MWRD commissioners adopt balanced 2024 spending plan

News & Events | May 7th, 2024

A $1.4 billion budget was approved to continue the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (MWRD’s) work to transform wastewater into clean water, mitigate flooding, recover resources, protect public health and area water resources, and invest in innovation to improve water quality and lower carbon emissions.

The MWRD Board of Commissioners formally adopted the budget on Dec. 21. The budget is supported by a total tax levy of $693.7 million that affords the MWRD the resources to serve 5.19 million residents living in Chicago and 128 surrounding municipalities.

“We have adopted a fiscally responsible and transparent budget that allows us the resources to protect diverse and resilient Cook County communities that rely on our services around the clock,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “We thank the taxpayers for their trust and support to put these critical resources to work each day in completing our important mission.”

Approximately 61.4 percent of the 2024 appropriation is supported by property tax receipts. The 2024 estimated tax for MWRD services for a $100,000 home is $103.23. The 2024 Budget prepares the MWRD for persistent inflation, demand for construction materials, and increase in the budget for chemicals, reflecting both higher costs and operational needs for changing permit conditions. The MWRD has been able to weather these financial challenges through steady revenue streams. In 2024, the MWRD anticipates more than $100.0 million in revenue through land rentals, user charge, and interest income across all funds.

The $1.4 billion budget includes the Corporate Fund appropriation of $497.3 million and the Capital Improvement Program, a $495.4 million plan which includes a Capital Improvements Bond Fund, Construction Fund, and Stormwater Management Fund, including stormwater capital projects and stormwater partnerships.

In addition to various infrastructure upgrades at MWRD facilities, the MWRD in 2024 will continue investing in local stormwater management partnerships and green infrastructure while also addressing regional projects like the Addison Creek Channel Improvements and the Robbins Heritage Park and Midlothian Creek Restoration, each of which has benefited from federal support. In 2024, the MWRD will also advance its work to study carbon management, emerging contaminants, energy neutrality and nutrient reductions in the Illinois River Basin with partners from the agricultural sector.

The MWRD’s budget also places emphasis on fulfilling pension obligations. The MWRD in 2024 will make a supplemental contribution of $42.8 million from Corporate Fund budgetary reserves to the Retirement Fund to maintain the funded ratio. The MWRD will also continue to fund $5 million annually to the OPEB (Other Postemployment Benefits) Trust Fund.

“The 2024 budget invests in infrastructure modernization and new technology to help us meet our mission in protecting our water environment,” said MWRD Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos. “Proactive fiscal management gives us the opportunity to improve area water quality and address stormwater management capital projects.”

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