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Metropolitan Council

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  1. Metropolitan Council Environmental Services Legislative Update: Inflow & Infiltration, Water Supply, SAC Presented to the Environment Committee February 9, 2010 Jason Willett, MCES Finance Director A Clean Water Agency

  2. Legislative Update • Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) • Water Supply • SAC

  3. I. I&I Legislative Request • Appropriate $2 million for FY 2011 from Clean Water Fund to fund a metro area inflow and infiltration (I&I) grant program for private properties

  4. Downspout connected to house lateral Foundation drain or sump pump connected to house lateral Yard drain connected to house lateral House lateral . . . . . . Publicly owned sewer Cracked pipe or open sewer joint I&I Definitions • Inflow: • Surge water from rain storms that gets into wastewater system • Infiltration: • Clean water that seeps into sewer lines

  5. Why Legislation is Needed • Inflow & Infiltration: • Wastes drinking water resources • Creates risk of sewer overflows (into water bodies) or sewage backups (into homes) • One of biggest challenges facing wastewater system and metro area water resources • City customers asking for help

  6. Fiscal Impact • If I&I program is successful: • MCES can avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in increased sewage fees • About 30% increase to all cities served

  7. II. Water Supply Legislative Requests • Appropriate $500K funding in FY 2011 for plan implementation • Funds will be used to: • Improve water supply availability technical analysis • Update water supply planning tools, water supply development guidance, and online water supply mapping • Collect information that will improve future water availability • Eliminate sunset date of Metropolitan Area Water Supply Advisory Committee

  8. Background • Minn. Statute Sec. 473.1565 directs the Metropolitan Council: • “carry out planning activities addressing water supply needs of the metropolitan area” including the development of a master water supply plan for the metro area • Minn. Statute Sec. 473.1565 directs the Advisory Committee: • “assist the Metropolitan Council in planning activities”; the committee is set to expire at the end of 2010

  9. Plan Development • The Metropolitan Area Master Water Supply Plan: • was a collaboration between communities, counties, state agencies, other public and private entities • is a long-term view that recognizes the importance of basing decisions on the best available information and developing supply management strategies—adaptable as conditions change and information becomes available

  10. Fiscal Impact • Without funding to implement the master plan, cities and states will face greater supply uncertainty which could result in: • Permitting delays • Increased development costs for cities • Detrimental impacts to natural resources • Money may be wasted by pursuing non-optimal water supply

  11. III. SAC Legislative Request • Flexibility to fund wastewater reserve capacity through wastewater charges only when: • Service Availability Charge (SAC) rates and fund are not sufficient to fund reserve capacity • Triggers: • “Appropriate Study” • Public hearing • Council determination • Balanced by a minimum increase in SAC rates (6% or CPI + 3%, whichever is greater)

  12. SAC Units Collected (estimated)

  13. Reserve Capacity Reserve Balance (Year-end Balance in Millions)

  14. SAC Rates (Per residence or equivalent unit)

  15. Actions to Date • Increased Service Availability Charge rates • Refined Reserve Capacity definition (reduced portion of capital costs funded by SAC) • Tightened SAC credit rules • Appointed task force to develop long term policies for defining and funding reserve capacity • Deferred capital projects based on changes to forecasted service demands

  16. Why Wastewater Charges? • High increases to SAC rates may impede new development and might not produce revenue • Wastewater volume charge is the other wastewater fee mechanism available to the Council • Flexibility to use our wastewater charges further secures Aaa bond rating • MCES wastewater charges are among cheapest in the nation

  17. Indianapolis $205 Columbus $442 Cincinnati $441 Comparative Retail Rates* Rochester, NY$141 Seattle $335 Detroit $475 Twin Cities $186 Milwaukee $455 New York $385 Chicago $182 Sacramento $222 Kansas City $221 Cleveland $278 Denver $176 Philadelphia $369 Memphis $80 Louisville $337 Phoenix $278 San Diego $460 Miami $270 Honolulu $693 Austin $370 *2008 data

  18. Support and Opposition • Likely Support • Businesses support restraint in SAC rates • i.e., Builders, commercial developers, industries, and restaurants • Possible Opposition • Cities that aren’t growing might argue that developed areas and current users should not fund reserve capacity