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MSD to appeal stormwater fee decision

MSD headquarters in downtown St. Louis
MSD headquarters in downtown St. Louis

The Metropolitan Sewer District says it plans to appeal a July court ruling that threw out a new systemfor charging for stormwater system maintenance.

The new fee charged people based on how much of their property could not absorb water. But Lincoln County judge Dan Dildine ruled that it was actually a tax, and therefore had to be approved by voters.

That forced MSD to revert to an old system, which restricts funding to specific districts and therefore provides uneven service.

In a statement, MSD says it fundamentally disagrees with Dildine's ruling.

Outside of if the appeal is successful or not, the issue of stormwater funding that provides effective and equal service must be solved.  Without proper funding, chronic stormwater problems – particularly those outside of I-270 – will only get worse.  This is unfair to customers and is not sustainable over the long term.  For the sake of our community and our customers, MSD will continue its work to establish a method of adequate stormwater funding.

Dildine has ruled that MSD does not have to refundthe money it collected.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.