ST. LOUIS – There is opposition to the Metropolitan Sewer District’s proposed rate hike. MSD is raising $7.2 billion over 28 years for infrastructure improvements ordered under a federal consent decree for cleaner water.
But organizations like the Missouri Industrial Energy Council and the Consumer Council of Missouri believe MSD’s rate increase is too large and will put a big burden on poor and working-class families.
The utility company wants to spend more than one and a half billion dollars on construction and related work for wastewater services. To pay for the work, the agency proposes a combination of rate increases and issuing $750 million in voter-approved debt funding.
If voters approve the rate hike request, the average bill for a single-family household will go from $57 to $75 beginning in July 2024. Water rates would increase by more than 32.2% over four years. However, a minority report from the rate commission suggested a 24.18% increase would be sufficient.
MSD Executive Director Brian Hoelscher said their proposal has affordability in mind, saying they’re looking not just at the near-term but at the long-term of the increase.
The MSD Board will vote on the proposal on Nov. 9. After that, the proposal will be sent to the voters next April for their approval.