MSD Status

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Who owns the Metropolitan Sewer District? The City of Cincinnati? Hamilton County? Will we ever find out? This is former Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel and this is the Monzel Report.

On August 11, 2017 there was much celebration over the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County agreeing to a letter of commitment on the future ownership of the Metropolitan Sewer District. That letter of commitment stated that MSD employees would become county employees but stay in the city pension system forever (which would require a change in state law since all county employees by law are part of the state pension system, not the city of Cincinnati’s). The letter of commitment also stated that there would be a 5-person MSD oversight board, 3 members chosen by the county and 2 by the city, that would oversee the daily operations of MSD. This too would need a change in state law. There were several other parts of this agreement, one of which was that the ownership of MSD assets would not be determine until a later date.

That was over 19 months ago, 19 months…so where are we? Well, last summer the state informed us that they will not support changing state law to allow MSD employees to stay in the city’s pension system. According to Mayor Cranley the deal was dead without that. So, where are we? As the sewer system continues to have issues and our sewer rates continue to burden families and businesses in our community, who is responsible? Who is accountable? Will we ever find out? MSD ratepayers have a right to know. 

This is Chris Monzel for the Monzel Report.

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