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Politics & Government

Detroit group offers alternative to controversial Belle Isle plan

A Detroit-based group says it has developed a model to refurbish Detroit’s Belle Isle without turning it into a state park.

The group says a Belle Isle Park Authority could both run the island, and provide a mechanism for making needed investments.

Tom Barrow, a former Detroit mayoral candidate and a spokesman, said the plan includes a governing structure, entry fees, and other revenue sources.  

“All in all, we think that the city of Detroit can control this. It requires some creativity, which I think we’ve outlined the framework for. It’s more than a starting point, because it’s been thought through very well,” he said.

Plans for Belle Isle have proved politically contentious. The Detroit City Council has so far blocked a proposal to fold it into the state parks system.

Discussions are expected to continue this week.

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