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  1. #1
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    Default Highland Park Michigan has its streetlights repossessed

    how embarraskin

    I have heard so many stories of cities on the brink of bankruptcy but this one! WOW...

    Last Updated: October 11. 2011 1:00AM
    DTE deal pulls out lights in Highland Park
    Areas in dark after 1,400 street lights removed to settle bill
    George Hunter/ The Detroit News

    Highland Park— Most of the city's street lights have been repossessed because officials failed to pay a multimillion-dollar utility bill, giving rise to concerns about safety and crime in darkened neighborhoods.

    DTE Energy crews have removed about 1,400 light poles from Highland Park as part of a settlement that allowed the city to avoid paying $4 million in unpaid bills going back several years. DTE, which says the work will be completed by Oct. 31, has replaced 200 lights with newer models on street corners, but most neighborhoods remain in the dark.

    Highland Park, plagued by financial trouble, was able to reduce its monthly utility bill from $62,000 to $15,000, an amount officials say fits the city's budget. But residents and business owners complain that the resulting darkness is like a welcome mat for criminals. "After they took the street light from in front of my business, someone climbed onto my roof and stole an air conditioning unit," said Bobby Hargrove, owner of Hargrove Machinery Sales on Oakland Avenue, who also claims a police officer asked him for money to beef up his protection. "I feel like I'm being punished — I've always paid my bills on time, but they took the street light anyway."

    Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp insists that crime has not increased since the lights were removed. "I had the police chief work up the crime stats, and found that most of our burglaries are taking place during the daylight hours," Yopp said. But resident Robert Davis, secretary of the city's school board, said three schools were broken into at night, right after the street lights were removed. "Thankfully, DTE agreed to put new lights in front of the schools, although they're not all up yet," he said.

    DTE spokesman Len Singer said Highland Park is "a unique situation."
    "We did everything we could to try to help the city come to a level of service they could manage," Singer said. "We wanted to work with the city to maintain some level of service, and do so in a way that would allow the city to cover the bill each month. They simply weren't able to maintain the costs for having all the previous lights."

    Singer said the utility is under no obligation to maintain service to communities that don't pay their bills. "But obviously, we wanted to work with the city to provide some lighting for their residents and businesses," he said. DTE began removing the light poles in August, rather than just cutting off the power, to avoid lawsuits and confusion, he said. "Mostly, it was a liability issue; we didn't want to have poles there that were de-energized, and likely won't ever be energized again," Singer said. "Also, we wanted to avoid the confusion of having lights up that don't work. In the end, we figured it was better to just take them out."

    Some cities own their street poles and pay DTE for the electricity. "But we own the lights in Highland Park," Singer said. The old poles were sold as scrap metal, Singer said. The 200 new poles will be fed power via overhead lines, rather than underground, which makes maintenance easier, Singer said.
    Hargrove claims a Highland Park police officer tried to cash in on his loss.
    "He contacted me about a week after my air conditioner was stolen and told me he'd make sure my place didn't get broken into — if I paid him $650 every two weeks," he said. "That's like paying protection to the Mafia."
    Hargrove reported the alleged incident to city officials. Yopp said he's investigating the claim.

    "Our residents already pay for police protection; we'd better not be charging them twice," he said. "I'm definitely going to get to the bottom of this."
    Jessie Flowers, 85, who has lived in Highland Park since 1947, said she's "not happy" about the situation. "I'm concerned about people breaking into my house," she said. "The street lights should be on. "I'm so flabbergasted I don't even know what to do."

    Yopp said he understands the frustration and is trying to secure federal or state funding to restore lighting to the city's neighborhoods. "We're no longer in debt, and our bill is lower each month," he said. "But I'm certainly not happy about the level of lighting in the city, and I'm doing whatever I can to work something out."



    From The Detroit News:

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  2. #2
    Good Enough The J Man's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised. They've had financial troubles for years.

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by The J Man View Post
    I'm not surprised. They've had financial troubles for years.
    Where is Highland Park located with respect to 8-Mile (Northville) or 12-Mile (Farmington Hills)?? Just curious b/c I've got relatives in those two cities/townships.
    Rock the Red!!!

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    "Dying ain't much of a living, boy."

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  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp insists that crime has not increased since the lights were removed. "I had the police chief work up the crime stats, and found that most of our burglaries are taking place during the daylight hours," Yopp said.


    Yeah! You go, Hubert! That's looking on the bright side. Who needs street lights when the criminals don't even bother waiting until dark?







    Don't read this.

  5. #5
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullwinkle View Post
    Highland Park Mayor Hubert Yopp insists that crime has not increased since the lights were removed. "I had the police chief work up the crime stats, and found that most of our burglaries are taking place during the daylight hours," Yopp said.


    Yeah! You go, Hubert! That's looking on the bright side. Who needs street lights when the criminals don't even bother waiting until dark?
    yeah, I read that and thought that Highland Park must be like the wild west.

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Bad to the Bone's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 08:39 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buschman View Post
    Where is Highland Park located with respect to 8-Mile (Northville) or 12-Mile (Farmington Hills)?? Just curious b/c I've got relatives in those two cities/townships.
    HP is a "city within a city" meaning it is surrounded by detroit, it touches hamtramick as well but hamtramick is also surrounded by detroit. If you have relatives in northville or FH you got nuthin' to worry about. Those are 2 very well to do cities. HP is (if memory serves me right) along the southfield freeway which is at least 10 miles from FH or NV if you take 696 ( one of the main freeways running east to west in that area). Northville would totally be off a detroit criminals radar cause it's pretty damn far and to be honest "joe average detroit thug" would stick out like a sore thumb in NV....the houses in some areas of NV are incredible.

    there was talk awhile ago about HP just being absorbed by detroit (this is going by my memory so it might not be 100% accurate) and the people in HP went nuts. I was born in Hamtramick and lived there for about 8 years when I was a kid. my cousins lived right outside of ham-town. It used to be all polish folks and was kind of well kept now it's a mess. I go down there once or twice a year to polish village for dinner but aside from that both cities are a total and complete dibacle.

  7. #7
    Good Enough The J Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buschman View Post
    Where is Highland Park located with respect to 8-Mile (Northville) or 12-Mile (Farmington Hills)?? Just curious b/c I've got relatives in those two cities/townships.
    It's south of 6 Mile but west of I-75; slightly north of downtown Detroit.

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by The J Man View Post
    It's south of 6 Mile but west of I-75; slightly north of downtown Detroit.
    That's what I thought, but wasn't 100% sure. Might go up there in December to Farmington Hills to visit relatives.

    My dad grew up in Detroit (Livernois and 6-Mile) and last May he and I went by his old house, still in good shape but the neighborhood has gone south. Alot of crime and I'm sure if they didn't have street lights, the crime rate would get even higher.
    Rock the Red!!!

    "Give Doc the shotgun. They're less apt to get nervy if he's on the street howitzer."

    "Dying ain't much of a living, boy."

    Save a Terrapin - Fear a Turtle

 

 

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