Questions surround past, future for new MSD director - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Questions surround past, future for new MSD director

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New MSD director "Tony" Parrott speaks at Metro Hall at his announcement July 21, 2015. New MSD director "Tony" Parrott speaks at Metro Hall at his announcement July 21, 2015.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The new executive director at Metropolitan Sewer District comes to Louisville from Cincinnati, and people in flood-prone areas hope his arrival will help end some of the problems they have every time there is a heavy rain.

On Tuesday, Mayor Greg Fischer introduced James "Tony" Parrott as the new executive director of MSD. Parrott is currently head of Water and Sewer for Greater Cincinnati and says the systems are similar.

Reports in Cincinnati media show Parrott lied about his home address to skirt rules requiring city management employees to live within city limits. He has also come under criticism for cost overruns on several large projects.

Mayor Fischer's spokesman, Chris Poynter, said the city hired a private investigator to check Parrott's record in Ohio.

"The mayor has absolutely no concerns about the issues that came up in Cincinnati," Poynter said.

The history of Cincinnati's MSD is parallel to Louisville's MSD. Both are trying to comply with federal consent decrees with projects that cost into the billions of dollars. Both agencies are responsible for sewer and water service.

Sewer bills from the Cincinnati area MSD have increased yearly to pay for such projects, just as they have in Louisville.

"We had issues just like Cincinnati had issues. Everything prepared him to take this job," Poynter said.

Meanwhile, The grass may look greener on Bramton Road in Beechwood Village, but people who live here will tell you that is not always the case.

The flooding has been an ongoing problem but Elizabeth Foushee and Robert Klutz are hoping Tuesday's announcement by Mayor Fischer will change things.

"In Beechwood Village, I have seven houses, and they've all had water in the basement, and there's water on the street," Robert Klutz said.

MSD recently purchased homes on West Maple and is in the process of turning the area into green space, but Parrott is aware of other areas of concern in the city like Beechwood Village.

"Obviously, we are going to have to take a look at that and see exactly how we can continue to work with communities and work with property owners," Parrott said.

"We certainly hope that whoever runs MSD will research this problem and try to resolve the issue," Klutz said.

"Obviously from a waste water perspective, we're on the Ohio River," Parrott said. "We are responsible for not only the collection system and the sanitary sewer system but also the storm water management system."

Elizabeth Foushee plans to give the new executive director both a chance and a promise.

The MSD board will set Parrott's salary at a meeting next week.

Parrott is expected to start as Louisville's MSD executive director on Sept. 14.

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