Detroit Could Have Another Shot at Retaining NAIAS

Joshua Duval
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The Michigan Senate reportedly isready to give the Detroit City Council another chance at voting to transfer ownership of Cobo Hall to a regional authority thatwould receive millions to repair it. If this happens, this may allow Detroit a second chance at retaining the North American International Auto Show in the years to come.

A three-bill package introduced in the Michigan Senate yesterday would give the council until July 1 to approve the deal that it rejected in March. If the plan is rejected again, the state would then allow other venues to apply for tax money to be used for renovations to accommodate the NAIAS. That money would come from the state cigarette tax, funds that were to go to toward expanding and renovating Cobo.

The Senate commerce and tourism committee will hear testimony on the bills today, and they could move out of the committee as early as tomorrow, the Detroit News said.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has promised to work on resurrecting the deal for Cobo. He said he's met with four city council members about the deal, and plans on a meeting with all members. The deal was initially voted down 5-3, and even with former mayor Kenneth Cockrel's return to the council adding a vote, Bing would have to sway at least two more members.

"I don't think the leadership from all of the counties was the problem," Bing said, referring to the transfer of Cobo to a regional authority with representatives from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. "It (was) City Council not being informed, included, and I won't take that role. It's about openness, communication and trust, and that's what's happening now."

Source The Detroit News

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