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State asked to review Jackson, Allen Park's finances

The state is looking at requests to investigate the finances of two Michigan cities.

Jackson’s Mayor has asked for a state review of the city's books.  That's the first step towards the state appointing an Emergency Manager. 

Karen Dunigan says the city needs the state’s help, even though it has a balanced budget.    She says the budget covers payroll and not much else, and meanwhile, the city has $80-million in debt, with no plan to pay anything on the debt except the interest expenses. 

"No monies are going towards, really, for the debt.  And there’s no money for my infrastructure, for my streets, for sewer and water upgrades – nothing.   This last year we made really a concerted effort to control some of our expenses but I think we waited too long.  These issues should have been addressed years ago."

The state has also been asked to look at Allen Park’s finances, and Flint’s Mayor says he wants a state review, too.

A new state law allows an Emergency Manager to set aside union contracts, along with elected officials' powers.

Benton Harbor's Emergency Manager set aside most of the authority of city council earlier this month.


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