Let There Be Light in Detroit: Bing Announces Long-Term Fix
Detroit officials today unveiled a four-year plan to turn to do what no mayoral administration has been able to do for 35 years -- fix the streetlights.
The City Council must vote on the plan, but if members reject it, the Bing administration can impose it under Detroit's consent agreement with the state.
Included in the plan is a new call center that will send workers out to fix the lights within one week of reported problems. Officials said lighting mechanisms will be buried so that they will be impossible to steal, eliminating a major source of repeated outages.
The first pre-phase will start in September -- before the creation of a special lighting authority that needs approval of the Legislature. -- with the repair of 3,300 lights throughout Detroit. Plans are to fix those lights within the first six months at a cost of about $614,325.
City officials also plan to remove 20,000 abandoned alleyway fixtures around the city and will add 20 to 30 linemen to fix lights within one week of a citizen's complaint call.
Chris Brown, the mayor's chief operation officer and public lighting point person, said the plan depends on action from the state Legislature.