Proposition Y
6:49 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Sewer bills will go up - vote tomorrow will determine how much

Customers of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District can expect a bigger bill in July.  A vote tomorrow will determine if those increases are gradual or immediate.

A legal settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency finalized on April 30 means the district will have to spend nearly $5 billion to keep raw sewage from flowing into local creeks and streams. A $945 million bond issue known as Proposition Y would increase average sewer bill  from around $24 a month to nearly $44 a month over four years. That's compared to almost $65 a month if the bond issue is not approved.  But in later years, Proposition Y means bills will total nearly $80 a month.

There's no organized opposition to the bond issue. Even long-time MSD critic Tom Sullivan isn't opposed.

"Yeah, these projects need to be done, but everybody needs to understand that it's MSD's irresponsibility over the years that has put us in this situation," Sullivan said.

Sewer district spokesman Lance LeComb says part of the problem is that the system was never meant to grow to its current size.

"It's a system that was never built with any regionalism in mind," he said.  "MSD since 1954 has taken in 79 separate sewer districts and they're all built to their own rhyme and reason with their own challenges."

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in both the city and county. Find your polling place here.