Detroit Bankruptcy Plan Outlines $1.5 Billion in Spending

Detroit's strategy for reinvesting $1.5 billion over a decade to tackle blight and improve basic public services after it exits bankruptcy became clearer Monday with new details filed in federal court.

Blight removal, at $520 million, remains the largest single piece of the $1.5 billion. With that chunk of money, emergency manager Kevyn Orr aims to make a big dent in the estimated 80,000 abandoned homes in the city. Revised estimates released Monday show the city aims to have 725 blighted homes removed per month, or about 8,700 a year -- more than 43,000 over five years. .

Here's a look at some of the other big areas where Detroit proposes spending money for upgrades.

Public safety $464 million

The city would spend nearly $130 million to boost the Detroit Police Department's fleet of vehicles and set up a three-year replacement cycle; now, some cars are years older than that. The city also proposes spending $79 million to hire 250 civilian employees for office and clerical work to free up uniformed officers for street patrols and other policing.

Detroit also would spend $39 million on gear such as bullet proof vests, hand-held radios, Tasers and body-mounted cameras. In addition, the city proposes spending $36 million on facility upgrades including new precincts and an officer training facility.

For the Detroit Fire Department, the city would spend $60 million to replace vehicles -- at a projected rate of about 18 a year, and spend $55 million in repair and maintenance of existing fire facilities and build seven new firehouses.

General services $201 million

The General Services Department is the city agency that maintains Detroit-owned buildings and property including parks and city-owned vacant lots.

The city proposes spending about $140 million on additional labor and training costs in addition to fleet maintenance supplies and expenses. An addtional $46.6 million would be spent on facility improvements and repairs.

Finance $143.5 million

The agency responsible for the city's treasury, tax assessment and collection, accounting and overall financial health would get a $101-million boost for additional labor and training for workers and nearly $91 million for new computer systems so Detroit can better track and collect taxes.

Bus system $44 million

The city estimates it will spend $58 million on labor costs at its bus system, nearly half of that on a new security force specifically targeted at making the city's transit riders and bus drivers safer.

Detroit also proposes spending $40 million to add routes and increase frequency of buses, reduced significantly in recent years as the city slashed expenses in a failed bid to avoid bankruptcy.

In other areas, Orr proposes spending:

-- $40.4 million on parks and recreation facility upgrades, recreation center repairs and employee training.

-- $28.5 million on the Coleman A. Young city airport, including executive bay upgrades, new hangars, terminal upgrades and a jet way.


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