BWL Board takes step toward trying to solidify its place in the community

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) – The BWL Board of Commissioners is taking a step toward trying to solidify its place in the community.

The board nearly unanimously approved a resolution tonight, authorizing the BWL’s General Manager to develop a business case demonstrating why the Lansing Board of Water and Light should not be sold. Board member Ken Ross voted no.

David Price, Chair of the BWL Board of Commissioners, said the page long resolution basically justifies it’s value and the need for it to stay in the community.

“The BWL is more than just a power company,” Price said. “And with all the talk about the sale.. And should it be sold.. Should it not be sold I think it was important for us to go on record and recognize in that solution…these are the things the BWL is about.”

A decision that was made with four more commissioners on board, bringing it to full capacity.

The bigger question for the public is, what would happen if the BWL  was sold? Could it lead to a rate increase?

“This year we’ve held a light on rates and we worked hard to do that and we’re going to still be able to do that same reliable service doing that and i’m looking at next year taking an aggressive approach on not having to raise rates too,” Interim General Manager Dick Peffley said.

“It’s up to me to show business case to the city, and explain to them that I don’t think that’s the best interest for them to solve their problem and the best interest in the city of Lansing,” he said.

It’s a step forward that members of the public felt was critical and commended the board for doing.

“The citizens are out there talking,” Elaine, a member of the public said. “They have concerns; they’re out there walking and worried of what’s going to happen.”

“Not only is it important for the city residents to know where this board stands, but for employees,” Ron Burns said. “This is all employees are talking about… Am I going to have a job.. Is this place going to be sold.”

And so tonight the BWL took a stand to begin that process, something Interim General Manager Dick Peffley said he’s on board with.

“We’re ready to tackle this request by the commissioners,” Peffley said.

The motion that carried tonight is preliminary; it’s just one of the steps the board wanted to take moving forward.

It will go to the full board at its next meeting in two weeks on July 28th for the final approval.

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