DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit City Council members have had a change of heart about moving the city’s Police Headquarters into the old MGM Grand Casino.
The Council reversed an earlier decision, Tuesday voting five-to-four in favor of a plan to use $60 million in bond revenue to turn the old temporary MGM Grand Casino into a new public safety headquarters.
Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown said he favors the project, although he originally had something else in mind.
“I wanted all the courts combined and put into the building. Not withstanding that, it was a good deal to buy the building — and we did approve the bond sale,” he said.
“We’ve got to move forward on it now. We need a new police headquarters,” Brown said.
Just over a week ago, Council President Charles Pugh had led five other members in an outrighht rejection of the proposal.
Pugh says he changed his vote in favor of the project after receiving additional information about financing and after Mayor Dave Bing agreed to renew negotiations over live Council broadcast on Detroit’s public access channel.
“I was very clear that that other issue I wanted to talk about was the issue of cutting off people’s access to their government on television, which the Mayor’s office has done. So, we have begun private negotiations between the Mayor’s office and the Council to stay out of court since the Mayor filed a lawsuit and took us to court on this matter,” Pugh said.
WWJ’s Florence Walton reports the four Council members who voted against the project, Tuesday, voiced concerns about locating the city’s police headquarters so close to a freeway and far away from 36th and Circuit Courts.