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Lincoln Park joins growing list of cities in financial emergency

Lincoln Park had $4.5 million dollars in its general fund three years ago.

Today, the city has a deficit of nearly $90,000, raising alarm among state officials about how fast it has spent all its money.

Gov. Rick Snyder says he agrees with the Michigan Treasury that a state of financial emergency exists.

Lincoln Park officials say the city is on track to run up at least a $1 million deficit this year. The amount will be higher if the city can't strike a deal on concessions from city workers.

Lincoln Park has seven days to ask for a hearing to contest the state's finding.

If the declaration is upheld, Lincoln Park can choose from several options under the state's new financial emergency law, including a consent agreement or an emergency manager. The other two options are to reach a cost-cutting agreement with all stakeholders with the help of a "neutral evaluator" – or Chapter 9 bankruptcy. 

But any city wishing to file for bankruptcy would need the approval of the governor.

Six other cities are in a state-declared financial emergency:  Detroit, Allen Park, Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Hamtramck, and Royal Oak Township. 

Highland Park may be next to join the list.


Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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