Finally, in a bit of good news for Detroit, the Obama administration announced plans Friday to provide the beleaguered city with $100 million in federal funds to help hire more police, firefighters and workers to improve blighted areas, according to the Associated Press.
The total economic recovery package is about $300 million, which includes $200 million in resources from foundations and businesses. This summer, Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy protection.
The funding includes $65 million in Community Development Block Grants for blight eradication, $25 million in a public-private collaboration for commercial building demolition and nearly $11 million in funds to ensure working families can live in safe neighborhoods. Attorney General Eric Holder announced $3 million that, in part, will be used to hire new police officers. About $25 million also will be expedited to Detroit to hire about 140 firefighters and buy new gear.
The White House will send an official to oversee the effort, which was discussed during a private meeting at Wayne State University with Gov. Rick Snyder, state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr, Mayor Dave Bing and community and business leaders.
Don Graves will coordinate the public and private money going to hire more police and firefighters and clear out blighted neighborhoods, among other things, officials said. Graves, a Treasury Department official, serves as executive director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
But some critics complain that the package is not nearly enough for the city, which is facing $18 million in long-term debt. Some were hoping for a bailout. Nonetheless, Friday’s announcement was good news for the embattled city.
Detroit this summer became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy protection. Federal officials recognized that the prospect of legislation to bail out the city was extremely low, so the Obama administration pored through the federal budget and found untapped money.
Read more at Time.