On Thursday, July 2nd, Governor Granholm signed a bill authorizing the expansion of the Cobo Center to keep the North American International Auto Show in Detroit; the bill is now waiting on the approval of Detroit’s Mayor Dave Bing to approve the expansion deal.
This bill will insure that the Cobo Center remains the property of Detroit, with a regional authority leasing it for the next 30 years. Detroit would in turn receive around $300 million for renovations-including the expansion-with management reverting to Detroit in 2039.
The Cobo expansion would be funded by about $300 million in earmarks, with the funds coming from the state's 21st Century Fund and Health and Safety Fund, state cigarette taxes, and hotel, liquor and county taxes.
A resident of the northwest side of Detroit, Thomas Wilson, expressed concerns that the jobs that will be created for the expansion have not been promised to Detroit workers:
"Our tax dollars went to build Cobo. We should have first whack at it," Wilson said.
Although the Governor as approved the bill to keep the NAIAS in Detroit, the final say is still on the shoulders of the Detroit’s city council, who are likely to approve the bill by August 1 to allow a 30 day grace period for the council to overturn their decision and in time for the renovations to begin on September 1.