The city will use $5.7 million in Sewer Sales Tax funds to keep the bond term to 15 years and reduce the amount of interest paid.
“It appears that there is no recognition or any kind of a senior discount for this rate increase,” resident Jacy Crosbie said.
“The city does have a low income rate for all of our utilities,” Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said.
“Who is the biggest user of water in the city? Is it commercial or is it residential?” Brian Ellis said.
Utilities Director Ken Komiske said that while individually commercial customers use more water per month, in aggregate, residential customers use more water and, therefore, sewer.
“Most of our money comes from residential customers,” Komiske said.
City council members also passed a resolution to hire an outside contractor to look at the city’s water and wastewater fees, including the sewer excise tax levied on new development.
The study also will explore using different enterprise funds — water and wastewater — to build a facility that would treat wastewater to a high degree and discharge that reclaimed water into a tributary of Lake Thunderbird. This would augment lake levels.
Thunderbird supplies about 70 percent of Norman’s drinking water.