Category Archives: MSD News

Don’t Flush Rate-Payers Down the Drain!!

Tell Commissioners to Stop the Waste!!

Miami Group members, we need your support in standing up for fair sewer rates in Hamilton County. Together we have been successful at freezing rate hikes and recommending structural changes that would make the billing system fair.  While the County Commissioners have resolved to act on our recommendations the Metropolitan Sewer District is seeking a 5.25% rate increase for 2017.  Join your fellow Sierra Club members in letting the Hamilton County Commissioners know that there is still plenty of work to be done on our outdated sewer rate structure.

Take action today, send a letter  to the Hamilton County Commissioners!

The County Commissioners have recently passed resolutions that were recommended by the Rate Affordability task force, but there are still many recommendations that must still be passed.  We need to see a rate structure that reflects equity amongst all customers before rates are further increased. Together we can create a fair structure for our sewer bills.  

Thank you for taking action and for all you do for Ohio’s environment!

Hamilton County Commissioner Candidate Forum

Candidate Forum

Election time is coming and there are new candidates for the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners. Come hear from the candidates for Hamilton County Board of Commissioners on September 27th from 6 – 8 pm at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church.  County Commissioners are responsible for sewer, transportation, and solid waste issues, as well as several other departments including the Board of Elections, Courts, Tax Levy, Corrections and Job and Family Services. Candidates running will be asked question on community concerns generated by the attendees.

When: September 27th, 6-8 pm

Where: 103 William Howard Taft Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45219

For more information, to RSVP, and to submit questions click here. 

This Candidate Forum is sponsored by Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati. If you have any questions regarding the forum, please contact Community Shares at [email protected]

Harry Black releases memo “MSD risk assessment”

City Manager launches special investigation into mismanagement, misconduct, and abuses at the Metropolitan Sewer District.

The memo states “This office began to investigate the allegations of mismanagement, potential fraud and irregular contracting practices at the MSD during the period of time when MSD and GCWW operated as a “joint utility.””

and

The concerns raised in the course of these preliminary interviews are of a grave nature and include three main areas that require continued investigation and inquiry: (l) mismanagement, lack of’ accountability and oversight with respect to the MSD budget and contracting, generally; (2) the widespread use of contractors and consultants to fill roles that would more appropriately have been filled by full time City employees or in some cases to duplicate roles already filled by City employees; and (3) the potential misuse of ratepayer or City funds for the purchase and delivery of professional services to the MSD.”

and

“The seriousness of this matter cannot be overstated.” Read the full memo “msd risk assessment” here.

 

MSD Rate Affordability Task Force by Marie Kocoshis

A resolution adopted by the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on March 18, 2015 created a task force to study impact of rising sewer rates on rate payers in Hamilton County and make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on potential rate structure and/or policy changes that can mitigate or otherwise affect impact of these rates, as well as encourage the conservation of water. Eighteen members were appointed representing local government, business owners, homeowners, renters, senior citizens, low income residents, environmental groups and non-profits.

There were community meetings focused on the burden of the ever rising sewer rates and citizens inability to pay. The rate increases from 2007 range from 8.60% in 2007 to 12% in 2009 to 6% in 2015. The bills are assessed quarterly which also creates a financial burden for folks on fixed incomes.

The first meeting on Sept 23, 2015 was chaired by Thomas Moeller, Madeira City Manager. The task force has had presentations on current rate structure and also comparison of rate structures with other Ohio cities: Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. They have requested information on a variety of topics. At subsequent meetings the group was given presentations on infiltration/ inflow and some alternate systems to structure fees. The most recent meeting on January 27 was a presentation on stormwater removal program, and on billing, water usage and cost of service determination. These presentations are background information intended to assist task force members in crafting their recommendations.

This recommendation will be due to the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners in April 2016. The BOCC has deferred raising sewer rates until this report from the task force is rendered. Subsequently, the BOCC will make a decision on sewer rates on July 1, 2016.

More information on the sewer rates can be found on the Hamilton County Commission web site.