Friends of Belle Isle Aquarium
WWJ Mayoral candidate Freman
Hosted by Vicki Thomas
October 12, 2005
Listen To WWJ Aquarium segment -
Vicki Thomas: "The next question is about
Belle Isle Development..."
" I live down here in
the Belle Isle area and all of a sudden they blocked off the area, but I
noticed a few folks could get in. Are they planning on just white folks
going to own Belle Isle and having just exclusively owned for the rich
and not admit black folks? Are they going to build condominiums on Belle
- Does not support any
economic development on Belle Isle for private investors.
- Belle Isle is in need
of repair and upgrade.
- Identify revenue
sources - Detroit pays Huron Metro Park $1.5 million in taxes every
year, but gets none of that back for Detroit City parks. Redirect a
portion of that 1.5 million dollars back to Belle Isle.
- In favor of voters
voting to see if they would support a modest entrance fee to support
- Wants to bring back
canoes, horses and bikes to the island. Let entrepreneurs and vendors
bring that back to the island.
- Get the Detroit Boat
Club up and running, with a four star restaurant.
- Never give up
ownership. Reopen the Aquarium. Reopen the Dawson Museum, Reopen the
Belle Isle Zoo.
- Proposes reopening all
with a revenue stream generated with the revenue stream suggested
Vicki: "So you're in favor of re-opening the
Belle Isle Aquarium as opposed to a super-aquarium like the mayor was
talking about last night?"
- It's not one versus
- It's (Belle Isle
Aquarium) is the oldest aquarium in America. It's ours and it belongs
on the Island. Whatever we do with a super-aquarium is fine. Grand
ideas sound good, but we've got to find out where we'll get the
funding for it.
- $250,000 dollars plus
the revenues that can be generated at the Aquarium itself with some
aggressive publicizing, we wouldn't have to close the Aquarium.
- People were
heartbroken when they heard the Aquarium was being closed down, fish
were being exported out to other aquariums around the country, that
the Dawson Museum is virtually closed and that the Belle Isle Zoo is
- We need to open all of
those institutions back up.
- Committed to doing
that the first year by getting some of the unconventional revenue
sources dedicated to Belle Isle.