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Lansing utility to adopt suggested changes after problems with December ice storm response

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LANSING, Michigan — The Lansing Board of Water & Light will adopt suggested changes to improve service after a December ice storm left some customers without power for more than a week.

General Manager J. Peter Lark told board members Tuesday he agrees with findings from a mayor-appointed citizen review team and state regulators that show the municipal utility didn't have adequate staffing, preparation or training.

PHOTO: In a Tuesday, June 10, 2014, photo, Lansing Board of Water & Light Commissioner Cynthia Ward questions utility General Manager J. Peter Lark after he delivered his response to the findings by the independent Citizens Review Team on the ice-storm outage last December in Lansing, Mich. The board will adopt suggested changes to improve service after a December ice storm left some customers without power for more than a week. Lark told board members he agrees with findings from a mayor-appointed citizen review team and state regulators that show the municipal utility didn't have adequate staffing, preparation or training. (AP Photo/Lansing State Journal, Greg DeRuiter)
In a Tuesday, June 10, 2014, photo, Lansing Board of Water & Light Commissioner Cynthia Ward questions utility General Manager J. Peter Lark after he delivered his response to the findings by the independent Citizens Review Team on the ice-storm outage last December in Lansing, Mich. The board will adopt suggested changes to improve service after a December ice storm left some customers without power for more than a week. Lark told board members he agrees with findings from a mayor-appointed citizen review team and state regulators that show the municipal utility didn't have adequate staffing, preparation or training. (AP Photo/Lansing State Journal, Greg DeRuiter)

The Lansing State Journal reports (http://on.lsj.com/1klvIyz ) more than 100 recommendations will be adopted. Lark says improvements will cost millions and customers should expect higher rates.

The reviews came after the Dec. 21-22 storm, which led to power outages for 40,000 of the utility's customers — some for up to 11 days. The company faced widespread public criticism for long telephone wait times and its overall communication efforts.


Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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