Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District

Stormwater fee
3:53 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

State Supreme Court To Hear St. Louis Stormwater Case

Credit Andrew Wamboldt/KOMU News - via Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court will decide whether the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District can charge for stormwater service based on how much water a property absorbs.  

The decision extends a nearly four-year-old legal battle over the agency’s so-called "impervious fee." Two lower courts have ruled that it was not a fee at all, but a tax – and therefore had to be approved by voters under the Hancock Amednment.

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Stormwater service
6:38 am
Thu September 6, 2012

When it comes to stormwater service, MSD is facing a perfect 'storm' of problems

Water whipping around the bend in Fishpot Creek carved this 25-foot cliff behind houses on Pepperdine Ct.
(photo courtesy of Ron Cox)

The remnants of Hurricane Isaac ended a summer-long dry spell. But for some customers of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, it meant flooded backyards and basements.

For decades, MSD funded its stormwater service with a patchwork of different taxes, which allowed the agency to meet its regulatory requirements. But repairs were a different story.

Some parts of the region were flush with cash for capital projects. It took others months or years to accumulate enough funds for even basic repairs.

Earlier this year, a state appeals court struck down a potential solution - a fee based on how much water a property could absorb. An appeal to the state Supreme Court is pending.

For now, MSD has gone back to its old taxing districts - allowing the lingering problems to get worse.

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Morning round-up
9:21 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Morning headlines - Friday, June 15, 2012

Rams and CVC enter arbitration

The St. Louis Rams are heading to arbitration over what to do about the Edward Jones Dome. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which runs the facility and leases it to the Rams, voted Thursday to begin the arbitration process. The two sides remain far apart on plans to upgrade the dome. The 30-year lease signed when the Rams moved to St. Louis from Los Angeles prior to the 1995 season requires the dome to be among the top quarter of NFL stadiums in 15 separate categories. If it isn't, the team can break the lease after the 2014 season. Negotiations began in February with the CVC proposing $124 million in improvements. The Rams countered with a much broader plan that city officials said could cost $700 million.

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Sewer Rate Increases
4:06 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

MSD board expected to finalize series of rate increases

The exterior of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District building on Market St. in St. Louis.

Today, the board of trustees of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is expected to finalize a series sewer rate increases - the result of voter approval of Proposition Y on June 5.

MSD spokesperson Lance LeComb says those increases will slowly phase in over the next four years, like this:

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Proposition Y
12:21 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Voters overwhelmingly approve MSD bond issue

A federal judge has approved a consent decree that requires the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District to spend almost $5 billion on removing illegal sewer bypasses, like the one pictured here.
(courtesy of Ted Heisel/Missouri Coalition for the Environment)

Updated at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to correct election date error and add vote totals.

There was sparse voter turnout but overwhelming support for a major bond issue Tuesday that will allow the Metropolitan St. Louis  Sewer District, to gradually increase rates to pay for necessary upgrades.

Referred to as Proposition Y, the bond issue’s passage means the average MSD customer’s bill will go up from around $29 a month to nearly $44 over the next four years.  That's compared to almost $65 a month had the bond issue not been approved. 

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Proposition Y
6:49 am
Mon June 4, 2012

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

Voters tomorrow will decide by how much, and how fast, their sewer bills will go up to help the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District pay to clean up illegal bypasses like the one pictured here.
(courtesy of Ted Heisel/Missouri Coalition for the Environment)

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.

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MSD - Minority Hiring
5:53 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

MOKAN to MSD: employ more local businesses, women, minorities

The minority business advocacy group MOKAN organized this protest outside of MSD’s Missouri River treatment plant today.
(Véronique LaCapra)

The minority business advocacy group MOKAN says the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District is not doing enough to include local minority and female workers in its sewer upgrade projects.

MOKAN executive director Yaphett El-Amin says her group wants MSD to increase the transparency of its hiring practices and invest at least $23.5 million in worker training programs.

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MSD consent decree
12:21 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Federal judge approves MSD consent decree

A federal judge has approved a consent decree that requires the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District to spend almost $5 billion on removing illegal sewer bypasses, like the one pictured here.
(courtesy of Ted Heisel/Missouri Coalition for the Environment)

Updated at 5:45 with statement from the Attorney General's office.

Updated at 2:00 with comments from MSD, Missouri Coalition for the Environment.

A federal judge in Missouri has given her approval to a consent decree that requires the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District to make billions of dollars in improvements to settle Clean Water Act violations.

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Storm water
10:36 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Appeals court rejects MSD stormwater fee

(Andrew Wamboldt/KOMU News - via Flickr)

Updated at 2:20 with comments from MSD.

A ruling from the Missouri Court of Appeals is a mixed bag for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District.

The decision today is the latest in a series of rulings on a storm water "user charge" the agency implemented in 2007.  The charge was based on the impervious area of a property, and replaced a system of a flat tax that could be enhanced by additional taxes in 21 sub-districts.

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MSD - St. Louis Sewers
6:35 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Inside the St. Louis sewer system, Part 2: paying to fix a messy problem

Workers have been putting in new cement pipes and storm drains in St. Louis’ Tower Grove South neighborhood in an effort to stop basement backups.
(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has resolved a lawsuit with the Environmental Protection Agency with promises to fix its aging system.

But the consent decree, which still must be signed off on by a federal judge, comes with a huge price tag, an estimated $4.7 billion over 23 years.

In the second of a two-part series on the overhaul of the sewer district, St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman explains MSD’s rate payers will be picking up the tab.

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