Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Msd Proposal Sidesteps Public Agency Seeks Ways to Raise Fees

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Msd Proposal Sidesteps Public Agency Seeks Ways to Raise Fees

Article excerpt

The consultant to a special committee studying privatization of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has delivered a draft report that leans toward leasing MSD assets to a nonprofit agency.

The nonprofit agency probably would be able to raise sewer rates and issue bonds for sewer construction without a vote of the people, the consultant contends. But voters of St. Louis and St. Louis County would have to approve the lease deal in a referendum.

The consulting firm, Price Waterhouse, delivered the draft report to the MSD Conversion/Implementation Committee on Monday. Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. and County Executive George R. "Buzz" Westfall appointed the 25-member committee last year. Dr. Leslie F. Bond and Robert L. Virgil, cochairmen of the committee, said a public hearing on the report will be held Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. in the J.C. Penney Building at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. If necessary, the hearing will continue Feb. 8. Copies of the report may be obtained and scheduling of testimony may be done by calling 515-2628. Public comment will be accepted until Feb. 10. The implementation committee was appointed after a study by Confluence St. Louis, a civic group. It concluded that MSD is unable to raise $3 billion in construction needs so long as it is covered by the Hancock Amendment to the Missouri Constitution, which requires public votes on tax and fee increases. …

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