DETROIT - Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager says he's pleased by a judge's ruling that the city is eligible to fix its finances in bankruptcy court.
Kevyn Orr said in a statement Tuesday that "time is of the essence" now that Judge Steven Rhodes ruled the city can shed billions of debt in the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history. Orr says he will submit an adjustment plan in the coming weeks and plans for the city to come out of Chapter 9 protection by the end of September.
Orr tells reporters that the city is improving already and more progress will be made.
Orr says he looks forward to working with all creditors. Rhodes turned down objections from unions, pension funds and retirees, which, like other creditors, could lose under any plan.
Here is Orr's full statement:
"We are pleased with Judge Rhodes' decision today, and we will continue to press ahead with the ongoing revitalization of Detroit. We look forward to working with all our creditors – pension funds, unions and lenders – to achieve a consensual agreement on a restructuring plan that balances their financial recoveries with the very real needs of the 700,000 citizens of Detroit.
"We are making good progress. In addition to today's important decision, Detroit has transferred its electric operations and customers to DTE Energy and begun a program to improve City lighting. It has announced plans to privatize trash collection that will save $6 million a year while improving services and adding curbside recycling. It has invested in sorely needed equipment for its police, fire and other first responders. The City also has arranged, pending a court hearing later this month, $350 million of post-petition financing to improve its financial condition, lessen some of its debt obligations, and make much-needed investments. The City is also committed to the federal mediation already underway aimed at resolving disputes with its creditors and we fully support U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gerald Rosen's efforts to find additive solutions, particularly from the philanthropic community, to the City's financial issues.
"Time is of the essence and we will continue to move forward as quickly and efficiently as possible. We plan to submit a Plan of Adjustment in the coming weeks, file a Disclosure Statement early next year and work to exit Chapter 9 protection by the end of September. We hope all parties will work together to help us develop a realistic restructuring plan that improves the financial condition of Detroit and the lives of its 700,000 citizens."
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