Bad bill for Metro East Sanitary District arrives in the Senate

Legislation vetoed by the Governor last year deemed harmful to the Metro East Sanitary District (MESD) sneaked passed the House of Representatives on Memorial Day by an overwhelmingly partisan roll call. Rep. Meier fought against the legislation calling it “a conflict of interest and a political power grab by the sponsor and one city located in Madison County.”

Senate Bill 584 is a way for Granite City democrats to take back control of the Metro East Sanitary District (MESD), a board they had control of since the Act was created in 1974. In fact, for thirteen of the last sixteen years, MESD was operating under a deficit. It was drowning in debt for years while the politically connected failed to make the necessary repairs to adequately provide flood control in the sanitary district. Today, MESD is operating at a surplus and flooding in the district has been under control.

“If this bill is enacted, it really puts the taxpayers of St. Clair and Madison County that do not live in Granite City at a disadvantage,” said Rep. Meier. “The end result is that one municipality will take back control of the board which could turn back the clock resulting in deficit spending, more taxes and a landing pad for patronage jobs. History has proven that when the democrats controlled MESD, they were drowning in debt and homes were flooding.”

If signed into law, Senate Bill 584 would amend the Metro-East Sanitary District Act of 1974 to eliminate one of Madison County’s three appointments to MESD by replacing one of Madison County’s appointments with the Mayor of Granite City. In addition to the Mayor’s salary, the Mayor of Granite City would receive $15,000 annually, plus health benefits to serve on the MESD board. This bill would severely weaken Madison County’s overall representation on the MESD board and it would also create a conflict of interest for the Mayor of Granite City, since the Mayor currently serves on the Granite City Wastewater Treatment Board.

Under current law, the Metro-East Sanitary District Board (MESD) is comprised of five members. Three members appointed by Republican Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler and two members appointed by Democrat St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern.