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Bankruptcy Not An Option In Allen Park

ALLEN PARK (WWJ) -- The city of Allen Park has dodged the "bankruptcy bullet."

Joyce Parker, the city's emergency manager says after adjustments to city employee contracts that included wage and benefit cuts, Allen Park will avoid filing for Chapter 9 protection. But she says more consolidation and privatization could be in the plans.

"So we would certainly evaluate that along with some other initiatives, even issues for opportunities for consolidation or collaborating with other communities. That's always something that we will consider as we move forward," says Parker.

She adds, "Whether it occurs or not, it really depends on whether it's cost effective and then, secondly, whether it's something that will provide a quality service."

Parker says, to date, the structural reform measures have saved Allen Park $4-million -- roughly the same deficit amount the city faced when Parker was appointed in October.

"We've been able to make substantial changes related to our contracts, with benefits, with wages. We've also been able to again get the millage approved, which has been a real positive," she says.

That millage will keep police and fire from layoffs. Parker also cut the salaries to the mayor and city council earlier this year. As for the failed Unity Studio property, Parker says they are aggressively looking to sale or lease the site -- hopefully, to a big box retail chain.

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