Del Ray Waits For Guarantees

The Detroit neighbourhood of Del Ray courtesy of GoogleMaps.com.

The Detroit city councillor who represents Del Ray is still hopeful the community will get promises of community benefits in writing before construction on the new border crossing begins.

The State of Michigan now has approval for the transfer of 301 properties for the new border crossing, but Raquel Castaneda-Lopez says she’s still waiting to get in writing the state and city’s commitment to improve the neighbourhood. She says she’s had numerous verbal agreements, but still nothing that could stand up to legal scrutiny.

Castaneda-Lopez says she’s not giving up. She met with Mayor Mike Duggan Monday, and more meetings are anticipated dealing with the transfer of another 23 properties needed for the project. “It’s really not just thinking of the host community, but its benefits for the city and really, for the region as a whole,” she says. “We’ve also tried to reach out to the international authority as well as the WDBA (Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority) members. Unfortunately, the international authority, everyone keeps kind of sending this generic response that they won’t be meeting with us until a community advisory group is established.”

Residents want a large buffer zone around the bridge, possibly new homes for displaced residents, and access to public parks and transit. Raquel Castaneda-Lopez says she’s asked Governor Rick Snyder’s office repeatedly for guarantees in writing.

The Michigan Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board approved a proposal made by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to transfer the land to the state. Canada will pay $1.4-million for the properties, most of which are vacant and in tax arrears.