A year after a scathing audit exposed numerous managerial problems, Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District has finished addressing the deficiencies. Mayor Greg Fischer has also appointed Louisville Water CEO Greg Heitzman as permanent executive director of the agency.
Heitzman has been the interim director of the agency—while still serving as CEO of Louisville Water—since the critical state audit was released last year. In the past year, Heitzman has been responsible for responding to the 150 audit recommendations, and putting in place new policies to reduce waste. MSD has adopted a new ethics and whistleblower policy, as well as changing the makeup of the board and altering the way the agency contracts with outside providers.
State auditor Adam Edelen says he’s pleased with the progress MSD has made since the audit.
“In the last year with its new leadership and a reformed agenda put forth by the mayor, it’s extraordinary the turnaround,” Edelen said. “And the fact that they were able to implement all 150 recommendations from the audit in a year is a real credit to them.”
Now, Fischer has asked Heitzman to move over to MSD full time, and leave his position at Louisville Water. Heitzman has committed to staying at MSD for at least two and a half years, and says during that time he will pursue a consolidation of the two agencies. An independent task force recommended a merger within five years, though Heitzman says the goal is to get it done sooner.
“The mayor challenged us today, rather than five years, he challenged us to get this work done over the next several years,” he said. “So he would like to see us this done over a two to three year period, as opposed to stretching out over a five-year period.”
Heitzman will be responsible for doing the financial, legal and environmental legwork necessary to make sure a consolidation between water and sewer is feasible and will benefit ratepayers. He begins his new position by May 1.