PNS Daily Newscast - April 22, 2019 

The vigilante accused of holding migrants at border to appear in court today. Also on our Monday rundown: The US Supreme Court takes up including citizenship questions on the next census this week. Plus, Earth Day finds oceans becoming plastic soup.

Daily Newscasts

Will St. Louis County Turn Out for Sewer Vote?

June 4, 2012

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Sewage overflows and basement backups are serious problems for any area - but will they prompt St. Louis County voters to go to the polls on Tuesday? The upgrades to the sewer system are legally required, so the question isn't whether they'll be done, but how to pay for them. Proposition Y asks voters to approve a $945-million bond to get started on the work.

Kathleen Logan-Smith, who heads the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, is concerned that some people will not bother to vote. She says sewer bills will be increasing, either way - just not as quickly, if "Prop Y" passes.

"The work is going to get done - so, either we're going to pay for it with a 126-percent rate hike this summer, or we're going to have those rate hikes eased in over the next four years."

Logan-Smith says there's almost nothing else on the June 5th ballot, and summer vacations could also affect the turnout.

The massive 23-year revamp of the St. Louis County sewer system is the result of a lawsuit by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. Across the area, more than 300 spots still exist where raw waste is being illegally discharged into local waterways, and the sewer district has been criticized for not keeping up with the urban sprawl of the county.

Logan-Smith says the repairs are major because the problems are serious.

"Insufficient sewer maintenance is a big problem, and we had inadequate capacity to start with. So, you get inadequate capacity, you add a whole bunch more users onto the thing, and then you don't maintain the sewers - you're going to end up with basement backups or creek backups; it's going to go somewhere."

She says the work on the 9,600 miles of sewer pipe has already been prioritized, with repairs near schools and parks at the top of the list for public health reasons.

Polls are open on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - MO