Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has indicated he could ask the state of Michigan for a short-term loan of up to $150 million to deal with the city’s fiscal crisis and avoid a state-appointed emergency manager, a spokeswoman confirmed Friday.
Bing told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week he’d rather the state give him a loan than appoint a financial overseer.
“If Detroit fails or doesn’t make it or doesn’t come back as soon as we would like it too, it’s going to cost the state money anyway. It’s you pay me now or pay me later,” said Bing.
Bing’s spokeswoman, Naomi Patton, however said the mayor has “no specific plans” to ask Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for the reported $125 to $150 million loan.
“Mayor Bing was simply responding to the Wall Street Journal reporter’s question about whether the Mayor would ask for “bridge funds.” The Mayor replied, “That’s possible.” When the reporter later asked how much he would like to ask for, the Mayor responded with that range, but never said he planned to ask for such funding,” Patton said in a statement.
The news comes on the heels of Bing’s State of the City address, during which he called on the state to give Detroit tangible support, both financially and operationally.
The city is on course to run out of cash by April and faces nearly a $50 million shortfall by May. New labor agreements with police, firefighters and city unions that could save the city $100 million have yet to be ratified.