Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit is hoping for some badly needed cash from the federal government, as several members of the Obama administration meet in the Motor City in the wake of the Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing.
At Friday’s summit, WWJ’s Vickie Thomas reports we could hear details about $100 million in federal and private sector funds being earmarked for the city.
Michigan Democratic Party figure Debbie Dingell says the trip to Detroit by Obama administration officials will send a clear message: “I think that a lot of people feel that the White House doesn’t care — that they’ve been abandoned,” she said. “And … there’s nothing farther from the truth.”
While an exhaustive federal bailout isn’t on the table, the White House wants Detroit to take advantage of existing programs to rebuild and right itself financially. The Sept. 27 meeting are part of ongoing discussions between city leaders and Presidential cabinet members concerning the Detroit’s financial troubles.
“I have personally talked to Eric Holder, Gene Sperling, and Secretary [Anthony] Foxx, who cares deeply about the infrastructure — making sure that M1 [the Woodward Ave. lite rail project] and the Regional Transportation Authority become a reality,” said Dingell, “that people in Detroit can get to jobs.”
“The men and women of the Obama administration, starting with President and Mrs. Obama, care deeply about Detroit,” she said.
Some of the $100 million Detroit is expected to receive is “new” money, and some of it was previously announced. That total includes $20 million in private sector matching funds, $52 in federal dollars marked for demolition and $10 million to beef up policing around schools.
While that may sound like a lot of money, it’s just a drop in the bucket for Detroit, which is — according to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr — crushed under more than $18 billion in long-term debt.
Orr, in July, filed for federal bankruptcy protection on behalf of the city. Judge Steven Rhodes set a trial for late October to determine if Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9.