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Norman City Council discusses whether to seek sewer rate hike

Norman City Council members will discuss a possible hike in sewer rates during a conference Tuesday at city hall. Any increase would be subject to a vote.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Published: August 13, 2013
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City council members Tuesday will discuss asking voters to approve a sewer rate increase in November.

The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. to consider the ballot issue, before a 6:30 p.m. business meeting in the Municipal Building's council chambers, 201 W Gray St.

City officials say the rate increase is needed to help fund about $63 million in improvements to the south sewer plant. About 50 to 60 percent of the project could be paid for with a rate increase, while the remaining costs would be paid for by the sewer excise tax fund dedicated to supporting new development.

The current residential rate was established in 1996 with a base fee set at $3.90 plus $1.60 per 1,000 gallons of treated wastewater.

U.S. Department of Environmental Quality regulations make the improvements to the wastewater treatment plant a necessity, officials said.

The amount of the increase has not been determined. Council members are hoping to finalize a proposal for a Nov. 5 ballot.

Norman's city charter requires that any utility rate increase must be approved by voters.

by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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