The Norman Transcript


November 9, 2013

Vote yes Tuesday for Norman’s future

NORMAN — Norman residents have a chance to upgrade their sewage treatment plant with a “yes” vote Tuesday. Voters are being asked to increase their own sewer service rates by an additional $1.10 to the base charge and an additional $1.10 per thousand gallons of sewage treated.

The additional fees would be used for more than $63 million in improvements to the Norman Water Reclamation Facility. It includes increased capacity for the plant in south Norman, equipment replacement, regulatory change requirements and better odor control.

City officials said an average Norman home will pay an additional $3.74 per month beginning in December.

The average commercial rate would increase by $7.39 per month. It’s the first proposed increase in the sewer base rate and the commodity rate since 1996.

Some of the components in Norman’s sewage treatment plant were new in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and replacement parts must be custom manufactured. 

The three-year construction period would begin in the spring. The bonds would be paid back by a combination of higher sewer rate fees and the new development sewer excise tax. 

The plant improvements will get Norman one step closer to being able to reuse treated water. State law does not allow such reuse, but if it does change, Norman could easily be one of the state’s first cities to reuse treated water instead of sending it downstream. 

If approved, the city’s plant will be able to treat 17 million gallons of wastewater per day, compared to the current 12 million. Our plant runs at 92 percent capacity, meaning it could not accommodate a large industry or population increase without improvements.

The increase has been endorsed by the Norman Chamber of Commerce and the city’s citizens wastewater oversight committee, which has studied the issue for many years.

A “yes” vote Tuesday will give us a chance to be pro-active and a good steward of the environment. We strongly encourage you to vote “yes.”

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Let’s toast: Main Street bridge nearly complete

    It was January 2013 when crews began knocking down the Main Street bridge over Interstate 35. The timeline on completion has always been this May. If everything comes together and the weather holds for the next few days, the overpass and ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Yes to Capitol and museum

    Two major spending bills have emerged from the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee headed by Norman Rep. Scott Martin. Both are up for passage in the full House of Representatives. We believe both deserve passage....

    April 11, 2014