MSD needs to balance its budget, just like everyone else. We begin this process every summer and complete it by November or December for the coming year.
We have two budgets:
- Operations Budget - funding needed to support MSD's operation of more than 3,000 miles of public sewers and interceptors, 100 pump stations, 9 wastewater treatment plants, 9 wet weather facilities, and the Lick Run Greenway in South Fairmount. The Operations budget includes personnel costs and non-personnel costs such as equipment and tools, chemicals, fuel, electricity, natural gas, and fleet vehicles. It also includes debt service, which is the repayment of debt (principal and interest payments) on bonds and loans used to fund Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects. Our Operations budget is funded through customer sewer bills.
- Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budget - funding for capital items like new sewers, upgrades to treatment plants, and other assets. The CIP also includes wet weather projects mandated by our Wet Weather Program to reduce sewer overflows into local streams and rivers. Our CIP budget is funded through bonds, low-interest loans through the Ohio Water Development Authority, and cash.
MSD completes an annual review of its sewer rates to determine if any changes are necessary to cover the costs of operating and maintaining the sewer district, our CIP, and payment of debt.
The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) is responsible for approving MSD's budgets and setting rates. As part of the process, MSD typically submits its proposed budgets to the BoCC in August followed by meetings with the County over the next several months to finetune the proposals. The BoCC hosts a public hearing(s) in November or December prior to final approval of the budgets.
2024 Approved Operating Budget
MSD's 2024 Operating Budget of $237.9 million was approved on November 16, 2023, by the BoCC. This is a $6.4 million, or 2.8%, increase over the approved 2023 budget.
The budget includes:
- About $67.7 million for personnel
- About $69 million for non-personnel (e.g., chemicals, equipment)
- About $7 million for General Fund Overhead (GFOH), fleet vehicles, and Office Technology Equipment Allowance (OTEA)
- About $11 million for the Sewer Backup (SBU) Program (non-personnel)
- About $83 million for debt payment
2024 Approved CIP Budget
MSD's 2024 CIP Budget of $260.2 million was approved on November 16, 2023, by the BoCC. This is an increase of about $119.7 million or 85% over the approved 2023 budget. The budget includes funding for 42 projects, including the $176 million anaerobic digestion project at the Little Miami Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The budget includes:
- About $212.6 million for projects, which address sewer overflows, improve treatment plants and other facilities, and replace/upgrade sewer infrastructure
- About $47.6 million for various planning and design phase activities and other expenses, including programmatic contingency, labor capitalization, CIP program management, and Hamilton County Utility Oversight & Coordination
2024 Approved Sewer Rate Increase
The BoCC approved a 3% sewer rate increase that goes into effect on January 1, 2024. This rate increase will cost the average single-family residential household an additional $1.50 a month, or $18/year, for a total of about $650/year. The increase is needed to cover the higher costs of treating wastewater and to meet MSD's capital needs for sewer infrastructure.
MSD offers a sewer rate discount to low-income seniors who own their own homes. Learn more