Review Team Assembled To Investigate BWL Outage Response - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Review Team Assembled To Investigate BWL Outage Response

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - A team of 10 people has been chosen to review the Lansing Board of Water and Light's response to December's ice storm. The Community Review Team will look at planning, preparenedess, response and recovery.

"As a review team, we're going to take a very hard look at exactly what happened," said Douglas Jester, CRT member and former mayor of East Lansing. "I think it's important that we as a community have a power supply that is reliable."

In addition to serving as mayor East Lansing in the 90s, Jester also has experience in the utility industry. "I happen to have specific professional expertise in electricity systems and the tools for managing outages and things like that," he said. "I've developed for [Verizon's] product architecture for their smart grid, which includes tools for monitoring the electrical grid and observing and responding to outages and then shortening the repair times." Jester also said he's also been working with his partners at his consulting group on an analysis of response to outages to Hurricane Sandy and other storm events.

Jester is joined by 9 other members who represent the city of East Lansing, Merdian Township, Delta Township and the City of Lansing. Other team members include Brigadier General Michael McDaniel, Beverly Baten, Jerry Richards (Meridian Township), Darnell Earley, Bill Long (Delta Township), Larry Bass, Kyle Bowman, Patricia Spitzley and Joan Nelson (Lansing).

In addition to the team, Mark Burton, TJ Bucholz, Jeff Pillon, Rhonda Grant and Julie Secontine are all volunteering as an executive staff who will assist McDaniel in terms of scheduling and monitoring team progress.

McDaniel has faced criticism for taking charge of the board because of his prior ties to BWL CEO Peter Lark. The two both worked at the Attorney General's office at the same time and a spokesman for McDaniel acknowledged a cursory friendship between the two. Former BWL Commissioner Joseph Graves said it's reasonable to question the results of the investigation due to their ties.

The team has until March 31 to submit its findings. Additional forums will be held by the Community Review Team during February in Lansing, East Lansing and Delta Township. The announcement on the meeting dates is expected later this week.

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