The Metropolitan Council has approved an overall municipal wastewater charge for 2021 of $240.3 million, just 2% more than 2020. The sewer availability charge will remain flat at $2,485 for the seventh consecutive year.
After proposing the 2021 rates in May, the Met Council’s Environmental Services division held two subsequent webinars for local governments about the proposed charges. The webinars had record attendance, with 85 staff and elected officials from over 40 municipalities, said Ned Smith, Director of Finance and Revenue for Environmental Services.
“We started the planning cycle in January with a higher increase in mind that would have mostly covered Environmental Services’ annual debt service increase and inflation in our operations,” Smith said. “Once the COVID-19 situation unfolded, we realized many of our municipal customers would be facing tough budget situations in the coming year. To be responsive, we dropped the increase to 2% by using more from our reserve funds.”
Any given municipality’s rate change will vary based on its share of overall regional wastewater flow. The Council will distribute final municipality-specific charges in August.
The municipal wastewater charge is the Met Council’s wholesale charge to local governments connected to the regional wastewater collection and treatment system. The sewer availability charge is made to local governments when a property connects to the wastewater treatment system for the first time, or expands or changes use in a way that increases their potential demand on the wastewater system.
The Council operates more than 600 miles of regional wastewater collection pipes and nine wastewater treatment plants.
May 2020 newsletter story with more context about the 2021 wastewater rates
2021 Wastewater Charges details