DETROIT, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Mayor Dave Bing said Detroit will have to close 51 city parks following the city council's rejection of a plan to lease Belle Isle to the state of Michigan.
At a news conference Friday, the mayor said programs for children and the elderly will also take a hit, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The state had offered to take over management of Belle Isle, a 985-acre park in the Detroit River, assuming responsibility for $6 million in operating costs.
Because of other cutbacks, only 57 of the city's more than 300 parks will be open this summer. Officials said maintenance at the remaining open parks will be reduced.
The city is struggling with a $350 million budget deficit.
"We looked a gift horse in the mouth," Bing said. "We had a deal that was workable that would not have closed parks. ... When we thumb our nose at $6 million, I think it's nuts."
Brad Dick, the general services manager, said with no maintenance, the closed parks will look "pretty awful" once summer arrives.
"It's going to be tall weeds with trash in there," he said.
|Additional U.S. News Stories|
PHILADELPHIA, May 24 (UPI) --A Philadelphia judge ordered a couple detained because others might "harbor" them from prosecution for the death of their baby after he was denied medical care.
LOS ANGELES, May 24 (UPI) --Tim Curry's agent told USA Today the British actor suffered a stroke in July but is now doing "very well."
NEW YORK, May 24 (UPI) --U.S. stock indexes closed mixed on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing just above break-even on the New York Stock Exchange.