The Norman Transcript

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September 10, 2013

City council members to vote on sewer rate increase

NORMAN — Norman City Council members will vote tonight on a proposed sewer rate increase and on an amended contract for engineering design services for the West Lindsey Street bond project.

If approved by council members, a ballot initiative will go before voters Nov. 12. After multiple discussions, the city council is expected to approve a ballot measure for a rate increase for city sewer service by an additional $1.10 per month raising the base charge to $5 and an additional $1.10 per thousand gallons of sewage treatment for a total sewer use charge of $2.70 per thousand gallons of sewage treatment.

The rate increase will help secure revenue bonds to upgrade the current southside wastewater facility. The project includes improvements to meet Department of Environmental Quality requirements.

City council members also are expected to approve a contract amendment with SAIC Energy, Environment and Infrastructure Inc., increasing the contract by $100,940 for additional engineering design services for West Lindsey Street.

Additional services will include the design of a landscaped, raised median for Lindsey to create the triple canopy effect.

The inclusion of a median also will require intersection and mid-block U-turn details, U-turn buffer lane details, additional traffic operations and safety analysis, ADA compliance for mid-block pedestrian crosswalks, right of way at intersections due to corner cuts for U-turns, as well as landscaping, irrigation and coordination with utility relocation.

According to the proposed contract amendment, SAIC will “provide ongoing support services to the city for review of alternative concepts presented by the Director of Walkable and Livable Communities Dan Burden and the University of Oklahoma’s Institute of Quality Communities.”

That ongoing support will likely include further roundabout evaluation. The roundabout debate and a proposal by the IQC to limit through traffic on Lindsey to two lanes from Wylie Road has generated strong opinions from Norman residents as the city moves forward with design plans.

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