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Attorney: Detroit needs debt plan to survive

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 2, 2014 at 5:34 pm •  Published: September 2, 2014
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The threat to artwork also prompted the creation of the so-called Grand Bargain — commitments from the state, major corporations, foundations and others to donate more than $800 million over 20 years meant to soften cuts to city pensions while placing pieces in the DIA into a trust and out of the reach of debtor demands.

Pensioners this summer voted in favor of Orr's plan, which calls for general retirees to take a 4.5 percent pension cut and lose annual inflation adjustments. Retired police officers and firefighters would lose only a portion of their annual cost-of-living raise.

No alternatives to that deal have been offered "that would give the city a comparable amount of money while the collection stays in Detroit," Bennett said.

"The DIA is one of the relatively few institutions Detroit has that might draw residents back," he said. "It would be most assuredly a reasonable decision to keep it in Detroit."

Detroit's population has been declining for decades. About 1.8 million people called the city home in the 1950s; today, fewer than 700,000 are believed to live in Detroit.

Bennett will continue his opening statement Wednesday morning. Groups supporting Orr's plan of adjustment also are expected to give statements, followed by Syncora and other creditors who oppose the plan.