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Despite good news from GM strike, city faces challenges

There was good news for striking UAW workers and for Hamtramck last week.
For the workers, it looks like their month-long strike may be over (with a tentative labor agreement on the table).
We won’t know for sure until UAW members vote on the proposed contract, but at this point it will likely be ratified.
In Hamtramck, GM now says it will keep the Poletown plant open.
Had GM followed though with shutting down the plant, which it threatened to do several months ago, Hamtramck would no longer receive $800,000 a year in lieu of property taxes.
That financial agreement apparently will remain in place, since production will continue.
Since GM announced that the Poletown plant would close, city officials have been scrambling to figure out how to keep paying the bills once that revenue stream dried up.
While it appears the city no longer faces an immediate financial crisis, there are plenty of other budget shortfalls lurking – such as rising health care costs for city employees, as well as a pension obligation for 200-plus retirees.
Financially-speaking, Hamtramck still faces huge challenges.
Word is that there will be some upcoming decisions made that may upset some folks. Those who have to make hard decisions usually face backlash of some sort – but seldom does anyone offer constructive advice.
Hard times call for hard decisions to be made.
Oct. 25, 2019

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