I was staggered to read about the size and cost of Detroit’s cleanup problem.
A joint federal, city, and state task force has done a survey of every inch of the Motor City and discovered that fully 30 percent of it is filled with dilapidated, crumbling buildings that must be torn down.
That is 84,641 building spread out over all 139 square miles of the city that need to be eliminated, The New York Times reports. The study also found that 90 percent of the city-owned parcels are blighted.
This $850 million is only the beginning, a starting point that will deal with the blight of abandoned single-family homes or small complexes. This huge cost doesn’t address the 559 empty, abandoned, dilapidated manufacturing buildings that can no longer be used and must be torn down.
“These structures are unique because of their larger size and their potential for greater environmental issues than other structures,” the Times said the report affirms. “The cost of demolishing just a single large industrial building can run into the tens of millions of dollars,” the paper says.
. . .
Still, where will all this money come from? Detroit is a bankrupt city and hasn’t the funds for police and fire services, much less for tearing down and disposing of the debris from thousands of abandoned buildings.
The city itself and the state of Michigan is relying on the federal government for much of this money, naturally. So, the American taxpayer from Maine to Florida and all points west will be on the hook to bail out Detroit after decades of failed political policies that helped run the once vital city into a near universal condition of blight.
There’s more at the link.
I’m outraged to read that ‘The city itself and the state of Michigan is relying on the federal government for much of this money, naturally’. Why ‘naturally’? Why should the federal government be on the hook for this cost? I don’t see any rhyme or reason why my federal taxes should be wasted on cleaning up someone else’s problem. Let the city find its own solutions – including asking those drawing welfare and/or unemployment benefits to help tear down derelict buildings and clean up abandoned properties. Let them do something useful for a living!