Council proposes 2022 wastewater rates

Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Pie chart showing municipal wastewater charges are 74 percent, transfer from SAC 18 percent, industrial waste charges 5 percent, and other 3 percent.The Met Council proposes to raise its wholesale wastewater rates to cities and townships by 4% in January 2022. The sewer availability charge (SAC), a fee for new connections to the regional wastewater system, will remain flat for the eighth consecutive year at $2,485.

In 2017, the Met Council committed to holding annual increases in the total municipal wastewater charge to 4% or less for five years. This promise came at the same time we are engaged in a robust capital improvement program to ensure the replacement or rehabilitation of aging wastewater infrastructure.

Between 2018 and 2020, annual increases in the charge ranged from 3.5% to 3.7%. For 2021, because of the pandemic and the uncertainty facing local government budgets, we kept the increase to 2%.

“Most cities have not experienced the losses we expected, so we feel confident in setting the overall rate increase to 4% for 2022,” said Ned Smith, director of pretreatment and finance.

A worker at a sewer construction project.

Local charge varies based on flow into the regional system

Smith explained that the individual rate increase for any given local government is based on its 2020 wastewater flow. For example, if a city’s 2020 flow represented 1.5% of the overall wastewater volume coming into the regional system, they would pay 1.5% of the total 2021 municipal wastewater charges (about $246 million). So local government rates vary based on local wastewater volume in relationship to all the other cities and townships that contribute to the system.

Watch a video presentation to the Met Council’s Environment Committee about the 2022 budget concepts and rates (starts at 33:25).

Next customer budget event is June 10

Our Environmental Services staff scheduled two customer events — May 25 and June 10 — to share preliminary rates, provide information on our capital program, and discuss our strategies for managing rate increases. In addition to presenting the 2022 budget and capital improvement program, staff will provide updates on:

  • MCES Customer Portal new applications
  • COVID-19 research and impacts to Environmental Services
  • 2050 Water Resources Policy Plan

Get more information and register for the June 10 budget event.

Wastewater system financed entirely by user fees

The Met Council’s Environmental Services division collects wastewater from 110 cities and townships and operates nine wastewater treatment plants. The service is paid for entirely through user fees.

We notified cities and townships about their proposed 2022 municipal wastewater charge in early May to give them plenty of time to build their annual budgets.

Posted In: Wastewater & Water

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