Ongoing debate over the proposed MSD rate hike

ST. LOUIS – There is opposition to the Metropolitan Sewer District’s proposed rate increase. MSD is raising $7.2 billion over 28 years for infrastructure improvements mandated under a federal consent decree for cleaner water.

However, organizations such as the Missouri Industrial Energy Council and the Consumer Council of Missouri believe that MSD’s rate increase is too large and will place a great burden on poor and working families.

The energy supplier plans to spend more than one and a half billion dollars on the construction and associated wastewater disposal work. To finance the work, the agency is proposing a combination of rate increases and issuing $750 million in voter-approved debt financing.

If voters approve the rate increase request, the average bill for a single-family household will rise from $57 to $75 starting in July 2024. Water rates would increase by more than 32.2% over four years. However, according to a minority report from the collective bargaining commission, an increase of 24.18% would be sufficient.

Brian Hoelscher, executive director of MSD, said their proposal is aimed at affordability and said they are looking not only at the short-term but also at the long-term perspective of the increase.

The MSD board will vote on the proposal on November 9th. The proposal will then go before voters for approval next April.

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