City supports regional control of Lansing Board of Water and Light

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By Katie Stiefel
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

The Lansing Board of Water and Light was among the topics discussed on Feb. 18 at the East Lansing City Council meeting.

Tuesday’s meeting concluded with the approval of the resolution in support of a Regionalizing Governance of the Lansing Board of Water and Light. The intent is to provide representation for East Lansing residents when decisions are made that will affect the services in their homes.

“It’s really to the accountability that I would want meaningful representation. If this develops so that we do have seats on the board, I would like it to be a meaningful representation of our interests that are there,” Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris said.

Mayor Nathan Triplett reminded the council that a Regionalizing Governance is one of the many issues that needs to be resolved as the city evaluates the response to the ice storm last December.

The ice storm hit East Lansing the night of Dec. 22. BWL estimated that 34,800 people lost power in the Lansing area. Many East Lansing residents regained power eight or nine days later with the exception of some customers requiring additional repairs.

New rules for building facades
Earlier in the meeting, the council approved a city-initiated ordinance establishing guidelines that would allow for the review of façades and elevations during site plan review for properties in the city.

“This just gives us (the city) some legs to stand on in terms of what buildings look like,” community development analyst Timothy Schmitt said.

The ordinance will give the city an additional tool to not only be sure that the building is built the way it looks on a schematic, but that the outside looks like what was presented originally.

Concerns about thawing
The recent increase in temperatures was addressed along with the consequences that may be brought with it.

“That thaw will have other challenges, including the large amount of water that will be generated from the melt that we’re going to need to deal with to avoid flooding, keeping the streets passable, things like that,” Triplett said.

The city has roughly 30 staff members dedicated to clearing out 5,000 catch basins throughout city streets. They will be pushing snow banks off the catch basins so that water can drain without flooding.

“The city does its best to cope with ice and snow, but this is something we’re all in
together as a community,” Triplett said.

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