The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 27, 2013

Sewer upgrade deserves approval

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Norman voters will be asked to approve a wastewater rate increase on November 12 to help pay for $63 million in upgrades at the city’s south side sewer plant. The Norman League of Women Voters supports this increase, which, if approved by voters, will increase the average user’s water bill about $3.64 a month.

Among other improvements including added capacity and odor control, the treatment facility renovation will allow the city to meet new Department of Environmental Quality requirements. It also will move the city closer to being able to reclaim treated water once state regulations allow it.

If the city does not upgrade to meet DEQ standards, Norman could face fines of $10,000 per day by the state.

The city will borrow about $32 million for 15 years, according to the plan developed by city staff and the Norman City Council.

Norman’s current residential sewer rates were established in 1996 and are lower than 15 other comparable cities, including Moore, Midwest City, Edmond, and Oklahoma City. If voters approve the rate increase, Norman’s wastewater cost still will be below average when compared to other Oklahoma cities.

The Norman League believes that the city’s responsibilities to its citizens include providing basic services such as health, safety (police and fire), water (safe drinking water and sewage treatment), and sanitation. We encourage you to vote for the proposed $3.64 per month rate increase in order to address this important need in our city.

SANDY BAHAN

Co-Chair, Norman League of Women Voters

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