The Norman Transcript

Local news

November 9, 2013

Norman polls open Tuesday on sewer rate increase vote

NORMAN — Fifty-one election polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 pm. Tuesday as Norman voters are being asked to raise their sewer rates.

Norman voters will cast ballots on raising their fees to pay for an estimated $63 million in upgrades at the city’s southside sewer plant.

If the proposed rate increase is approved, the average water user’s bill will go up about $3.74 a month. Average commercial rates will go up by $7.39 per month. Sewer rates have not risen since 1996.

Norman is the only Oklahoma city that must have utility rate increases approved by a vote of the people. If the city does not upgrade to meet Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality standards, Norman could face state fines of $10,000 per day. The city will borrow about $32 million for 15 years, according to the plan developed by the city.

The proposition includes an increase to the base rate and an increase to the commodity or use rate. Even if voters approve the rate increase, Norman’s wastewater cost will remain below average compared to other Oklahoma municipalities.

The city’s current base rate is $3.90 per month. Voters will be asked to approve a $1.10 per month increase, raising the base rate from $3.90 to $5 monthly.

The city’s current commodity rate is $1.60 per 1,000 gallons of treated wastewater. Voters will be asked to increase the commodity rate by $1.10 per 1,000 gallons used. That will bring the commodity rate to $2.70 per 1,000 gallons used.

Lexington

ballot initiative

Lexington voters will consider an additional half percent sales tax to boost the city’s general fund. The current sales tax rate is 3.5 percent. If approved, the increase would bring the sales tax to 4 percent.

Tax at surrounding cities are already at 4 percent, Lexington City Manager Charlie McCown said.

Mustang

Public Schools

Mustang voters will consider two school bond propositions.

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