DETROIT (WWJ) – With an estimated 60 percent of street lights out in the Detroit a Michigan lawmaker says she has a possible solution to the city’s chronic public lighting problem.
State Representative Maureen Stapleton (D-Detroit) says her bill would create a public lighting authority which would have the power to sell bonds to finance a fix.
“This is a creative way to help local governments have yet another tool to help them solve their local problems locally,” Stapleton said.
She said the lighting problems stem from three major causes: “One, copper theft, as we know it. Two … 10 percent of them are mercury and therefore are environmentally unsound,” she said. “Thirty, forty percent of them are on Christmas tree strings, meaning, one light goes out and the entire block goes out.”
Stapleton said she will introduce a bill on Tuesday that will allow Detroit and 40 other cities to create the public authorities which would be able to sell bonds to generate millions of dollars.
Stapleton said keeping public lighting public is the only viable option in Detroit because the infrastructure is in such bad shape, finding a private firm to take over would be next to impossible.