Detroit has hammered out a tentative lease agreement with Michigan to turn the city’s popular Belle Isle park into a state park for at least the next 30 years.
It’s a controversial move that has sparked protest from many Detroiters.
The Detroit City Council, which needs to approve the deal, is set to take it up next week.
Under the deal, Michigan and the its Department of Natural Resources will manage the park while Detroit will continue to own the land.
Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing held a press conference last week announcing the agreement. Snyder said the deal will bring “needed financial relief to Detroit,” as well as needed restoration and enhancements.
Bing said the deal would generate economic development for the city.
“This city-state collaboration will return Belle Isle to its original beauty through major improvements and regular maintenance overseen by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources,” he said in a statement released after the announcement. “It presents a win-win situation for the city and the entire state by preserving a historic destination in the city of Detroit.”
Under the deal, the DNR will manage the park’s operations and maintenance.
Funding will come in part from the Michigan State Parks Endowment Fund and other sources, the state said in a press release.
Michigan can terminate the lease after 18 months’ prior notification, and Detroit can terminate the deal if the state fails to fulfill its terms of the lease.
Visitors entering by car will now be charged $10 for an annual pass. All revenues will be placed in a new account that will go toward Belle Isle’s upkeep.