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June 20, 2014

Norman City Council weighs four options regarding storm water utility structure

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The city based their rate estimates using ERUs, which is a more equitable rate structure that 82 percent of the nation uses for utility billing, he said.

Using the ERU structure, a tiered system was developed to determine an estimate for residential utility rates per month, based on hard surface areas such as roofs, sidewalks and patios. The average residential rate for a 2,900-square-foot house with 700 square feet of hard surfaces was estimated to be approximately $6 per month.

Storm water utility rates for business in Norman seemed to be less fair, a Norman business owner said. For Fowler Toyota and Fowler Honda business, rates would add up to approximately $1,000. Furthermore, the businesses have spent thousands of dollars on detention ponds.

O’Leary said the city has looked at including credits and exemptions for the rates, which could result in reduction of the monthly bill.

As far as new development goes, the city also looked at providing incentives if a storm water device was installed.

The total projected revenue from storm water utilities for the city was about $5.9 million, which is no where near the amount needed (about $65 million) for capital improvement projects, O’Leary said. However, with the help of the utilities, bond issues could be an option to help take care of some of the needed projects.

Several storm water utility programs also would be required, which address the four key components of the city’s master plan, including water quality or water supply protection, flooding, erosion or stream stability and recreation.

Listed below are the water utility programs:

· Storm water pipeline condition assessment

· Additional street sweeping

· Lake Thunderbird Total Maximum Daily Load, which is an unfunded mandate the city must be in compliance with by November 2015

· Additional stream maintenance

· Neighborhood enhanced maintenance

The recorded meeting is available on the city of Norman’s website. For more information, visit normanok.gov.

Jessica Bruha

366-3540

jbruha@normantranscript.com

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