CHICAGO - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the city is on track to end fiscal 2015 without a deficit for the first time since 2002.
Duggan made the comments in his State of the City address Tuesday night, the first since Detroit emerged from the largest municipal bankruptcy to date in late 2014
"We still have to run a very tight budget every single week in order to stay on track," Duggan said.
The mayor said he's focused on growing the city's population, seen as key to its long-term survival.
"The key is to get the folks in the neighborhoods to stop moving out. That's been the problem," said Duggan.
Duggan took office in January 2014 but didn't get full control of the city until September when Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr stepped down.
Duggan said Wednesday that the city is "on the road to recovery," and that he's focused on efforts to improve neighborhoods and boost services. The city is tearing down an average of 200 blighted buildings a week, Duggan said.
His "conservative strategy" has been to focus on working streetlights, garbage pickup and parks, he added. "It's a lot of boring details that add up to a very different quality of life."
Among the new programs Duggan announced is a city-owned car insurance company to keep down notoriously high rates for Detroit drivers and a zero-interest federal loan program for homeowners who want to fix up their houses.
The mayor also talked briefly about the new Great Lakes Water Authority, a plan forged in the bankruptcy court that created a regional authority to own and operate the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. The plan has hit snags recently after Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson criticized the lack of financial information and said rate increases may be required.
In his address, Duggan said the leaders continue to work on the proposal.