By WLKY News

The Metropolitan Sewer District’s full board unanimously approved a 20 percent rate increase in sewer bills on Monday.

MSD executive director Tony Parrott said many of Louisville’s sewer systems are 75-150 years old and flood pump stations are 70 years old.

msd-metropolitan-sewer-district-85559978Parrott said MSD plans to spend more than $1 billion to update the aging sewer and flood protection infrastructure in Louisville.

This time last year, the board approved a 5.5 percent increase, which raised the average bill by about $29 a year. Accordingly, a 20 percent increase would be a little more than $100 a year.

Metro Council must approve the proposed hike before it can take effect; it’s unclear when the council will consider the increase.

Following MSD’s decision on Monday, Sarah Davasher-Wisdomthe, chief operating officer for the city’s chamber of commerce, issued the following statement:

“Greater Louisville Inc. and its member businesses are very concerned about the proposed 20 percent rate increase to MSD sewer and stormwater services. As a member of GLI, MSD has been an integral part of the economic development of Louisville Metro and [we] look forward to discussing the need and reasoning behind this rate increase with MSD leadership. We will be closely reviewing this proposal and future ordinances relating to this matter to measure how such an increase would impact businesses currently in Louisville, in addition to businesses considering relocating within our region.”

The Metropolitan Sewer District is also in negotiations with Google Fiber to potentially use an MSD facility on Seventh Street Road.

Back in February, the Metro Council approved an ordinance paving the way for Louisville to become the latest Google Fiber city by allowing the company to install new equipment on existing lines.