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DETROIT-Mayor Dennis W. Archer has made recommendations to the city council to reduce departmental spending by $55 million and selling the old Detroit House of Corrections for $50 million. “Together, the $50 million from the land sale and the $55-million budget reduction for 2001-02 successfully addresses the projected budgetshortfall,” Archer says.

“There is now a balanced budget through Dec. 31, 2001 as well as through June 30, 2002,” he adds.

However, the city council has said it may not approve sale of the 869-acre former prison property because it believes the land is worth more. The property is divided between Northville and Plymouth townships.

Archer’s term ends Dec. 31. However, Archer’s actions gives the incoming administration a cushion of between $30 million and $44 million, barring any unforeseen catastrophe, that can go to replenish the Budget Stabilization Fund.

The cuts came from 5% budget cuts from each department.

The planning and development department prepared and distributed a RFP regarding the purchase and had the Northville parcel appraised. As a result, the city requested $52,000 per acre. The RFPs came back with bids of $8 million and $12 million for different parcels within the land site while two bids came in at $32 and $37 million dollars for the full sale. The highest bid was a $50 million cash offer, with $5 million cashier’s check as a down payment.

Based upon planning and development’s review of the bids, Archer recommended to city council that the $50-million bid be accepted.

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