Environment

Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer District is proposing a 20 percent rate increase in wastewater and stormwater volume and service charges.

The proposed resolution will go before the MSD Finance Committee and Board on Monday; if it’s approved, it could be finalized in July and the rate increase would become effective on August 1.

In a memo included in the board packet for the upcoming meeting, MSD Finance Director Chad Collier wrote that the agency had already planned on annual rate increases to help fund the agency’s annual operations and fund the additional $850 million that’s needed for the federal consent decree to reduce discharges into the Ohio River. Last year, rates increased 5.5 percent. The rate increase that was projected for this year was also 5.5 percent.

Here’s a chart WFPL created last year chronicling the past decade of MSD rate increases.

But in the memo, Collier said there’s been more capital project spending than accounted for in the original plan.

“This increased capital spending, together with bonding capacity limits, will require a 20% rate increase for 2016. A 20% rate increase will enable MSD to continue providing for our community’s public health and safety while addressing major aging infrastructure repair needs and address the additional demands created by the increasing frequency of extreme storm events.”

MSD spokesman Steve Tedder declined to elaborate on the proposal, saying only that the 20 percent rate increase is a staff recommendation.

“We will make a presentation to the board on Monday at the board meeting, and that’s when the full discussion on this will occur,” he said.

Any rate increase larger than seven percent is also required to be approved by Metro Council, he added. A presentation to the council on the agency’s financial plans is scheduled for June.