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Detroit Public Lighting Authority promising streetlight fixes

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Streetlight in Detroit Streetlight in Detroit
DETROIT (AP) -

In the daytime, one Detroit block is filled with kids and families, but when darkness falls, it becomes a very different place.

"Very dark, scary like a scary movie," said Eboni.

She explained many of the lights in her east side neighborhood simply do not work.

"All the abandoned houses and the block that I have to walk to go to the gas station is completely dark," Eboni said.

She is not alone. About half of the streetlights all over the city are dark. Some of the fixes are pretty complex, but others are shockingly simple.

"Some of the lights in the city of Detroit are simply out because a bulb has not been changed or a minor circuit has not been repaired," said Maureen Stapleton. "I was absolutely blown away that the City of Detroit has not gone out of its way to do the basic things in order to get some lights on in the city."

However, things may be changing. The City of Detroit has begun some emergency work, and the newly created Detroit Public Lighting Authority will pick up where the city leaves off. Stapleton is the chair, and she is making Detroiters one simple promise.

"People will see a differently lit city by the end of the summer, early fall," she said.

Why should you believe her? The City of Detroit under Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has already paid the authority more than $1.25 million to start the work. The authority is hiring an executive director and putting out contracts to bid, and every neighborhood will be asked to weigh in.

"We will be working with the community to establish a three year plan and get some big project off the ground," Stapleton said.

Such as restoring lighting to areas like Outer Drive and Woodward.

"We have a major development that's going in there," Stapleton said. "So those are the kinds of projects that now that we've received funding, we'll be able to ramp up."

People like Eboni are hoping the authority does what it is promising because it will have a major impact on their lives on so many others.

The Public Lighting Authority will be holding meetings according to council districts where people can express what they want to see in their neighborhoods. The following is a schedule of those meetings:

DIstrict 1 -- Northwest
Friday, June 28
Brightmoor Community Center
14451 Burt Road

District 2 -- North Center
Wednesday, June 26
Northwest Activities Center
18100 Meyers Road

District 3 -- Northeast
Wednesday, July 17
Perfecting Church Cathedral
7616 East Nevada

District 4 -- East
Wednesday, July 3
Samaritan Center
5555 Conner Street

District 5 -- TBA

District 6 -- Southwest
Wednesday, July 10
Wayne County Community College Downtown
1001 West Fort Street

District 7 -- West
Monday, July 8
Greater Grace Temple
23500 West Seven Mile Road

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