Detroit will lay off 400, shut history museum

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Acting quickly on a re-election mandate to fix the city's finances, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on Tuesday announced the layoffs of 400 city workers, the closing of the Detroit Historical Museum and transfer of management of the Detroit Zoo.

Combined with other budget cutbacks, the plan is expected save $40 million. But major parts of the mayor's overall plan to avoid a budget deficit -- including pay and benefit cuts for union-represented workers -- remain unresolved.

The pink slips, following hundreds of layoffs earlier this year, will go out today and take effect Jan. 15. Kilpatrick says he has cut roughly 2,800 city jobs since taking office in 2001, reducing overall city employment to just under 17,000.

Included are nine layoffs and the closing of the Detroit Historical Museum for a savings of $475,000. Officials say the museum could remain open only if private funding were found immediately to avoid a shutdown.

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