Nowling: We're open to debt restructuring ideas that protect art - KMSP-TV

Nowling: We're open to debt restructuring ideas that protect the arts

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(WJBK) -

"What we're doing, and what bankruptcy is, is a process to restructure the debt," explains Bill Nowling, a spokesman for the emergency manager's office.

A lot of that restructuring depends on what comes out of mediation. It's a process where all sides come to the table and make agreements that many won't like but are willing to live with.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is already working on a plan to get foundations, corporations and art lovers to either purchase a piece of art and donate it back to the museum, or buy the naming rights.

"I think there's a real core of people ... who would like to see the DIA be an independent organization," Thomas Guastello says. He is on the DIA's board. He believes the museum will be able to raise another $200 million to $300 million dollars.

"If it allows us to solve our issues; if it allows us to protect the art; if it allows us to make inroads in restructuring the suffocating death that the city's facing now, we're open to listening to that," Nowling says.

But there's a lot more on the table. The city's still working on a deal with the suburbs to create a regional Water Authority. But the fate of Detroit pensions will most likely be the biggest point of contention.

"You're going to see a lot of negotiation, a lot of behind-the-scenes negotiation going on between the parties, between the city and the creditors and the unions. You're going to see that ramp up now," says Nowling.  

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more in Fox 2's Alexis Wiley's report

Emergency manager Kevyn Orr is expected to release a detailed plan of adjustment at the beginning of January. The rest, which will detail the fate of Detroit's pensions, should be released in March.

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