June 22, 2010, - 2:28 pm

The $200K Tax-Paid Zoo Billboard: Wonder Why Detroit & Michigan Are Failing?

By Debbie Schlussel

Michigan is nearly bankrupt.  So is the City of Detroit.  Both are deeply in debt.  Both are struggling to make ends meet.  And yet.  And yet . . .


Say Nice Things About Detroitistan: $200K Wasted on Detroit Zoo Billboard

Somehow, the Detroit Zoo–which, while now independent, is funded in large part by taxes and grants from both the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan–has $200,000 to waste on removing all of the paint from a completely fine (and fairly new) mural on a water tower next to the zoo, cleaning it, and posting a decal of the entire mural. The water tower does not contain water and hasn’t functioned as a water storage unit for decades. It is nothing more than a billboard.

Yup, $200,000 to redo a billboard that is perfectly fine the way it is. I’ll remember that, the next time the zoo claims it doesn’t have enough money and wants yet another “arts tax” and more tax money from the state and city.

And you wonder why Detroit and Michigan are destitute.  Well, part of that might be the waste and poor spending decisions by it and its institutions, like $200,000 for cleaning and redoing a mural on a water tower that needs neither.

People in Detroit and throughout Michigan are struggling to survive, wondering how they will put food on the table. And yet, there are $200,000 in public funds available to redo a zoo billboard.


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19 Responses

There is NO GREATER fun than spending SOMEONE ELSE’S MONEY!

As goes Israel - so goes the World on June 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm

No billboard needed–Detroit is a zoo.

Scott Spiegel on June 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm

TYhey want Kwame’s name removed? RACISTS!!!!!!

codekeyguy on June 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm

With all of the muzzies around Detroit it would seem as though the zoo wouldn’t need additional advertising. The “petting zoo” inside of the Detroit Zoo is probably way overused by the muzzies.

Jarhead on June 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm

How is wanting Kwame’s name removed racist? The man bilked thousands from this city and disgraced the city in front of the world. So pray tell, why is it racist?????????????

Musiccgirl on June 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm

If you click on the wwj link and read the story, you see that it’s a huge project. It’s impressive that you could do that amount of work including creation and installation of the vinyl wrap for 200K. Aside from the boondoggle aspect of the project, it clearly shows that Detroit private enterprise can get the job done. This would easily cost at least quadruple to do in California.

DS_ROCKS! on June 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I would have done it for $150K…(including the lower portion AND used the expensive clear coat)…

F-22 on June 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm

F-22: yeah, i’m sure you could bid 150K, but I doubt you could deliver. would you include a bond and insurance for your workers? if you say you’d do the work yourself, would you waive your right to sue the city if you got inured because of something on their end? where do you plan on having a 2000 SF piece or vinyl art-wrap printed? do you guarantee clean and legal disposal of waste materials?

you can joke about clear coat and stuff, but either you didn’t read the article about what they’re going to do or you don’t understand the scope. this isn’t like painting your buddy’s apartment for pizza and beer.

DS_ROCKS! on June 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Debbie:it didn’t really say why they are doing this. If it was just The Kingpin’s name at issue, it’d be easy to just paint over it and leave the mural. Are we sure there isn’t some environmental hazard with the materials used in the original art? The steam cleaning, etc. suggests maybe they used lead paint or something funky like that when Kingpin immortalized his name the first time on the billboard at taxpayer’s expense.

DS_ROCKS! on June 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Hey Musicgirl: SARCASM!

codekeyguy on June 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Scott took away my comment, except I was going to say the City Council is the zoo.

Little Al on June 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm

DS Rocks, dude, take it easy on me, i was being sarcastic. I dont paint. sounds like ur a professional…in consideration of ur feedback…the updated bid is a buck seventy five( with the insurance waiver, and without the clear coat)…

F-22 on June 22, 2010 at 7:31 pm

THIS is the kind of thing governments like to spend money on, while at the same time telling workers they have to work for less money.
The politicians get kickbacks off of these kinds of projects. (They pay the contractor that is awarded the bid, and then the contractor “donates to their favorite charity”.

RT on June 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm

F-22: okay. not sure why I got so riled up over this story – lol.

DS_ROCKS! on June 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I think Motley Crue’s song “Wild Side” describes Detroit quite nicely…

UCSPanther on June 22, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Are there any who watch the National Basketball Association?
Los Angeles Leykers – Orlando Magic.
???? ????????? ????? 3 ??????

Chepayaddetty on June 25, 2010 at 4:06 am

Ummm I believe it was from Donations not Public funds…..

Ta5teless on August 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Kwames name was removed and replaced with the tagline “A nice place to Visit” I know I employed the crew that climbed the tower to do it.

Ta5teless on August 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm

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Teodora Kasen on April 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm

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