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MSD rate increase about to go into effect

MSD building
file photo
MSD headquarters in downtown St. Louis (KWMU file photo)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The head of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District says many major improvements to the area's aging sewer system are in the works.

Last year voters in St. Louis city and county approved a $500 million bond issue. As a result, the average sewer bill will rise about two dollars beginning in July.

MSD Executive Director Jeff Theerman says the changes will be noticeable.

"We're completing a treatment plant on the lower Meramec River that will eliminate two treatment plants," Theerman said. "We are doing a great deal of work defining how to solve problems in the collection system that cause basement backups and overflows into streams."

But longtime MSD watchdog Tom Sullivan says the agency still continues to waste ratepayers' money, more than two years after a major shakeup.

"What's going to happen is everything's going to cost a great deal more," Sullivan said. "They could have used a pay-as-you-go, and for $500 million, you'd get $500 million worth of improvements. You're not going to get that with a bond issue. You're going to pay $500 million and maybe get $300 million."

In 2003, five of the six MSD board members resigned following a state audit that found widespread waste and abuse.

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