Proposals Seek To Ensure Major Development Projects Benefit Community

DETROIT (WWJ) – The call for a community benefits agreement with major developers in Detroit is in the spotlight after word that a number of contractors working on the new Red Wings arena have failed to hire a the required number of Detroiters.

Two proposals seek to ensure that large development projects, like the one in progress for the new Red Wings arena, which use public tax dollars, benefit the community they’re in.

In November, voters in Detroit will chose between Proposal A and Proposal B.

Mary Sheffield is supporting Prop A — which allows the community can take legal action if a developer is in violation.

“So I think that when you give community that leverage, that power, and that ability to sue, says Sheffield, “I think … it’s makes them want to perform at a higher level, understanding that they could possibly face lawsuits.”

Proposal B, does not call for legal action and only allows for community involvement in an advisory capacity.

The city of Detroit has levied an estimated half-million dollars in fines on contractors working on the new Red Wings arena because the companies haven’t hired enough Detroit residents.

Critics say this measure would derail the city’s comeback and cost the city jobs because developers would be scared away.

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