In this morning's Michigan news headlines...
Flint EM Presents Budget
Next year, the city of Flint will charge residents higher fees in exchange for less services. The budget plan unveiled last night was greeted with anger from city residents and city council members. Steve Carmody reports:
The Flint city budget plan calls for trimming 20 percent of city government workers from the payroll... The plan also raises city sewer and lighting fees. The average property owner will pay an additional $200 in city fees in fiscal year 2013. Emergency manager Michael Brown says the spending cuts and fee hikes are needed to close a $25 million gap in next year’s budget. The city of Flint also wants the state to let it sell $18 million in bonds to pay off the city’s past debt. Brown says he hopes to hear back from the state on the fiscal stabilization bond request sometime next month. Brown says there’s no other way for Flint to close out the debt that the city’s accrued over the past two years.
Detroit Light Rail
A group with plans to build a privately funded light rail line in Detroit says it has the money it needs to construct it, and to run it for ten years. Backers laid out their case in a feasibility study submitted to the federal government. “The M-1 rail line would run along a three-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Supporters say it’s an important project – especially at a time when the city of Detroit is cutting back dramatically on its spending. The project was nearly derailed late last year – after Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Governor Rick Snyder pulled their support in favor of a rapid bus system. The mayor and governor now say they think both projects should move forward... Construction is expected to begin in early 2013, and be completed in 2015,” Sarah Hulett reports.
More Options to Stop Carp
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has added three options to a list of possible measures for preventing Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River, the Associated Press reports. From the AP:
In December, the corps released a draft report suggesting methods such as overfishing, ultraviolet light, water guns and introducing native predators in Chicago-area rivers and canals that link the two massive aquatic systems. A final version issued last week also raised the possibility of freezing or drying sections of the waterways, or zapping organisms with carbon dioxide pellets. Next, the corps will decide which options merit further consideration. The report is part of a series as officials develop a strategy for halting species invasions of the Great Lakes, possibly including permanent separation of the two drainage basins.