Detroit City Council moves forward with plan aimed at improving street lighting

DETROIT (WXYZ) - "Dysfunctional" is what one city council member called the current state of public lighting in the city of Detroit.

On Tuesday, council voted 6 to 3 in favor of establishing the Detroit Public Lighting Authority. The mission of the five-member board will be to put a plan in place for improving the failing system that includes 88,000 street lights around the city.

No one even knows how many of those street lights are non-functioning. All they know is many haven't worked in years.

Once a plan is in place, we're told the new authority will take approximately 40,000 street lights out of service permanently and strategically light main roads and neighborhoods based on density.

Councilman Andre Spivey, who voted in support of the authority, says there are some blocks where citizens don't have a single working street light and other areas where no one lives and all the lights are functioning.

Mayor Dave Bing will appoint two members to the non-paid positions on the board. City Council will also appoint two members and the final position will be one agreed upon by both the mayor and council.

The new authority is expected to secure bond money in order to make necessary upgrades to the lighting system.

Council is set to begin interviewing possible board member on Wednesday.

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