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WDET 07/14/05


Detroit Voters to Get a Say on Aquarium Closure

The August second primary election will offer Detroit residents an opportunity…to vote on whether to re-open the Belle Isle Aquarium. The aquarium…the nation’s oldest…was closed in April because of the city’s financial troubles. But the Detroit City Council unanimously approved a ballot measure…asking voters if they favor re-opening the facility. Friends of the Belle Isle Aquarium President Kathleen Alan says options besides public funding need to be explored…in order to keep the institution open:

“There’s alternatives to funding…it doesn’t necessarily have to be from the taxpayer. It could be done with a private nonprofit organization…that’s an option. And it needs to be more fully explored.”

Alan says aquarium supporters are looking at alternatives…and will present a proposal to the Mayor’s office by November. The ballot measure is an advisory question meant to express public opinion…and is not a binding legal agreement.