Understanding the 2024 Rate Proposals

Two Proposals, One Election

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD Project Clear or MSDPC) is turning to voters to decide two important issues on April 2, 2024:  Proposition W will determine how WASTEWATER services will be funded over the next four years, while Proposition S would create of the first regional STORMWATER improvement program to address STORMWATER problems like flooding and erosion in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Proposition W

In 2012, a federal judge approved an agreement between MSD, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, to make massive improvements to the St. Louis region’s WASTEWATER system, and work began on a $7.2 billion, 28-year plan to bring the region into full compliance with the Clean Water Act.  Since then, MSDPC has completed more than 650 system improvements, eliminated 85% of overflows into the environment, and reduced backups by 25%.

MSD Project Clear is now asking voters to decide how the next four years of work will be funded.  Proposition W offers voters the choice between paying upfront in cash or paying with a mix of cash and bonds.  Similar to taking out a loan for a home, a mix of cash and bonds spreads out costs over 20-30 years.  You pay less now, but more long-term.  By paying upfront, all the work must be paid for in the next four years.  It costs much more now, but less overall because there are no interest payments.  This is the impact on WASTEWATER rates.

PROP W Cost Comparison Metered
PROP W Cost Comparison Unmetered
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A “yes” vote on Proposition W is a vote to grant MSDPC an additional $750 million in bonding authority.  A “no” vote on Proposition W is a vote to fund the next four years of work upfront.

Proposition S

Proposition S is for STORMWATER, and would create the first regional stormwater improvement program in MSDPC’s service area.  It is a response to thousands of requests for help to deal with the growing number of STORMWATER problems like flooding and erosion in every part of the St. Louis Region.

MSD Project Clear has identified more than 500 STORMWATER solutions across the service area.  If approved, Proposition S would generate about $35 million a year to pay for solutions.

The money would come from two sources:  A property tax for residential customers and an impervious surface fee paid by non-residential customers.  The average homeowner in the St. Louis region would pay about $25 per year, while non-residential customers would pay $1.05 per month per 1,000 square feet of impervious surface (surfaces that do not soak up STORMWATER).

Prop S Yes vs No

Upcoming Public Meetings

MSD Project Clear is hosting a series of virtual and in-person townhalls to share more information about the proposals and to answer any questions.  Everyone is encouraged to attend one of these meetings to learn more about the rate proposals.

Tuesday, March 19 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Virtual – Zoom
Zoom Link

Wednesday, March 20 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
St. Louis County Library Florissant Valley Branch – Meeting Room 1
195 South New Florissant Road, Florissant MO

Thursday, March 21 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
St. Louis County Library Cliff Cave Branch – Meeting Room 1
5430 Telegraph Road, St. Louis MO

Monday, March 25 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Virtual – Zoom
Zoom Link

Monday, March 25 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Richmond Heights City Hall – Council Chambers
1330 South Big Bend Boulevard, Richmond Heights MO

Tuesday, March 26 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Chesterfield City Hall – Council Chambers
690 Chesterfield Parkway West, Chesterfield MO

Wednesday, March 27 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Fenton City Hall – Board Room
625 South New Smizer Mill Road, Fenton MO

Thursday, March 28 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District – Room 109
2350 Market Street, St. Louis MO

Request a Speaker at Your Meeting or Event

Rate Commission

Both rate proposals were reviewed, scrutinized, and recommended by the independent Rate Commission, and approved for the ballot by MSD’s Board of Trustees.

The Election

Proposition W and Proposition S will be decided by registered voters on April 2, 2024.  Polls will be open from 6:00am – 7:00pm that day.  Check with the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners or the St. Louis County Board of Elections for registration deadlines, sample ballots, or to find your polling place.