Hamilton County Considering General Fund, MSD Budgets

Dec 14, 2016

The Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is asking for a nearly 4.6 percent rate hike for next year but it doesn't look like Hamilton County Commissioners will approve it.

Commission President Chris Monzel says he wants to keep rate flat for the second year in a row. "If we can do any reduction that would be great. At minimum, they'll stay flat and be zero."

MSD Director Gerald Checco cautioned against that. "We are mandated by the bond covenants and our financial policy to have a certain coverage for our bond. At this point, no increase in 2017 would mean that we would be below the bond coverage that we are supposed to have per our financial policy."

Commissioners are expected to vote on the MSD budget and rate next Wednesday.

The board is also slated to pass a 2017 General Fund budget next week.

Outgoing Hamilton County Commissioner Dennis Deters wants the board to approve the administration's recommended budget. Deters lost his re-election bid last month. He says it would be easy for him to leave office quietly, but feels strongly about a few issues within the budget process.

"For the past two years this board has abdicated its responsibility to solve the 911 funding problem and we should not continue to pass the buck. It's too important. To adopt a continuation budget would exacerbate this funding gap for at least another quarter of 2017," he says.

Commissioner Todd Portune has asked for a continuation budget so Commissioner-elect Denise Driehaus can have some input.