PAYING THE BILLS
Buried in the hundreds of pages of bankruptcy documents is the name Hercules & Hercules, Inc. For more than two decades, the janitorial supply company has done business with the city, but on occasion, Detroit couldn't pay and the company allowed it to forego payments. For Belinda Jefferson, president of the family-run firm, the bankruptcy doesn't change its commitment.
"We know the city is facing challenges and we're going to stick by them," said Jefferson, who declined to reveal how much Hercules & Hercules is owed.
The company is one of more 7,000 vendors listed among the 100,000 creditors documented in the bankruptcy filing. Those with debt tied to revenue streams like water and sewerage fees will get paid. Unsecured debt holders like Hercules & Hercules will have to stand in line and see what remains if a judge gives Detroit the OK to proceed with bankruptcy.
"We will treat everyone in the unsecured class equally because that's what's required under the law," Orr said. "How that breaks out is a function of the math."
The phones are lighting up at the offices of the Retired Detroit Police & Fire Fighters Association.
"The thing we can tell them right now is: 'Nothing's happened yet. Our pension hopefully will be there on Aug. 1 when it comes in,'" said the group's vice president, Greg Trozak.
Detroit has about 10,000 workers and 18,000 retirees, and Snyder called the amount of money Detroit spends on health care and pensions "unsustainable."
For retirees like Trozak, city-funded health care may become a thing of the past.
"How can we make sure there are alternative health care programs?" Snyder said. "There is basically zero funding that has been set aside for the health care liabilities in the city of Detroit."