouri said in a statement. “The cooperation of state and city officials to problem-solve complex debt issues now provides the community an opportunity to succeed independently. I am pleased to say that the city is released from receivership and look forward to working with our local partners in the future.”