The Norman Transcript

Government

November 20, 2013

Norman finance committee considers ballot initiative for charging utility customers for handling rain runoff

NORMAN — A storm water utility fee is the next ballot initiative on Norman’s horizon.

On Wednesday, the Norman City Council Finance Committee discussed a tiered option for charging Norman’s utility customers for handling the runoff from rain, based on the size of impervious area on a home or business.

If approved by voters, the fee would be assessed on monthly utility bills and the money would support the city’s storm water management and system maintenance.

The finance committee discussion was one in a series of talks about the need for money to boost the city’s revenue to deal with a need for new operations and maintenance for drainage, including enhanced channel maintenance, pipeline inventory and repair, and bridge repair.

Additionally, requirements are being handed down from the Department of Environmental Quality as a result of the recent TMDL study performed on Lake Thunderbird. The total maximum daily load — a pollution measurement — was required because Thunderbird is an impaired body of water and the water quality must be protected under the law.

Measures to meet new DEQ requirements as a result of that study will need to be funded, Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary said.

Many cities throughout the nation already have storm water utility fees. Oklahoma City first implemented its storm water drainage fee in 1995. Stillwater created a storm water utility fee in 1997.

Storm water drainage and wastewater (sewer) drainage are two separate systems.

When residents water their lawns more than the ground can absorb or when rain runs off rooftops and driveways, it hits the street drains, culverts and drainage ditches. A network of ditches, streams and pipes carry away storm water directly into rivers and streams.

Storm water is not treated but can carry along pollutants such as phosphorus fertilizer, which Norman is currently regulating. Sediment from construction also is carried into the lake via storm water runoff.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Another brick in the Wal-Mart

    Norman could soon have five Wal-Mart stores, including three supercenters and two neighborhood markets. A proposal for the newest supercenter will come before the Norman City Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday via a request for a zoning change on ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Local group celebrates ruling

    A local group, Mothers of Many, expressed its elation with Friday’s 10th Circuit Court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s state ban on same-sex marriage....

    July 20, 2014

  • Leftover loss still hurting

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities, counties and school districts remain frozen out of a federal program that has sent millions of dollars worth of trenchers, trailers, semis, bulldozers, boats and forklifts and other equipment over the years....

    July 19, 2014

  • City and state briefs

    Transportation needs listed The White House released a new report this week from the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council on the long-term economic benefits of transportation investment and why conditions in the ...

    July 17, 2014