"I think it's important that people know the BWL is a stronger utility than it's ever been, better able to get the power back to its customers more quickly."
J. Peter Lark, BWL General Manager
Lansing is running out of time to get two major changes to the Board of Water & Light on the November ballot. The council will have to hold a hearing and vote on them at its next meeting on August 11, one day before the deadline, for that to happen. The biggest change would give the mayor of Lansing control of the BWL during an emergency. Current general manager J. Peter Lark went to great lengths to avoid saying if he supported the idea or not. "I think it's important that people know the BWL is a stronger utility than it's ever been, better able to get the power back to its customers more quickly," Lark told wilx.com when asked if he'd be willing to step aside and give the mayor power during an emergency. Council member Carol Wood doesn't see what the big deal is, and pointed out that Mayor Virg Bernero didn't declare an emergency during last December's ice storm. "With this amendment that's out there wouldn't have changed anything based on where we are today," Wood said. At the time, Mayor Bernero said the city was capable of handling the ice storm response and did not need state assistance, which is why he didn't declare an emergency.
A second proposal would create three new non-voting seats on the BWL Board of Commissioners. East Lansing and Delta Township would get one each. The third would rotate between Delhi, Meridian and Lansing Townships. News 10 and wilx.com will be tracking this story for you.