BWL Board Reacts To Report - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

BWL Board Reacts To Report

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(WLNS) - Board chairwoman Sandy Zerkel says not only will BWL act on the review teams recommendations she says they've already begun doing that.

And says BWL will be a stronger utility for it.

I also spoke with local leaders who say they're hoping the board pays attention and learns from the CRT's analysis and recommendations.

It boils down to a lack of an emergency response plan, inadequate amount of boots on the ground and a failure to communicate.

That was the gist of the community review team's report detailing BWL's failure to respond to thousands of power outages following December's ice storm.

The seventy-five page report listed 54 recommendations to address those failures.

Sandy Zerkle, chairperson of the BWL board of commissioners, said, "I'm sure that the Board of Water and Light will look at those recommendations."

Zerkle says the report goes all the way back to the first few days of the storm so many of the recommendations the review team made she says BWL is already working on.

"A lot of these have been addressed," said Zerkle.

The CRT put together its own assessment of best practices for emergency response which the report says BWLl didn't follow.

"most of the time the board of water and light follows best practices so if there are some areas we have not--then i would have to look at those and figure out why we didn't or are we doing it now," said Mike McDaniel, CRT chairman.

"When General McDaniel was assigned this task we expected a very thorough review," said BWL board member Nathan Triplett.

And that's what we got according to Nathan Triplett.

The East Lansing mayor says what struck him was the CRT's emphasis on a regional response to emergencies yet another area in which BWL fell short.

"Had those systems been in place, had we had a more effective means of communicating. the response likely would've been faster."

Triplett says there's work to do but so far the utility seems to be on the right track.

"There's been considerably more communication since the december storm than there's been in the past," he adds.

One thing that was not a part of the CRT's recommendations was that Peter Lark step down as BWL's general manager.

There were calls for him to resign from BWL customers but the review team avoided that issue.

Today Zerkle said she and the board remain firmly behind Lark's leadership.

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