Lansing Board of Water and Light

Politics & Government
1:23 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Interim BWL chief criticizes capital project’s “hidden costs”

Dick Peffley, Interim Manager for the Lansing Board of Water and Light
Credit Credit: Lansing Board of Water and Light

For two months, our first guest has been navigating highly publicized change at the Lansing Board of Water and Light. Dick Peffley’s retirement was interrupted in mid-January when he was asked to serve as interim General Manager of the city-owned utility after the sudden dismissal of Peter Lark. Peffley spent 38-years at the Board of Water and Light in several managerial positions including as Executive Director of Operations and once before as interim General Manager. When he accepted the job, he commented “I want to do what’s best for the BWL and our cu

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11:11 am
Fri January 30, 2015

BWL falcon family future up in the air

A 2014 image of Viper and Eckert in Lansing.

Some downtown Lansing residents are being watched intently for signs of courtship. The saga of the peregrine falcons who live at the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s Eckert Power Station continues with some new twists.

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Politics & Government
11:58 am
Wed January 14, 2015

BWL commissioner explains Lark ouster

BWL commissioner Dennis Louney (right) with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

More than a year after he came under fire for his utility’s heavily criticized response to widespread ice storm outages, Peter Lark has been dismissed as General Manager of the Lansing Board of Water and Light. In a 5-to-3 vote, the board that oversees the city-owned utility voted to fire Lark with cause. The motion also named former BWL manager Dick Pefley as interim GM.

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Politics & Government
12:45 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

BWL chief's job is on the line

Lansing Board of Water and Light General Manager and CEO J. Peter Lark
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Two members of the board that oversees the Lansing Board of Water and Light have called for a meeting to discuss whether General Manager Peter Lark should be running Lansing's city-owned utility.  That meeting is set for 4:30 this afternoon at BWL headquarters on South Washington.  

Current State talks to the Lansing State Journal's Steven Reed who broke the news Monday evening. 

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10:58 am
Tue December 23, 2014

On ice storm anniversary, BWL chairman calls for more vigorous oversight

Steve Reed of the Lansing State Journal (center) and Lansing Board of Water and Light Chairman David Price (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit WKAR/Bill Richards

This year’s Christmas holiday is bringing back unpleasant memories of last year’s intense ice storm and power outages. One year ago to the day, thousands of people in the Lansing area were without electricity because of hundreds of downed, ice-coated trees that disconnected lines.  Many residents spent days, some more than a week, without power, often at significant expense. The episode amounted to an embarassing right of passage for the capital city’s municipally-owned utility, the Lansing Board of Water and Light.

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11:55 am
Tue December 2, 2014

New BWL emergency ops manager briefs community leaders on winter plan

Credit Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Mid-Michigan is already getting a taste of winter, no matter what the calendar says. As the weather turns colder, the Lansing Board of Water and Light is preparing for the possibility of power outages.

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11:03 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Lansing BWL appoints first emergency operations manager

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero (left) with Trent Atkins as he accepts his new position as the Emergency Operations Manager for the Lansing Board of Water and Light.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Eleven months ago, the Lansing Board of Water and Light came under intense criticism for its response to a historic power outage just days before Christmas. About 40-percent of the BWL’s customers lost electricity for several days. The incident sparked a detailed,  independent review of the agency’s procedures. Now, the Lansing Board of Water and Light has named Lansing Assistant Fire Chief Trent Atkins as its first-ever Emergency Operations Manager.

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11:07 am
Wed August 27, 2014

BWL's Lark responds to complaints, updates reforms

Lansing Board of Water and Light General Manager J. Peter Lark
Credit WKAR

After months of repercussions stemming from December’s ice storm and power outages that affected thousands of people, the Lansing Board of Water and Light continues to generate headlines. Some customers complain of overly aggressive tree trimming by the city-owned utility. Others question the justification for a proposed rate hike. In June, the BWL Board appeared to violate the state’s Open Meetings Act.

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Politics & Government
12:08 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Fait accompli: BWL rate hike precedes public hearing

Lansing City Council President A'Lynne Boles weighs in on proposed changes at the Lansing Board of Water and Light, including an upcoming rate increase.
Credit Courtesy City of Lansing

A’Lynne Boles is currently serving as president of the Lansing City Council.  It’s her third tenure as president, and she's in her seventh year on the council.

Boles represents the city’s third ward, which covers the southwest part of Lansing.

Lately, the city council has been more frequently involved in changes at the city-owned Board of Water and Light.

On Friday, A'Lynne Boles joined us to talk about those changes and other city issues.  Voters will decide whether to expand the board by three non-voting members.  That proposal could be approved in November.

