New York creditor wants payment before Detroit lighting improved - FOX 35 News Orlando

New York creditor wants to get paid before Detroit lighting is improved

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By: Charlie LeDuff

(WJBK) -- We reported to you Wednesday that the city is finally going to take some of your utility tax money, Detroit, and start fixing the street lights which haven't had a nickel dropped into them in over four decades.

But wait a minute.

A creditor of the city, a New York insurance company involved with the mortgage meltdown, filed motion in bankruptcy court saying, 'That's not fair!' if they're not going to get paid back their full amount.

And I quote from their motion:

"It does not answer why upgrading the city's entire lighting infrastructure makes sense for the city."

Maybe they don't understand that children get run down going to school on a dark street.

Fox 2's Charlie Langton explains: "This is a Chapter Nine filing. What this means is, cities just can't liquidate. You can't just sell off cities; ditch the police department; ditch the fire department; ditch the lighting authority. I think lights - I think! - lights are important in a city, and I would think that a judge is going to consider lights to be very important. Bond holders? They knew what they were getting into when they invested in Detroit. I don't care that Detroit doesn't have any money; the bond holders will take a loss, the lighting will go on. The lighting is priority."

"Tomorrow [Friday] we're going to start construction at 10 a.m. just south of Eight Mile, we're going to get going, start to put on the lights. At the end of the day, the fierce urgency of "now" demands it. The citizens view lighting not only as a component of the quality of life that they have, but more importantly, it's a hardcore component of safety for them. And we're going to move forward," says Odis Jones, the Executive Director of the Public Lighting Authority.

There's no timetable for the judge to rule.

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  • Ground Zero of the North Dakota Oil Boom

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    If you're willing to work 100 hours a week you could make $100,000 in a year.  Along with opportunity there are problems and a changing landscape to small town life that's as harsh as winter on the northern planes.
  • LeDuff: Detroit's bankruptcy is helping police do their jobs

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    Detroit police are doing better because less money is being paid to creditors and more is being invested in police services. Go on an exclusive ride to see how the fight on crime is getting new support.
    Detroit is a godforsaken place.  Everyone knows that.  Detroit is a mess, no doubt. Here's the thing: some of the factors that put Detroit $18 billion in debt could be factors in your town. Cities all over the country are struggling to pay for health care and retiree pensions. They're seeing revenues from property taxes and sales taxes drop as they try to pay for expensive projects that were approved before the recession.
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  • LeDuff goes inside massive Detroit Police raid

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  • Is this the crest of dawn in this thing we call a city?

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    LeDuff: Darkness Rules. And then on a corner of a street called Crusade, a case of what should be considered normal becomes the extraordinary:a streetlight gets repaired. And the curtains get pulled back from the iron door.
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