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Detroit stands taller, stronger as city exits bankruptcy

Emergency manager relinquishing final responsibilities, city receivership ends

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

DETROIT, Mich. – Today, Detroit’s financial emergency is ending and a stronger city has emerged, Gov. Rick Snyder said, accepting the determination from Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr that his work will be completed and signaling the city can exit bankruptcy on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and city leaders said they are building upon Detroit’s solid financial foundation and guiding a renewed city. Duggan and the council regained full powers to run the city in September, but Orr remained as emergency manager until the city exits bankruptcy later today.

Orr informed Snyder and state Treasurer Kevin Clinton that he relinquishes his position today, which will be the effective date of the court-approved plan of adjustment and the closings of a series of settlement agreements. Orr also recommended the city’s receivership pursuant to Public Act 436 of 2012 be terminated.

“Detroit stands taller today,” Snyder said. “Our state’s largest city has moved through this historic bankruptcy to move toward a brighter future. This was difficult work that required bold leadership andsacrifices from many people, and there is more to do. But we also have watched through this process the people of our state draw closer and stand together in support of Detroit, recognizing that all of Michigan is better when the city thrives.”

Snyder authorized the placement of the city into bankruptcy in July 2013 because it could not provide adequate services to its residents or meet its obligations to creditors. Today, the quality of life for the city’s 700,000 residents is improving. The response time for police and emergency medical services hasdropped dramatically. Work is underway to improve streetlights, trash is being picked up and a plan is in place to remove hundreds of abandoned structures that have blighted neighborhoods.

Detroit also has a firm, sustainable financial foundation, with a two-year budget in place and plans for reinvestment in the city’s services and infrastructure.

Snyder, in his letter accepting Orr’s determination, thanked him for his service, “which has been extraordinary and transformative for the city of Detroit and our state as a whole.”

The bankruptcy effort was guided by Orr and was supported by a wide variety of community, business and philanthropic leaders in and around the city as well as appreciated sacrifices from hard-working Detroit employees, past and present.

“Reaching the effective date of the plan of adjustment is a milestone, but it also is just one step in a journey,” Orr wrote in his letter to Snyder and Clinton. “If the city takes advantage of this unique opportunity to shed the problems of the past and stays on the path that has been blazed in the restructuring, Detroit is poised to grow and thrive for the benefit of its residents and this state for many years to come.”

Mayor Mike Duggan said that having Detroit out of bankruptcy, combined with effective partnerships with City Council and in Lansing, will allow the city's recent progress to continue. 

“Over the past year we have built a strong management team that is beginning to deliver better city services in a number of areas,” Duggan said.  “With bankruptcy behind us, our administration's full energy can remain on making city government work for all Detroiters."  

Watch video of the press conference on Governor Snyder's livestream page.