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2016 Ballot Initiatives - Propositions Y & S Approved

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) is two utilities within one organizational structure – a wastewater utility and a stormwater utility. Funding and activities that are a part of the two functions must be accounted for separately.

On April 5, 2016, MSD presented two initiatives to voters that reside within MSD’s service area.

Proposition Y:  Wastewater Bond Authorization

Per an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, MSD must implement $1.5 billion in wastewater projects from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2020. Similar to what MSD has done in the past (2004, 2008, and 2012), an option for financing wastewater projects was presented to voters on April 5, 2016, versus paying for the projects strictly through increased rates.

Seventy six percent of voters in MSD’s service area approved Proposition Y and the issuance of $900 million in bonds. The bond financing – which is to be used exclusively for projects associated with the agreement – will help lessen the steepness of rate increases over the next few years. For example, with the approval of Proposition Y, the average single family home’s monthly MSD bill will eventually increase from $40.72 per month on July 1, 2015, to $60.44 per month on July 1, 2019. Without Proposition Y, that same bill would have increased to $95.13 per month on July 1, 2019. 

Proposition S:  Stormwater Funding & Service Equalization

Through the same April 5, 2016, election, 62% of voters in MSD’s service area also approved Proposition S. The approval of Proposition S puts all MSD customers under the same property tax rates to pay for stormwater service.  In turn, all MSD customers will receive the same level of stormwater service.  This process will occur gradually throughout MSD’s fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017).

Prior to July 1, 2016, MSD’s stormwater services were paid for through a variety of property taxes and a flat stormwater fee on each month's MSD bill. The amount of property taxes paid by an individual customer – and the stormwater service received – was dependent on where a customer lived. Thus, not all customers paid the same rates and, not all customers received the same level of stormwater service.

Proposition S allows MSD to rollback and eliminate several existing taxes; eliminate the stormwater fee; and, in lieu of these funding mechanisms, institute or leave in place two taxing districts that cover MSD’s entire service area. 

The overriding benefit of Proposition S is that customers will be treated equally under the new system. This means that all customers are subject to the same tax rates and all customers receive the same level of stormwater services. One tax structure for everyone means some customers will receive a reduction in what they pay annually to MSD; some customers will essentially pay the same annually to MSD; and other customers saw will see an increase in what they pay to MSD.  

With the approval of Proposition S and the implementation of a new funding structure for stormwater services, MSD will have “fund balances” left over from the former taxing and fee system. These fund balances will allow for a finite and limited four-year stormwater capital program of $67 million, starting in fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017).  

$67M Finite Stormwater Projects Map

$67M Finite Stormwater Projects by Municipality

However, this limited and set amount of money barely begins to address the overall need for stormwater projects throughout MSD’s service area. MSD staff has proposed a Stormwater Captial Rate to its Rate Commission on Februrary 26, 2018. Any proposed solution is subject to future review by the Rate Commission, approval by the Board of Trustees, and a vote of MSD customers. Click here for information on the 2018 Stormwater Captial Rate Proposal.

Click here to access the map of current stormwater infrastruture repairs that have been identified in MSD’s service area. This map shows projects that are funded under Proposition S. Map instructions are below. The map is frequently updated and displays the most current information about identified projects.  If you have a stormwater issue that needs to be addressed please contact our 24 Hour Customer Service line at 314-768-6260.  

Map Instructions:

  1. Click on the link above. 
  2. Once inside you can click on the various icons to get details about a project and it’s status.
  3. In the upper right corner is a box labeled “Legend.” If you click on that box a drop down menu will appear showing you a what the colors and symbols on the map indicate.
  4. On the map you will also find a magnify glass that you can click on and type in your address. This is the “search function” and will allow you to find projects around a specific address. 
  5. On the left side of the screen is the brief description of the map and more descriptions of jobs. (This section you can scroll down in.) By scrolling down you can more various jobs, descriptions of the jobs, and a link that will show you images of repairs being made on jobs.