Share “Norman officials want wastewater rate hike...”

Norman officials want wastewater rate hike on November ballot

Norman City Council members want to put a proposal for a sewer rate increase on a November ballot, but they can't agree on how much the increase should be.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Modified: August 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm •  Published: August 19, 2013
Advertisement

— City officials want to ask Norman residents to approve a wastewater rate hike in November, but they can't agree on how much the increase should be or how it should be calculated.

Some council members say an increase to the base rate of $3.90 a month would hit the smallest users the hardest. They favor an increase in the “usage rate,” or the amount charged for every 1,000 gallons of water used.

Under the current rate structure, residents pay a base fee of $3.90 plus $1.60 per 1,000 gallons of water used.

The usage rate is calculated for each customer based on winter water use, because sewage is not metered, Utilities Director Ken Komiske said.

According to Norman's city charter, any utility rate increase must be approved by voters.

Norman has not increased its rate since 1996, Komiske said. A rate hike is necessary to help pay for improvements to the south sewer plant. The U.S. Department of Environmental Quality has mandated that improvements be made, or the city faces fines of up to $10,000 a day.

In a city council conference last week, Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said it was not a question of whether to ask for a rate hike, but rather a question of agreeing on a rate hike structure.

“It's important to keep it simple so voters understand what we are asking,” Rosenthal said. “It's important that we're all behind this, because it's important that it passes.”

Continue reading this story on the...

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...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Arizona Cardinals' Tony Jefferson dealing with concussion
  2. 2
    Tulsa Health Department monitoring recent traveler for Ebola virus
  3. 3
    Tulsa woman indicted on fraud charges in cancer treatment scheme
  4. 4
    Big 12 basketball: OU's Buddy Hield, OSU's Le'Bryan Nash make CBSSports.com top 100 college...
  5. 5
    Business strikes back with user reviews
+ show more