DETROIT (WWJ) – Will Belle Isle become another state park? The Detroit City Council will decide on Monday if a proposed lease agreement with the state will be approved.

Council members are citing concerns about aspects of the current plan. During a discussion last week, council member Joanne Watson raised the issue of the state still wanting the city to be accountable for water run-off costs; an expense that will run more than $2 million.

“The state, in their lease agreement, is saying the city must still pay for the $2.7; that’s almost $3 million,” Watson said. “So, where is the $6 million savings; there is no $6 million savings; and there’s no $6 million on the table; there is no money on the table, at all.”

Watson wants the city council to consider the Belle Isle Master Plan as an alternative.

Detroiter Dawn DeRose also thinks the City Council would do well to give the Belle Isle Master Plan serious consideration as an alternative to the lease deal with the state.

“Just because we don’t have an exact detail how you’re going to set up a toll-booth or collect park passes for the year, that’s something that can be worked out,” DeRose said. “And, you can set a deadline for that if you want. But, let somebody … they’re paying millions of dollars to every other consultant, why not have somebody get together in a work-group who are concerned citizens of Belle Isle to have some of that information done.”

If council votes down the state lease deal, it has seven days to present a plan of its own.


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