WAVE 3 Editorial, June 21, 2012: Merge MSD, Water Company
By Ken Selvaggi WAVE 3 Vice President and General Manager
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Budgets are tight everywhere. Saving an estimated $25 million a year for Louisville's budget and saving money personally by paying less on your water bill is a double win.
The way to do both is to merge the Louisville Water Company and the Metropolitan Sewer District. You would operate both entities more efficiently by sharing resources. The water company already does the billing now for MSD. Why not also purchase fuel jointly and combine call centers?
The Metropolitan Sewer District's woeful report on an audit resulted in the CEO of Louisville Water serving as the interim director of MSD this year so the leadership for such a merger is already in place.
For the past 152 years the Louisville Water Company has been a pioneering leader in producing clean drinking water and it has also generated significant revenue for the city – potentially $19 million in the budget year that starts in 10 days.
Among the challenges to work through in a merger is that MSD has six times the debt of the Louisville Water Company – about $1.6 billion – due to the costs of expanding and upgrading an antiquated system.
The possibilities and payoffs are worth the problems and potential obstacles of a merger and we encourage a coordinated effort to make it happen.