Thursday, August 27, 2015

Detroit: $1 million US Customs center only being used to store equipment for politically connected catering firm

Detroit River last month
A top-of-the line $1 millions customs facility on the Detroit River sits unused.

From the Detroit News:
Two years after completion, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have never used the 4,000 square feet of offices, holding cells and labs built for the agency inside the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Public Dock and Terminal at Atwater and Bates.

The facility includes a floor designed so that Customs could process cruise ship passengers. The agency says the facility doesn't meet standards; port authority officials say they can't afford $170,000 computer and camera upgrades to make it suitable.

So the waterfront offices, next to the Renaissance Center, are crammed with chairs, linens, tables and signs owned by a catering company that hosts weddings and corporate events on the second floor of the building.
And what about those cruise ships?

One cruise ship has stopped once in Detroit in the past two years, though, and the terminal is used mostly by Continental Services and Catering, a Troy-based company with deep ties to the Democratic Party.
The events held at the facility aren't church-basement style budget affairs. Catered wedding receptions start at $18,500 at this taxpayer paid-for building. As you will see below--the customs cash sinkhole is only the tip of the cruise ship iceberg.

Related post:

$22 million in taxpayer funds flushed away on Detroit cruise ship lure

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