MSD announces it's back on track after audit - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

MSD announces it's back on track after audit

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One year after former State Auditor Crit Luallen found more than 150 problems with the way the Metropolitan Sewer District was spending money, including excessive salaries and wasteful spending, the organization announced on Monday that it is back on track.

Mayor Greg Fischer and current State Auditor Adam Edelen attended the MSD board meeting Monday to hear the progress report on what the sewer district has accomplished over the past year after receiving recommendations for change from the state's auditor's office. They were pleased to hear that all of the 150 recommendations have been implemented including new policies on recording financial assets, charitable contributions and a new travel policy.

"We've worked really hard over the last year to prove the transparency here," said Fischer. "We've got a new board in place, we certainly have built on the legacy of good work of MSD in the community. I think the public confidence in MSD is at an all time high (and) they see that we're doing the right thing. To go through the audit with over 150 recommendations in there in one year and come up with solutions and move them forward is extraordinary."

Edelen echoed the mayor's remarks adding, "I think it's clear that everyone understands that this organization a year ago was in significant disrepair. For the leadership team lead by the mayor to come in and make such change quickly is a credit to this community."

Fischer also announced that he was promoting current interim MSD Director Greg Heitzman to the position permanently beginning next spring. Heitzman is currently President and CEO of the Louisville Water Company but added the extra duties at MSD after former Director Bud Schardein was fired last year. A search is underway for Heitzman's replacement at the Louisville Water Company.

Plans have been discussed to merge MSD and the Louisville Water Company to make one utility called One Water.  Fischer said on Monday that those plans are moving forward, and he plans to review the idea in September after a task force has had time to determine how such a merger could benefit the Louisville community. If it does prove to be beneficial, Fischer said the plan for the merged utility would go forward sometime in the next few years.

Heitzman would oversee both organizations if a merger should occur. When asked if a merged sewer and water company would lower utility prices for consumers, Heitzman said it probably would not, but he emphasized that such a merger could mean lower rate increases.

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