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Posted October 12, 2016
$500,000 in fines handed down to contractors for new Detroit arena
DETROIT — The City of Detroit has handed down about $500,000 in fines against contractors involved with building the new downtown arena in Detroit, according to an online report posted about an hour ago by the Detroit Free Press.
The fines were levied against several contractors working on the new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit's downtown district. The arena is scheduled to be completed by next September in time for the Detroit Red Wings to play their home games there next season.
The fines were handed down to contractors who failed to comply with requirements that call for 51% of the jobs in the project to go to Detroit residents. Job fairs have been targeting potential local workers without producing satisfactory results on hiring targets established by Detroit government officials and the Ilitch family's Olympia Development as the developer for the $627.5 million arena. Olympia Development has conducted programs for skilled trades training, in addition to recruiting at job fairs.
The city's restrictions were put in place because $35 million in downtown property taxes are earmarked for the project with $250 million from state-issued bonds.
Two proposals on the ballot next month in Detroit would create similar mandates on future projects, too. Proposal A would require developers to meet with community members to create a "community benefits agreement" if a project costs at least $15 million with at least $300,000 in public subsidies. Proposal B would require more items within so-called "community benefits agreements" on projects of at least $75 million with at least $1 million in public subsidies.
The ballot proposals are backed by a coalition of community groups known as "Rise Together Detroit" but opposed by leaders of labor unions who say the restrictions may hurt Detroit by causing developers to look outside the city limits into the suburbs. Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones backs Proposal A and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan backs Proposal B.
Above is a view captured this morning of the construction scene in Downtown Detroit for the new Little Caesars Arena. The Detroit Red Wings are scheudled to begin play there next season.
Click above to hear our breaking news report on CCN News Break about the fines levied against contractors at Detroit's arena project..
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