Addressing Norman infrastructure

Editor, The Transcript:

Recently OG&E sent correspondence concerning weatherhead and meter base repairs in our area of Norman, informing that the homeowners are responsible for any and all costs of repairing these items.

Having worked in the water utilities field for over 30 years, something didn’t pass the smell test. If you have city water, the city is responsible for delivering water to your meter.

Water used, that passes through the meter and the line from the meter to the house are your responsibility. Natural gas is the same. Gas and the line leaving the meter you pay for when needed. Even telephone and cable companies come out and reattach storm damaged lines.

It appears somewhere back in history OG&E got a sweetheart deal. With all the recent storm damage, coupled with the certainty more storms are coming, bringing more damage, the issue of placing electric and communication lines under ground has been raised and shot down by electric corporations as being too costly.

This latest iteration of “we always done it this way and it can’t be done without dire consequences to our economy” (their profit margin) is being addressed by President-elect Joe Biden’s “build it back better.” Jobs rebuilding our infrastructure has not received much attention since Trump’s ballyhooed “infrastructure week” during his first 100 days of halcyon promise that died on the vine when a week later a new idea replaced the old in the headlines.

The University of Oklahoma has a labyrinth of maintenance tunnels and has for many decades. Imagine a network of multi-use tunnels circling our schools that could be used for storm shelters.

All new housing additions would be required to bury their utilities paid for by the developers, those who will make money from selling the homes to we the people. Retro-fitting existing additions with buried conduits would be a government program creating millions of jobs from planning, manufacturing and labor.

Not everybody can work from home and I predict unused office space is about to start popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain.

Jim Ammerman

NORMAN

 

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