Amid $6 million deficit, Madison Water Utility general manager’s contract not renewed yet

City council differs decision to utility board
Amid $6 million deficit, Madison Water Utility general manager’s contract not renewed yet

The Madison Water Utility is currently facing a $6-million deficit, and the city council is in no rush to extend the general manager of that utility’s contract.

The State Journal reports the city council voted to refer a five-year contract extension for the General Manager, Tom Heikkenen to the Water Utility Board so that members will be able to potentially add conditions to that contract.

Last week, Mayor Paul Soglin sent Heikkenen a letter outlining what he expects to see from him if his contract is renewed, including making progress on the utility’s budget situation by the end of the year.

The water utility is proposing that several unused properties be sold, they get a loan from the city, and push back the timing of some projects they’re working on to lower the deficit.

That would be in addition to a pending rate hike that was planned before the utility was made aware of its deficit this spring, when last year’s budget was audited.

Utility staff say the deficit came about due to lower-than-expected revenue.

Heikkinen started as general manager of the utility in 2008 and would make more than $150,000 a year under the terms of that proposed contract.

The Water Utility’s next meeting is scheduled for August 28.

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