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MSD Raising Rates 5.5% | By: Other

From Courier Journal Business

For the second year in a row, the Metropolitan Sewer District board is looking at a 5.5 percent increase in customers' rates.

The amount is what agency officials had previously forecast, said Steve Tedder, MSD spokesman.

The MSD board on Monday afternoon preliminarily endorsed the staff's rate recommendation and approved preliminary capital and operating budgets.

Last year's 5.5 percent increase meant typical residential customers bills, which include wastewater charges and drainage fees, were to increase about $29 for the year, to a total of $535.

Another 5.5 percent on top of that would add about another $29, to $564 per year.

The new rates would go into effect Aug. 1.

The public agency is about halfway though an $850 million federal court agreement intended to halt the continuing flow of sewage into creeks and rivers caused by storm overflows. That agreement was signed in 2005, amended in 2009 and envisions construction through 2024.

The rate proposal will be presented to Louisville Metro Council on June 18, and is scheduled for final approval by the MSD board on July 27, Tedder said. The board also allows for a 60-day public comment period.

MSD officials said their fiscal year 2016 operating budget is projected to be $115.5 million, down from $116 million this year.

The projected capital budget is $187 million, up from $117 million for the current fiscal year. It reflects completion of three storage basins and the Jefferson treatment plant elimination project, among other projects.

The proposed budget does not include money for repeated, flood-stricken residents who are asking for buyouts. Tedder said a work group is still identifying potential solutions to that problem.

MSD charges are included on Louisville Water Co. bills.

Residential customers 65 or older can receive a 30 percent discount if their household gross income is $35,000 or less annually, Tedder said.

Reach reporter James Bruggers at (502) 582-4645 or on Twitter @jbruggers.

TO COMMENT:

Write to MSD Customer Service, 700 W. Liberty St, Louisville, KY 40203, or call customer service at (502) 587-0603.

Email MSD through its customer service portal on its website: www.msdlouky.org.

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