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Detroiters could see quick results from new lighting authority

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(Credit: WJBK| Detroit street light (Credit: WJBK| Detroit street light

By Alexis Wiley


The Detroit City Council spent much of the day interviewing candidates for the newly created Detroit Lighting Authority.

Lighting is one of the biggest problems facing the city of Detroit, but how will a Lighting Authority fix that situation? We took that question to a woman who has been fighting for this all along. Former State Rep. Maureen Stapleton said, "lighting has no division in this city, everyone is in the dark at some point or another."

There are 88,000 lights in the city of Detroit and on most nights, 44,000 of them are out.

"We know immediately that city of Detroit residents need lights," Stapleton said. And that's exactly why the Detroit resident and former State Rep. sponsored the bill to create the Detroit Lighting Authority. A board made up of five people. There will be an engineer, lawyer and C-P-A on the board.  The mayor and city council will each appoint two members and the fifth will have to be someone selected by both the mayor and the city council.

"These are Detroiters that are being appointed to the board. They have specific expertise that will allow them to move forward and get the job done in the right way. And there's no outside influence from anybody. This is Detroiters handling Detroit issues with Detroit money," Stapleton said.

Money generated by selling bonds and raising revenue will hopefully bring back the light pretty quickly. And to Maureen Stapleton pretty quickly could mean within 6 to 8 months. The city is already testing out LED lights in certain neighborhoods.

But what about those Detroiters who live in neighborhoods that are less populated and may not fall in Detroit's future plan? Stapleton says they shouldn't be left out. But the truth is the city may not need 88,000 lights.

"I can walk you a mile away from here right now and there's a square half mile where no one is living. So why would we put lights in that square half mile if no one's living there?" Stapleton said.

But for those who are living here, bright lights will make a big difference. All the members of the Lighting Authority should be appointed within the next 30 days and then it will be time for them roll up their sleeves and get to work.

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