Authority One Step Closer to Restoring Detroit’s Streetlights

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The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit completed today the sale of $60 million in bonds to fund the initial phases of its plan to restore reliable streetlights to the city of Detroit.

“The sale of these bonds means we will be able to continue uninterrupted our work to restore reliable street lights to the city over the next three years,” says Odis Jones, executive director of the authority.

Jones says that last week’s ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes — which assured the safety of funds designated for the authority — paved the way for the sale.

The bonds were issued to the Michigan Finance Authority, which in turn sold them to Citibank. By statute, the lighting authority can only issue bonds through the MFA.

The authority will begin work immediately to begin the second phase of bonding, which will be used to pay off the initial bonds sold today and will provide additional funds to finish the street lighting project, Jones says.

“The final amount of the second bond issue will depend on the bond rating they receive, but our expectation is that it will be around $150 million,” Jones says.

The bonds will be paid off with proceeds from a portion of the city’s annual utility tax.

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