MSD Complaints Raise Questions Over Pace Of Control Changeover

Dec 6, 2017

Communities United For Action (CUFA) is unhappy with how the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is run. CUFA members complained about high sewer rates and slow response to sewer backups at Wednesday's Hamilton County Commission meeting.

Board President Todd Portune says he wants to make changes to MSD operations, but the commission's hands are tied.

"Until we finally resolve this issue with respect to control, management, et cetera, of MSD, we will not have the requisite power that we need to simply direct MSD to do things," he says.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County agreed in August to work toward ending the 50-year lease wherein the city operates the utility.

Portune isn't happy with how long the transfer is taking.

"Personally, I'm furious that it's now 100 plus days since we signed that commitment letter and we still don't have an agreement.

In part, he blames the pace on state legislators' inaction on changing Ohio pension law. With that, MSD employees would be paid by the county, but still contribute to the city's retirement fund.

Portune says he also wonders if having one law firm, selected by the city and county, to oversee the agreement wouldn't be better than one side's lawyers proposing changes, and sending them to the other side for more changes.