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MSD hearings to begin on rate increase

(Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio)
Brett Berthold, the manager of the MSD Bissell Point Wastewater Treatment Plant in north St. Louis, gives reporters a tour of the facility Friday.

Hearings will begin in about a week on a $276 million rate increase request for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. MSD says the rate hike is needed to comply with stricter regulatory requirements and to reduce wastewater overflows into area creeks and streams.

A 15-member rate commission made up of a variety of local organizations will decide how much of the rate increase to recommend if at all. Commission chairman Len Toenjes held a press conference Friday to explain how the commission makes its decision and to encourage people to get more involved than they have in the past.

 “I've sat through dozens of public hearings and the participation of the public has been horrible. They really have not gotten engaged in the process," Toenjes said. "We’ve done everything we can to publicize our public hearings, get the information out to the public and folks haven’t woken up until they get a rate increase and then all of a sudden it's like, what should we do?”

If the request is fully accepted and voters approve a bond issue, the typical MSD customer’s sewer rate would go up about $18 a month by 2015.

For a list of the public hearings, click here.


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