BWL Offers More Apologies, Falls Short On Promise - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

BWL Offers More Apologies, Falls Short On Promise

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Lansing Board of Water and Light offered another public apology Tuesday night during its committee of the whole meeting, while at the same time failing to keep a promise it made to its customers at a meeting last week.

Spokesman Stephen Serkaian admitted his failure in not having a crisis communication plan in place, and vowed the company would do better as it moves forward in regaining public trust. "We offer our sincere apologies to any BWL customer who suffered hardships during the outage," said Serkaian. "We certainly can do better and we pledge to do better."

But in an action plan released Jan. 7, BWL said within a week, it would have an online outage map for customers to view. By the end of the Jan 14. meeting, that map was still not available. Serkaian dismissed the need for the outage map at this time because there had been no outages, but said should outages happen again, a map would be posted online. "There's currently no outage map online because we're at full restoration," said Serkaian. "We're working very hard to put together an outage center, not unlike other utilities in Michigan. And so for the meantime, anytime we have an outage, we'll be able to put online, on the BWL website, an outage map."

Ryan Sebolt, a BWL customer who's been vocal in his criticism of the was the company handled the storm, said he feels somewhat better now that the company is admitting to its mistakes, but is a disappointed in community turnout at Tuesday's meeting. Sebolt was one of only a few general customers who attended the meeting, a big change from the Jan. 7 meeting, which drew out about 200 people. "I'm kind of worried that if people don't continue to shine a spotlight on [BWL} that we aren't going to see the improvements that the board is promising," said Sebolt.

BWL will hold three more meetings this week across the Mid-Michigan area. They are as follows:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
6 p.m.
Hannah Community Center
819 Abbot Road
East Lansing, MI 48823

Thursday, January 16, 2014
7 p.m.
Delta Township Administration Building
7710 W. Saginaw Hwy., Room A
Lansing, MI 48917

Lansing
Friday, January 17, 2014
REO Town Depot
1201 S. Washington Ave.
Lansing, MI 48910

Emerald Morrow is a reporter with WLNS-TV. Like her on Facebook, Follow her on Twitter or email her at emorrow@wlns.com.

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