Madison water takeover on hold

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 1:28pm

Legislation that would have authorized a Metro government takeover of the Madison Suburban Utility District has been deferred indefinitely, but the bill’s sponsor isn’t abandoning the issue.

Councilman Michael Craddock, who represents the bulk of Madison, calls the operator of the area’s 18,000 water meters “non-responsive to customer complaints,” including objections about muddy tap water at various households, lack of cooperation with developers and even nonfunctioning fire hydrants.

“I can’t list all the complaints I’ve had,” Craddock said. “They’ll have a waterline burst somewhere and it will wash somebody’s pavement off the driveway. They’re slow to fix it, if they do agree to fix it.

“You name it, I’ve had it,” he said. “Quite frankly, I’m just tired of it.”

Craddock and co-sponsor Councilman Walter Hunt had filed a bill that sought to transfer jurisdiction over the area — and, accordingly, all functions, rights, duties and liabilities of services — from the agency to Metro.

The bill was up for second reading at Tuesday’s council meeting, but Craddock requested its deferral because he said Metro needed to conduct additional research on the subject.

“It will take them a while to do the study,” he said. “Basically, in a situation like this, Metro government would assume liabilities. We need to know what their liabilities are.”

Asked if he plans to revisit the water-takeover bill, Craddock said, “Absolutely.”

Mark Johnson, general manager of the Madison Suburban Utility District, could not be reached for comment. 

4 Comments on this post:

By: JohnR on 1/21/10 at 5:13

When I lived in Madison the MSUD was horrible. They don't know what customer service is. Mark Johnson is terrible to deal with. It's his way or no way.

And the board stands behind him. I know Tim Garret is on the board which is most likely the reason this utility is so awful to deal with.

By: idgaf on 1/21/10 at 9:29

I wish we had Cumberland back.

Be carefull they are not using this to increase their revenue like they did to us.

Look for lots of schemes to pay off that billion dollar folly.

By: d4deli on 1/22/10 at 3:44

I for one, have never had any problems with MSUD. Their prices are reasonable, and I have appreciated them taking care of issues without having had reported them. I would rather not have to deal with Metro Water Services. I've been there, and done that, and my complaints with them are too numerous to mention. I'm grateful that Madison Utility has a reprieve, but honestly, I didn't even know this was on the table. Rather scary.....

By: RobertD on 1/22/10 at 9:58

This would be a huge mistake. There must be something in it for Craddock.
If MSUD is so bad it would make more sense to fire the Director than to give away the store.