Bing Offers Plan To Light Darkened Detroit Streets

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Mayor Dave Bing has announced a plan aimed at lighting some of Detroit’s most darkened streets and freeways.

The strategy released Friday calls for a backlog of 3,300 reported light outages to be fixed within six months after the creation of a public lighting authority.

But the authority requires passage of a bill in the state Legislature allowing communities to establish lighting authorities. Bing said the plan also needs the passage of a utility users’ tax and suspension of an income tax rollback.

A plan that would have set up a commission to earmark taxes and sell bonds to fix the lights in Detroit stalled in the state Senate in June, following a contentious debate.

Bing said he expects the legislation impacting his plan to be taken up again in Lansing next Wednesday, when the Legislature reconvenes for one day.

The plan’s total cost would be about $160 million, with most paid through bond sales by the authority.

Officials have estimated that there are more than 40,000 broken lights and poles in the city — about 60 percent of all Detroit street lights.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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