DETROIT (WWJ) – Although the New Year brings promise to a struggling city like Detroit, some of the city’s high-profile cultural sites could be in jeopardy.
WWJ’s Kathryn Larson spoke with City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown, who said the city can no longer afford to subsidize the Detroit Zoo, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
“Everyone knows the situation that our finances are in and it’s a crisis. So, we have to act like that and prioritize the dollars that we do have,” said Brown.
Even if the city can’t fund the institutions, Brown say they will continue paying insurance on the centers.
“We understand our obligation with regards to insurance and some other things and we intend to live up to that obligation, but at the same time we have to prioritize dollars and until we get the ship righted, we’re not going to be able to continue the funding level that we have in the past,” he said.
Brown said without the city’s aid, he hopes private donations will continue to keep these institutions thriving.
The State of Michigan has been pouring over the city’s financial situation and found “probable” distress exists. The Department of Treasury is now performing a formal review of Detroit’s finances while the city continues to work on a financial plan to keep from running out of cash in April.