Detroit to determine allocation of public services based on ‘health’ of sectors

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Detroit— In two weeks, the health of Detroit neighborhoods will determine what services they get, according to a plan unveiled today by Mayor Dave Bing.

The extraordinary effort to parse services geographically — from where codes are enforced, houses demolished, codes enforced, trees trimmed and street lights repaired, for instance — is a result of 14 months of study toward reshaping an aging city that is marked by wide pockets of despair. Bing says all neighborhoods will still get basic services, such as police and fire, EMS and garbage pickup.

Yet Detroit’s 61 percent population decline since the 1950s and declining infrastructure and budget health have prompted a rationing of services.

“We’ve got to take some quantum leaps so people can be satisfied with their return on investments,” Bing said today. “Our entire city will benefit from this new market approach of service delivery. You deserve a city that works.”

Bing’s citywide plan calls for dividing Detroit into three categories based on a neighborhood’s health — steady, transitional and distressed — and then concentrating certain services in those areas. For example, building demolitions would be more common in “distressed” and “transitional” areas, while the “steady” neighborhoods would get more code enforcement and illegal dumping cleanups.

Full Story: Bing: Neighborhood health to determine city services