ST. LOUIS — Voters in St. Louis and St. Louis County approved Proposition Y, giving the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District the green light to use bonds to pay for more than $1.5 billion in work it must complete in the coming years.
The proposition was approved with 82% of the vote.
The proposition asked voters how the sewer district should pay for work that a court order said must be done. MSD said having the bond financing would result in a bill increase of about 3.5% each year, taking the average bill from $56 in 2021 to $62 by 2024.
Without it, the average bill could have increased from the current rate of $56 up to $86 by 2024.
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MSD took 5 On Your Side underground to see its progress on 60 miles of new wastewater sewers — some big enough to drive a train through.
One reason for this upgrade to the MSD system is to stop flooding that often occurs from heavy rain and "combined sewer overflows."
The agency said one new tunnel roughly 30-feet in diameter and 200-feet underground that runs from the Galleria Mall to Interstate 44 and Shrewsbury will keep close to 20 creeks in St. Louis from flooding homes. And there are plans for seven similar tunnels throughout the area.
By court order, MSD must do the work. It's part of an agreement with the EPA.