DETROIT (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday that he’s at least a week away from deciding if Detroit needs an emergency manager to confront its $327 million budget deficit and $14 billion long-term debt.
Snyder told reporters that he considers the city’s drastic population loss over 60 years to be the main reason for its financial woes.
Detroit had 1.8 million people in the 1950 U.S. census and about 700,000 in 2010. Snyder said new growth holds the key to Detroit’s recovery.
“This is an issue that’s structurally been there for decades,” Snyder said.
The Republican governor spoke two days after a state-appointed review team determined that Detroit is in a financial emergency.
Snyder has less than a month to decide whether the state will take over the city’s finances. Snyder said last week that he’s compiling a short list of candidates for the emergency manager’s job.
Massive borrowing is the only reason Detroit’s short-term financial picture isn’t even worse, Snyder said.
Without borrowing $600 million, Detroit’s accumulated budget deficit through June 30, 2012, would have been $937 million, he said.
“You look at this situation, and it’s quite dire,” the governor said. “We need to grow the city of Detroit. That’s the answer here, and it’s going to be really hard.”