DETROIT-There is still no word on which power company has expressed interest in taking over Detroit's Public Lighting Department and taking a crack at running the trouble-laden system.
Although Mayor Dennis Archer told The Detroit News he would "seriously entertain any offer" from a private company to run the utility, neither his office nor any private company has stepped forward with details on the deal, which would represent the largest sell-off of a city agency in recent Detroit history.
The Public Lighting Department suffered a terrible year in 2000, including two major power outages that shut down schools, hospitals, and government offices. This and a major electrical explosion at Detroit's main library have elicited calls for privatization and apparently opened the door for offers from private companies that believe they could handle the job.
The only things known at this point are that the company that came forward with an offer is not Detroit Edison, and that city government was given "about a month," according to Archer, to come up with an assessment of just what a sale deal would entail and how it should work.
The department provides lighting to 4,500 public buildings in Detroit, including schools, libraries, fire stations, police precincts, hospitals, and colleges and universities.