Review finds MSD ignoring modeling standards, costing ratepayers millions

CINCINNATI — Hamilton County commissioners are seeking public input on how best to address what have been found to be substandard modeling practices at the Metropolitan Sewer District.

Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel announced the public hearing, set for Wednesday, Feb. 17, in a statement Tuesday.

According to Monzel, a review by the Hamilton County monitor found the sewer district to be ignoring its own modeling procedures, meant for defining pipe sizes for sewer projects. The review estimated that only 2 percent of the more than $2 billion in current and planned projects were modeled in compliance with MSD’s standards.

The county monitor estimated the cost of addressing the modeling-related problems at more than $100 million.

“It’s discouraging to learn that MSD opposes a rule that would only help to deliver projects on time and to save ratepayer dollars and ensure that projects are neither overbuilt nor underbuilt,” Monzel said.

The commissioners' request for a hearing comes alongside other concerns regarding MSD's dealings and procedures. Ohio Auditor of State David Yost announced in February his office will launch a special audit of the sewer district at the request of Hamilton County and Cincinnati officials over “recent concerns about MSD’s competitive bidding, contracts and payments.”

The public hearing will take place at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, at the County Administration Building, located at 138 E. Court St.

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