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Residents worry if bankruptcy will better Detroit

July 19, 2013 • Business


FILE – This Oct. 24, 2012 file photo shows an empty field north of Detroit’s downtown. Detroit, which on Thursday, July 18, 2013, filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in American history, owes as much as $20 billion to banks, bondholders and pension funds. The city can get rid of its gargantuan debt, but a bankruptcy judge can’t bring back residents or raise its dwindling revenue. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

DETROIT (AP) — In Detroit, it can take police nearly an hour to respond to a 911 call. Despite razing close to 10,000 vacant houses, three times as many still stand with windows smashed and doors ripped off. At night, many streets and even freeways are dangerously shrouded in darkness because tens of thousands of street lights don’t work.

This is Detroit, an insolvent city seeking to find its way through the uncertainty of the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy.

For decades, residents have heard one city official after another vow to improve city services but little would be done. On Friday — a day after the city filed the unprecedented bankruptcy — they were given a deadline.

Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, promised weary residents that they would see better city services in 30 to 60 days.

“Now is our opportunity to stop 60 years of decline,” Snyder said Friday during a press conference just north of downtown.

Though Thursday’s bankruptcy filing had been feared for months, the path ahead for the once mighty Motor City is still uncertain. As Detroit starts the likely lengthy process of shedding its debt, residents, businesses owners and retirees nervously wonder if they’ll see Login to read more

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