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Plan Would Help Detroit Boost Safety, Fight Blight

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A vacant home in Detroit. (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas)

A vacant home in Detroit. (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas)

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says he welcomes Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan to help stabilize Detroit neighborhoods near city schools.

“Finally the state is now coming around understanding what needs to be done in Detroit,” Bing told reporters Friday. “We don’t have enough funding to do all that needs to be done, but they’re gonna come and help us.”

The governor’s office says the state is working on a plan to help tear down vacant homes and other blighted buildings in Detroit and make the paths to and from city schools safer for students.  The plan will reportedly include fixing street lights and sending in State Police to help fight crime.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Friday that the plan is a “work in progress” and specifics are expected to be announced later.  She said the state is working with Detroit Public Schools, the city and the private sector on the plan, which would build on existing efforts.

Detroit schools’ emergency financial manager Roy Roberts said in a statement following the report that support from the state, city and others is helping in efforts to improve the district.

Not everyone is on board, however, including 74-year-old Judy Pensyl who would rather see some of these abandoned homes fixed up.

“Many, many of us have been very upset that they want to just tear everything down,” said Pensyl, who has lived in the city’s Morningside neighborhood for 40 years.

“I mean, if it really is too far gone, consult the neighborhood association, consult the neighbors and find out what they think,” she said. “Don’t just bring foreigners, so the speak, in here from Lansing and make a quick snap decision.”

Snyder is expected to release plan details next month.

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