LANSING — The Michigan Department of Management and Budget is seeking proposals for the use of the state fairgrounds in Detroit. The state will still own the fairgrounds and operate the two-week fair, but looks to lease the land to someone for use the rest of the year.

The state received requests from interested parties and is establishing a process for awarding a contract. The grounds themselves are "in excess to fair needs," according to the state’s request for proposals.

The grounds are zoned for business development, and the state will judge proposals based on four selection criteria. The state would like to select a partner in July and finalize a grounds lease agreement in October, according to the RFP.

The Mackinac Center has argued that the fairgrounds may be better run as a nonprofit and off of state assistance. For more information on that, please see this commentary www.mackinac.org/5853 from October 2003.