DETROIT — On Friday, the state Department of Natural Resources announced that, pending changes made in a contract with Detroit officials, it has recommended moving forward with a new contract for the Grand Prix to take place on Belle Isle, a state park. The race’s contract expired this year, and if not renewed, Grand Prix officials have noted there are no alternative locations for the race in the Detroit area. In response, state Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) sent the DNR a letter yesterday expressing her thoughts on the Belle Isle Grand Prix proposal and the DNR’s counterproposal. She has also issued the following statement:
“Since first coming to the state Legislature in 2015, I have been speaking out and listening to my residents about the importance of preserving Belle Isle’s natural beauty and wildlife habitats, as well as the need for the DNR to be mindful of the environmental impacts the Grand Prix has on the island every year. As the DNR and the Detroit Grand Prix officials consider a new proposed contract, I hope the concerns that Detroit residents and I share will be more fully addressed, including the unnecessarily long set-up and take-down process, as well as the need for an increase in compensation associated with enhancing the park. One of my primary concerns as state representative has always been preserving the quality of life for those in my community and protecting our natural resources. I am disappointed that the proposal includes only a small percentage reduction in set-up and take-down time that still results in a large portion of the park being inaccessible to the public during the spring.”
A copy of the letter Rep. Chang sent to DNR officials is attached.