County Considers Sewer Rate Changes

On September 23, Communities United For Action (CUFA), the Sierra Club and League of Women Voters (LWV) attended the first meeting of an Impervious Surface Fee Stakeholder group created by the Hamilton County Commissioners in an October 24, 2019 resolution, "for establishing such an impervious surface fee." The 2019 resolution established an Agency Task Force as well, and was the Hamilton County Commissioners response to CUFA and its allies demanding comprehensive restructuring of sewer rates and expansion of customer assistance programs to ensure equitability for all ratepayers. 

After 5 meetings, the Agency Task Force and hired consultants gave a presentation to the stakeholders group at last Wednesday's meeting, describing Hamilton County's unwieldy collection of municipal or township entities that play some role in storm water management and collect fees. None of the collected fees fund the Metropolitan Sewer District's (MSD) federally-mandated, multi-billion dollar Consent Decree projects to fix the problems with stormwater and sewage overflowing from our combined sewers and backing up into residents' basements.

The mandate of the task force is to “develop an impervious surface fee structure for all parcels contributing rain derived inflow to MSD system,” presumably to reduce sewer charges based on drinking water. The Agency Task Force did not share the proposed impervious surface rate changes with stakeholders at the meeting, however, promising to deliver the proposed changes to stakeholders in an October meeting. 

What we know:

Hamilton County has hired Raftelis, a consulting firm, to help make recommendations for changing the way Hamilton County and MSD charges ratepayers for impervious surfaces contributing to stormwater runoff. Download a brief summary on Raftelis here.

CUFA, the Sierra Club and the LWV requested records under Ohio's Open Records Law detailing the minutes of the Agency Task Force's previous meetings. Download the records we obtained here: 

December 10, 2019 Agency Task Force Meeting

January 14, 2020 Agency Task Force Meeting

March 10, 2020 Agency Task Force Meeting

August 18, 2020 Agency Task Force Meeting

Hamilton County's MSD Compliance Coordinator Karen Ball told CUFA and its allies, "In response to your request attached are minutes from the Agency Group meetings. Meeting #3 was a workshop which fed into the development of the “draft “ framework. Given the Framework is draft it is not included. It will be shared in the near future after further refinement."

Download and read the Sept. 23 Stakeholder meeting minutes here. 

Download the Power Point presentation from the Sept. 23 meeting here.

CUFA and its allies are forming a Fair Sewer Rates Coalition to demand sewer rate equity. Find out more and sign on your organization, community group or business here.


Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.