Seventy-seven city parks that had been in danger of closing will now stay open, thanks to a 9-0 vote by the Detroit City Council to approve Mayor Dave Bing’s 2010-2011 budget.
The Council’s approval restores $17.8 million to the budget. This would cover the $4.5 million needed to maintain the parks. The Council had cut $31.8 million from Bing’s budget, on top of the $100 million the mayor had already cut.
According to reports, not only have the parks been spared, but so have 33 city EMS jobs.
it’s uncertain how many police officers — if any — would still be laid off. Originally, $6.7 million was to have been cut from the police budget, but under the agreement, only $2.1 million would be cut. The mayor had previously said that there would be about 100 police layoffs.
Detroit has 300 parks. The threats of closure resulted in rallies of about 100 people each at Palmer and Rouge parks on June 28.
Prior to the vote, Council President Charles Pugh had said he supports Bing’s plan, as did Councilman Kwame Kenyatta and Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins. However,President Pro Tem Gary Brown had said he opposed the compromise, as it would add to the city’s deficit.
The new fiscal year starts July 1.