Belle Isle Expected To Become State Park

DETROIT (WWJ) – It appears Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Gov. Rick Snyder have struck a deal to have the state run Belle Isle for the next 30 years.

On Tuesday, the agreement was still awaiting approval by City Council.

Council President Charles Pugh said while improvements to the island are needed, he hesitated to enter the city into such a lengthy contract.

“I don’t want to bind future mayors and councils for a third of a century,” said Pugh. “I want them to be able to revisit this in 10 years and say we don’t wanna do this anymore or we wanna change it or we wanna, you know, whatever.”

Under the proposed plan, visitors to Belle Isle in vehicles would be required pay an annual $10 fee.

Community activist Valerie Gleen and others spoke out against the plan at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “We the people don’t want Belle Isle leased for 99 years, 30 years, one year, one day or one minute,” she said.

Belle Isle, 985-acre island located midway between Detroit and Windsor, has been owned by the city since 1879.

Gov. Rick Snyder has said that by making Belle Isle a state park the state would be able to “help alleviate some of the city’s costs while maintaining a wonderful place for all to enjoy.”

Snyder told WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick they’re talking about a lease arraignment that would allow the city to maintain ownership of the island.

Snyder and Bing are expected to release more details about the plan on Wednesday.

Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and for the latest.


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