City of Detroit has $62.9 million surplus

Image 1 of 3

For the second straight year Detroit has a balanced budget. Moreso, the city is reporting an actual surplus of $62.9 million- so where should that extra money go?

"What are they going to do with the money?" asked Alvin Thomas, who lives near the corner of Quincy and Puritan. "Are they going to spend the money Downtown or fix the community up?"

It is a giant step for a rebuilding city to be out of a deficit, but many residents can't ignore the blight they see in their communities.

FOX 2: "(We) spoke with the CFO; he says it's going to be going towards blight, infrastructure, and one time capital investments."

"Blight," Thomas said. "Okay. Look around. Just take a look around the neighborhood."

In his neighborhood, there is blight, high grass and trash scattered all over. Thomas shared his opinion on where he believes that $62.9 million should go.

"Straighten the neighborhood up," Thomas said. "Stop taking it Downtown. Stop fixing up Downtown. Do the neighborhood."

A spokesperson says the Mayor is working on a plan to board up every vacant house in the next two years that is not demolished, renovated or reoccupied.

Detroit to demolish, rehab or board up 25,000 vacant houses

Meanwhile, Chief Financial Officer John Hill explained other plans for the surplus money. Some of it will add to the federal funding on removing blight and improving parks. Hill also said the city plans to upgrade police and fire vehicles.

"The other thing is to help really sure up our pension payments in 2024," he said. "Because of the bankruptcy, at that point the payments increased substantially. So it's also part in managing our financial future."

Hill talked about one-time investments and how that is best way to go when you have a surplus.

"We want to make sure is, we don't use one-time money to support ongoing operations," Hill said. "Because when you do that and the one-time money goes away, then you have these operations that have to be supported and you don't have the money to support them."

One resident who calls himself Doc Holiday said he works for a landscaping company and added that the whole city should benefit.

FOX 2: "What would you like to see done with that surplus money?"

"A better Detroit," he said. "All around."