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Sewer Rates to Rise Gradually; Proposition Y Approved

A bond issue that is expected to result in steady increases in many St. Louisans' sewer bills won approval from voters Tuesday, according to unofficial election results.

Sewer bills are expected to rise gradually for many St. Louis residents with the passage of Proposition Y on Tuesday.

The $945 million bond issue passed with 85 percent of the vote in St. Louis County with all precincts reporting, according to unofficial election results. Fifteen percent of county voters rejected the measure. In St. Louis city, approximately 87 percent of voters approved the measure, while 13 percent rejected it with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

That comes out to nearly 63,000 votes in favor of the measure (85 percent) St. Louis-wide and roughly 11,000 against it (15 percent).

As a result, the sewer bill for the average single family served by the Metropolitan Sewer District of St. Louis (MSD) is expected to rise from $28.73 to $31.34 starting July 1. MSD has approximately 415,000 customer accounts, according to information posted on its website.

Voters in the county and city also approved a group of eight charter amendments aimed at conserving sewer district costs and updating antiquated language and practices.

Roughly 9 percent of registered county voters and 9 percent of registered city voters turned out for the election, which is expected to cost the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District between $1 million and $1.2 million.

The pro-Proposition Y group Clean Water STL had projected turnout of between 6 and 8 percent, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The bond money will be .

More about the sewer vote on Patch:

Michael Rhodes June 12, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Most are. Yet when one breaks the untreated water enters the soil and can "bubble" up in your lawn (or elsewhere). Not been around when one breaks, although I have heard it creates a mess and can stink something fierce. I think the main concern is keeping untreated water from entering the waterways (creeks, rivers, water tables, etc...).
Holston Black Jr. June 12, 2012 at 03:43 AM
With the other utilities (electric, gas, telephone) you can cut back on your usage, even though you might not be as comfortable. At least you have some choice as opposed to being forced to pay more without any real input. Those of us on fixed income may find ourselves paying as much to MSD as to Ameren, Laclede, or ATT.
Michael Rhodes June 12, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Great point. Even if you cut back your water usage your MSD bill will still be the same.
Jean Whitney June 12, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Yes, or more. When I called MSD to say my bill seemed too high—like doubled—they told me they decided on my usage one time during the spring, and I was stuck with that rate the whole year. That was a surprise to me.
Michael Rhodes June 12, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I seem to remember that they set the rate based on how much of your property could absorb water. Think they used county tax information to figure out your lot square footage and how much of that footage was covered by the house, driveway, sidewalks, patio, etc. They then used some formula (probably a dart board with rate levels listes) to set your rate. I think you can have them re-evaluate your property if you think it was done wrong or you make a change that effects it (removing a concrete patio as an example).

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