Mayor Virg Bernero says BWL’s response to ice storm will be fixed

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At the annual State of the City address, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero focused on the good news about new jobs in the auto industry and also the need to improve the Board of Water and Light’s response to the recent ice storm.

He stood elevated between two brand new Cadillacs, failing to mention the destroyed roads that these cars will soon drive on.

Bernero addresses the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s perceived shortcomings in dealing with the prolong

ed power outages after the pre-Christmas ice storm.  “The municipal utility did not live up to our expectations, He said.” “This will be fixed. When the reviews are complete and recommendations implemented, our hometown power company will be ready for anything.”

After the ice storm hit, citizens and local business owners were displeased with the response from the Board of Water and Light.   Some local citizens and business owners were questioning why these immediate responses were not implemented the first time.

According to the Lansing State Journal, “By the time the sun set Sunday on what some have called the worst ice storm in long memory, more than 412,000 homes and businesses statewide were in the dark and energy companies could only guess when their power would be restored.

The president of NAI TMN Commercial real estate, Nick Vlahakis, was one of these business owners impacted by the storm.

He owns and manages several properties in the greater Lansing area.  When asked how his company was affected by the storm he said, “When we lose power, or our tenants lose power at home, they cannot come to work and I am left to cover the losses.”

If the response with Board of Water and Light was faster, this could have been avoided for the extended amount of time and business owners would have operated as normal.

Sharlene and Arthur Gamelin, a local married couple were also impacted by the BWL delay.

“We lost power for a few days, but this really affected us because of our age,” Sharlene Gamelin said.

“Luckily, our friends had power and we were able to go there to stay warm,” she said. “While we were there, our bedroom window at home shattered from the cold.”

She said, “I just wish the city was better prepared, especially for us old folks. Bernero said at the State of the City address, hopefully the city will be ready next time.”

–Danielle St. Marie

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