New York creditor wants payment before Detroit lighting improved - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

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

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  • LeDuff report: Detroit's lighting system problems are shocking

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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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    Tuesday, December 3 2013 7:57 PM EST2013-12-04 00:57:27 GMT
    On Tuesday, police in Detroit teamed up with Michigan State Police and federal law enforcement officers to conduct a massive raid the size of a city block.
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    Friday, November 8 2013 6:12 PM EST2013-11-08 23:12:53 GMT
    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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