State Report: BWL Fell Short In Duties

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A state review is blunt and confirms what most Lansing Board of Water and Light customers already know, the BWL dropped the ball during and after the December ice storm. The report from the state public service commission also suggests ways the utility can make sure it doesn't happen again.

"The commission is encouraging the Mayor to consider those recommendations and to work with the BWL and the City Council and the Board of Commissioners to take a look at these recommendations and implement as many as they think appropriate," said Judy Palnau, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Public Service Commission.

That could be a lot. The report lists 30 suggestions to help BWL improve its reliability -- including setting rigorous schedules for tree trimming, creating one central phone number for customers to call and providing outage credits.

"Another important aspect that we think would benefit the BWL is to establish a number of indexes," Palnau added.

That's part of putting together an annual review to help the utility measure its reliability.

Lansing's Mayor tells us the recommendations will be added to a list of of changes the city is already working to make.

"We weren't waiting for this to make changes changes have been constant since the storm and i am absolutely convinced that the board of water and light is a better stronger utility today," Mayor Bernero said.

Board members aren't committing to anything specific yet, but say they're taking it seriously.

"This is a good wake up call to say we have to plan for the worst and hope for the best," said Sandy Zerkle head of the the BWL Board of Commissioners.

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