A new way to pay for repairs to old water and sewer lines throughout Missouri has been rejected by the state senate. The bill would have let water and sewer companies replace old pipes and to build new facilities by increasing rates through annual surcharges. Supporters had argued the pay-as-you-go method would be cheaper in the long run than waiting four or five years for a major rate increase.
But opponents say backers have not shown consumers, especially in rural areas, would be better off in the long run.
St. Louis County is the only place where the surcharges are allowed now. One opponent says customers there had one-million dollars in overcharges in the first year the system was used.
The bill has come up two votes short of passage in a chamber where the sponsor’s party controls more than two-thirds of the seats.