Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation to transfer the former Michigan State Fairgrounds out of state ownership and return the land to productive uses.
The fairgrounds have been closed since the last state fair in 2009, and the unused property inside the city of Detroit now costs the state more than $1 million each year to maintain and secure.
"I am pleased to begin the process of returning 163 acres of Pure Michigan to be used for the betterment of the city and our state," Snyder said. "This legislation also removes an excessive fiscal cost from the state ledgers. I look forward to a positive future for the Michigan State Fairgrounds."
Senate Bill 515, sponsored by state Sen. Virgil Smith, and House Bill 4803, sponsored by state Rep. Jimmy Womack, authorize the State Administrative Board to transfer the state-owned property. The Department of Technology, Management and Budget now can prepare the property for sale by a number of methods, but the intent is to transfer the fairgrounds to the State Land Bank Fast Track Authority.
Snyder then will appoint a five-member State Fairgrounds Advisory Committee made up of representatives from local neighborhood organizations to recommend a course of action.
The bills now are Public Acts 74 and 75.