LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) – Louisville Metro Council is getting closer to voting on a proposal that would increase sewer rates by 10 percent.

This week, Councilman Vitalis Lanshima is hosting two public forums to discuss a proposal that would significantly raise MSD rates for customers.

The ordinance, sponsored by Democrats Barbara Sexton Smith and David James and Republican Stuart Benson, would allow for MSD to increase rates by 10 percent.

Currently, MSD can only raise rates for customers by 6.9 percent; anything more than that would require Metro Council approval.

MSD officials, as well as city leaders, have long said that Louisville’s aging infrastructure is becoming a perilous problem. A 20-year critical repair plan calls for $4.3 billion worth of repairs.

“We are having nine cave-ins a month,” Sexton Smith said. “We just saw last month the collapse at Hancock and Main that caused much of downtown to shut down.”

It is not the first time in recent memory that Metro Council has considered allowing MSD to raise rates. In 2017, a proposal to raise rates by 20 percent failed.

This ordinance, which will likely be discussed and voted on in February, has a provision that would only allow the rate increase without approval until 2022.

“It does seem like we are always talking about this every year,” Sexton Smith said. “I do not think our citizens and rate payers knew how serious it was”

The first community meeting will be Monday, Jan. 15 at the Americana Community Center at 6:30 p.m. The second will be Tuesday, Jan. 16 at Wesley House Community Services, also at 6:30 p.m.

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