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12:40 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

BWL ice storm report delayed again

Louney attributes delays to a desire by the Community Review Team to dig deeper into the issue.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

There will been another delay in the release of the report reviewing the response of the Lansing Board of Water and Light to last December’s huge ice storm.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:47 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

East Lansing Mayor proposes BWL board expansion

East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett pushes for representation from outside Lansing on BWL board.
Credit Flickr - michigancommunities

Talk of revamping the makeup of the Lansing Board of Water and Light Board of Commissioners has taken another step forward. East Lansing mayor Nathan Triplett has submitted an expansion plan to Lansing mayor Virg Bernero. It would, for the first time, include representation outside the Lansing city limits.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:17 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Local leaders call for wider BWL board representation

Credit Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Many people have been reminded in the past month that the Lansing Board of Water and Light provides electricity to more than just the capital city. Though it’s owned by the city, the BWL has electric customers in nine other municipalities and townships outside Lansing city limits. Those include East Lansing and Delta Township.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:12 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Toronto's ice storm woes sound familiar

Toronto, like Lansing, was hit hard by the December ice storm.
Credit Flickr - photolific

On December 22nd, a powerful ice storm knocked out power to tens of thousands of customers, some for more than a week. Many people without electricity struggled get basic information and to get through to the municipally-owned power company to report outages. Some even took to social media to pick up the slack on their own. We’re not talking about the Lansing-area and Board of Water and Light. We’re talking about Toronto, which was hit by the same ice storm that wreaked havoc on us three weeks ago.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:24 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Security expert vows prompt, independent review of BWL

Michael C.H. McDaniel will lead a review of the Lansing Board of Water and Light's response to December's widespread power outage.

A retired military officer and former homeland security official turned Cooley Law School law professor will oversee an independent review of the embattled Lansing Board of Water and Light.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:27 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Citizen-activists take charge during Christmas power outage

Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Mid-Michigan has weathered two major winter storms in the last three weeks. It’s been widely reported that thousands of people who lost power following the December 21 ice storm found themselves with little or no reliable information about when or if their electricity was being restored. That prompted many citizens in the community to take it upon themselves to go looking for answers and to share what they found online.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:20 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Following BWL meeting, board president reiterates support for Lark

Lansing Board of Water and Light GM Peter Lark has faced criticism for the handling of the recent power outage, but he has the support of BWL Board Chairman Sandy Zerkle.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

The citizen board that oversees the embattled Lansing Board of Water and Light convened last night.  The body heard from both the public as well as numerous BWL employees and leadership about the utility’s response to last month’s overwhelming ice storm that knocked out electric power to tens of thousands in the Lansing area.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:01 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Carol Wood, BWL's Dennis Louney on outage

Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Lansing City Council Member Carol Wood and Lansing Board of Water and Light Board Member Dennis Louney talk with Current State about the upcoming special board meeting called as a follow-up to the December power outages in the Lansing Area. The full transcript of the Current State interview is below.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:55 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

New co-generation power plant set to recharge Lansing

The Lansing Board of Water and Light's REO Town co-generation plant will use natural gas to produce both steam and electric power.
Kevin Lavery

The massive co-generation power plant rising above Lansing's REO Town neighborhood is nearly complete. The Lansing Board of Water and Light 's (BWL) new 46,000 square-foot facility has been under construction for more than two years. The power plant officially comes online July 1, and will replace four coal-fired steam units at the nearby Moores Park plant built in 1950s. The BWL says the new plant is much more environmentally friendly. Residents and business owners believe it will also bring economic gain to their neighborhood. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:08 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

New solar-powered electric charging stations come to Lansing

The electric plug at the BWL's solar-powered charging station provides 240 volts' worth of power.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

In 2010, the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) established its Plug-in Electric Vehicle Community Project. With funding from the U.S. department of Energy, the BWL installed an array of electric vehicle charging stations across the Lansing area to promote this emerging technology.  Now, the utility is taking another step towards building an electric car infrastructure.  

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Politics & Government
1:08 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Latest Lansing City Council squabble, privatizing Water & Light

The Lansing city council is having an intense squabble involving technology and transparency.  Two unresolved issues appear to be at the heart of the dispute.  

First, did a city employee erase information from the city-issued laptop of council person Kathie Dunbar?  

Second, should a full council session involving “computer usage”-- presumably related to the incident -- have been closed to the public and the media?  

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4:24 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

LBWL “Tops Out” New REO Town Plant

Scott Pohl WKAR

The Lansing Board of Water and Light is celebrating an early milestone in the construction of its new cogeneration plant in REO Town.

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