MSD board approves rate proposal for fiscal year 2024
Average monthly Jefferson County residential bill to increase $4.84
Average monthly Oldham County residential bill to increase $3.56
Rate assistance programs continue
LOUISVILLE, KY – Ongoing and necessary upgrades and refurbishments to Jefferson County’s wastewater treatment, stormwater management and flood protection infrastructure will move forward under the rate proposal Louisville MSD’s board approved today. The rate proposal adds $4.85 to the average monthly Jefferson County residential bill beginning August 1, 2023.
Rate Assistance program extended
MSD’s board also approved extending the rate assistance program—Emergency Wastewater Assistance Program or EWRAP, launched in response to the pandemic, helping those experiencing financial hardships with a 30 percent discount on wastewater charges. MSD also offers a 30 percent discount on wastewater services for qualified senior citizens.
Under the fiscal year 2024 budget, MSD will invest more than $255.3 million to support 189 projects.
Among them, are the much-needed upgrades to Kentucky’s oldest wastewater treatment facility, the Morris Forman Water Quality Treatment Center in the western part of the community. The facility is one of MSD’s most vital assets, but also one of its most dated, after 65 years in service. The multi-year project involves replacing an outdated biosolids processing system with a modern facility to process greater volume and reduce pollutants discharged into the Ohio River.
A second key capital improvement project is the replacement of MSD’s Paddy’s Run Flood Pump Station, which helps protect 200,000 properties and a large portion of West Louisville. MSD has kept the nearly 70-year-old facility in service through constant maintenance. The station operates with original parts that are no longer available for replacement, essentially doing a 21st century job with 1950s technology. MSD is planning to replace Paddy’s Run with a new, modern pump station that will double pumping capacity from the current 875 million gallons per day to 1.9 billion gallons per day.
MSD must balance repairing aging infrastructure—in some cases built more than 100 years ago—with the mandated requirements of its Consent Decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to significantly reduce sewer overflows during periods of heavy rains.
“We are leveraging grants and innovative loans for the critical work of replacing outdated biosolids processing at our Morris Forman Water Quality Treatment Center—built in 1958—and updating and expanding our Paddy’s Run Flood Pumping Station, which was built in 1953,” said MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott. “Additionally, frequent sewer cave-ins and failures are examples of the challenges we face across our service area with outdated infrastructure that is long past its useful life.”“MSD’s services are vital for the livability and marketability of our community and impacting quality of life every day,” said Marita Willis, chair of MSD’s board, which is comprised of community representatives throughout MSD’s service area. “This is a necessary but measured rate increase, and I’m pleased that MSD has been aggressive about pursuing several innovative financing mechanisms, grants and loans to help continue managing and improving the system in a fiscally responsible way” The agency is making significant progress toward its Consent Decree requirements of mitigating sewer overflows that pollute the Ohio River and our streams. Through the Consent Decree work to date, including completing the required combined sewer overflow basins and storage tunnel, overflows to local waterways have reduced by approximately 5.85 billion gallons per typical rainfall year. The 4-mile-long Waterway Protection Tunnel—which began operation in June 2022—is capturing and storing up to 55 million gallons of stormwater and wastewater each time it rains. It holds the contents until system capacity is available for treatment and release to the Ohio River.
Oldham County customers
Additionally, the MSD board approved a rate increase of 5 percent for wastewater charges for its Oldham County customers. The increase aligns with the terms of the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement between MSD, the county of Oldham, Kentucky, and the Oldham County Environmental Authority, dated November 18, 2019. Under the proposal, the average residential customer in Oldham County would see an increase of $3.56.Under the proposal, MSD plans to spend $5.1 million in capital improvements in Oldham County, including the Ash Avenue Interceptor project, allowing the removal of the out-dated Ash Avenue wastewater treatment facility. Additionally, the increase will help fund a facility plan addressing capacity issues.
Additional rate assistance
In addition to the 30 percent discount provided by MSD’s Emergency Wastewater Assistance Program (EWRAP) and the senior citizen discount, In the past five years, MSD has contributed $917,500 through the local Community Ministries and the Louisville Water Foundation’s Drops of Kindness program that help customers who have trouble paying their water and sewer bill.To learn more and to apply, visit LouisvilleMSD.org/PayMyBill or call 502.540.6000.