- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Lansing Board of Water & Light spent nearly $94,000 for outside advice about restoring its image and improving communications with customers following a December 2013 ice storm that left some customers without power for more than a week.

The Lansing State Journal reported (https://on.lsj.com/1Dpopo0 ) the figure Thursday. The municipal utility’s communications failures were central to the findings of a Community Review Team that assessed storm preparation and response.

BWL General Manager J. Peter Lark acknowledged the failures even before the Community Review Team’s findings were released. By mid-January 2014 he hired Martin Waymire, a Lansing public relations firm.

Board of Water & Light spokesman Steve Serkaian says the money well spent. The Dec. 21-22, 2013, storm led to power outages for 40,000 of the utility’s customers.

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

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