BWL GM Reacts To Ice Storm Studies - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

BWL GM Reacts To Ice Storm Studies

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(WLNS) - Lack of communication is "one of the problems" a local utility company may have had during December's ice storm and power outage.

And now the general manager of Lansing's Board of Water and Light is responding to a newly released community review report.

"The BWL will adopt all CRT and MPSC recommendations.," said BWL general manager Peter Lark.

It's a big task to take on. 114 recommendations from the Community Review Teams report and the Michigan Public Service Commission. And BWL says they're going to implement all of them.

"The reason we're agreeing to these things is so that we can be a strong utility. It's already a stronger utility than it was in December of '13 but it can be better," added Lark.

The CRT report concluded that BWL's response caused a power outage to last longer than it needed to back in December the outage left 40% of their customers in the dark for up to 12 days. Now BWL says it's time for change.

Lark say BWL is already implementing several recommendations including

- increasing internal spotter crews

-tripling the number of line crews during an outage

-and creating a mobile app and an interactive map

but can BWL afford to implement all of the recommendations? Lark says the price tag is in the millions.. And someone has to pick up the bill.

"Would it require a rate increase? Yes it will. I've talked about it before... I would expect in the very near term there would be an increase which i think is necessary," Lark said.

As for Lark, he says despite the crisis he won't step down.

"To me an excellent CEO looks for problems, finds them, fixes them and makes sure they don't happen again and that's what i'm here to do," Lark concluded.

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