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Review team to check Ecorse books

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm has named a team to review the finances of the city of Ecorse. It could be a step toward a financial takeover of the city downriver from Detroit.

The team will take 60 to 90 days to conduct its review. Pontiac, Highland Park, and the village of Three Oaks are already being run by state-appointed business managers.

Summer Minnick is with the Michigan Municipal League. She says more communities are at risk of running out of money as people lose their jobs, and property values decline. She says, at the same time, the state is reducing revenue sharing payments to cities: "We're down at a point that we've not been down before in terms of what we're getting back from the state. That, in conjunction with declining revenues from property and city income taxes, are painting a pretty bleak picture."

Minnick says she doesn't know exactly how many cities are close to running out of money. But a letter sent earlier this year by the state Treasury identifies dozens that are nearing the end of their cash reserves.

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