BWL Customers React to Utility's Internal Review Report

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The Lansing Board of Water and Light's response to the December ice storm was no better or worse than other utilities, according to the results of an internal investigation released Tuesday.

The report did admit BWL had communication problems and issues with its outage management system while also acknowledging the hardship the outages placed on customers.

But the overall tone is the utility couldn't have done much else in the face of an "unprecedented" crisis.

Try telling that to Mark Fisk.

Eight days without power and a burst pipe later, Fisk was none too satisfied with the BWL's 70-plus page review.

"When I first read the results of their internal response I have to say it struck me as a joke, and not a funny one," Fisk said.

Fisk lives in East Lansing's Glencairn neighborhood, one of the harder hit spots during the outages and even the site of demonstrations against the utility.

"It's going to take some real substantive changes before we have confidence that our utility is up to the task," he said.

Fisk said he and his neighbors would rather see the independent review focusing on management instead.

Meanwhile, there were fairly similar reactions to the report on Lansing's west side.

"They just suck, they weren't doing their jobs," said Sam Chahin.

Chahin lives in what was unceremoniously dubbed the "forgotten zone" during the outages with residents there going ten days in the dark.

Though Chahin's neighbors were a bit more accepting of the improvements laid out in the review.

"I think they're good steps in the right direction," said John Minthorn.

"I was upset during it but they are a smaller utility, they're not the big guys and I understand that their resources are limited."

Across the street, Nubia Rogers was hopeful the improvements and changes would make for a better utility company.

"They've never failed me before and I would like to think that with the improvements, they've learned their lesson," Rogers said.

The community review team is still working on its own investigation.

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