NORMAN — The Department of Environmental Quality is holding the city's feet to the fire for moving forward with regulatory upgrades at Norman's southside water reclamation plant, the facility that treats sewage. The total project cost is $63 million, but sewer excise funds will be used to cover 40 percent of the project. Revenue bonds will be issued to cover the needed funds for the rest of the construction. Because of a clause in the city charter, Norman voters must approve any utility rate increase with a public vote. That ballot is slated for Nov. 12.
Members of city council are currently debating various components of the rate increase, but expect to finanlize those details soon. Norman's sewer rates have not been raised since 1996.