Notice of Public Hearing

MSD Capital and Operating Budget Approvals

Note: For the full text of this notice and any available related documents, please see the 'Downloads' area at the side of this page. Questions concerning this hearing may also be directed to MSD Communications.

Under a 1968 agreement between the City of Cincinnati and the Board of County Commissioners of Hamilton County, Ohio, the annual operating budget and updated capital improvement budget for the Metropolitan Sewer Department of Greater Cincinnati (MSD) are developed and recommended by MSD to the County commissioners each year along with any rate or fee recommendations that support the budget proposal. The budgets and associated rate recommendations reflect the resources required to ensure full compliance with all regulatory requirements as well as to protect public health throughout the County. This year, two public hearings to consider the 2014 MSD Operating Budget, the 2014 - 2018 MSD Capital Improvement Program (CIP), and a revised rate structure for MSD sewerage service charges and surcharges are scheduled to come before the Board on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. and Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. at 138 East Court Street, Room 603, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

The summarized MSD recommendation is as follows:
Purposed 2014 Operating Budget

2014 Operating Budget

Public health is an essential, but expensive endeavor. Water quality is at the heart of what we do, and MSD operates its facilities and implements projects to protect public health, meet all permit limits and obligations under the federal Clean Water Act. The recommended 2014 operating budget and proposed rates provide for the resources necessary to implement these central responsibilities and maintain critical service levels.



A review of past operating budget and results show that MSD has been very successful in the execution of its operating budget, with results estimated to average 94% of the budget, as seen in the chart below. The 2014 budget request is in line with the 2013 trend; again driven by debt service increases necessitated by the large, mandated CIP. It should be noted that the 2012 budget was originally reduced to a low, unsustainable level and was later amended upward to reflect the increased requirements. A portion of this 2014 request will restore funds needed for maintenance/repair activities that were deferred under the low 2012 budget.

2014 Capital Budget

MSD is addressing a Consent Decree to improve its infrastructure, assets, and the quality of the area's water. MSD remains committed to comply with and meet requirements under the final Wet Weather Improvement Plan (WWIP) and Consent Decree to comply with the Clean Water Act. The outcomes will benefit Hamilton County communities that are part of MSD through environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable solutions to current problems as well as revitalize the economy through creation of jobs and growth opportunities for local businesses.

This table summarizes the 2014 CIP by project category. The recommended capital budget supports the work that is necessary to sustain and improve the system, as well as construct the Wet Weather Improvement Projects that are required by the federal Consent Decree. The recommended five-year CIP is $872M, with a 2014 budget of $289.7M and is in line with prior year’s forecasts.

Recommended Rate Increase

The general rate increase is 6% over the 2013 approved level. As noted, this increase is necessary to support the increased debt service ($10.5M increase) for the large capital program as well as to fund new operating work required from the implementation of the WWIP. While no rate increase is ever pleasant, it is necessary to identify resources to sustain the 24/7 operations that ensures public health, supports economic development, provides for prioritized re-investment of the assets, meets all permit requirements and complies with all federal mandates. MSD continues to exercise its stewardship and has identified efficiencies that offset normal operating increases, thereby minimizing this rate recommendation. (A 2011 independent study projected a 10% rate increase for 2014). These efficiencies are beginning to bear fruit and are generating personnel savings that are mitigating the national O&M increases seen elsewhere for chemical costs, personnel increases, power costs, gas and the like.

Contact Us

MSD's Customer Call Center:
(513) 352-4900

Email:
MSD.Communications@cincinnati-oh.gov

Mailing Address:
1600 Gest St.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45204

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Media Inquiries:
(513) 557-7095

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