The Omaha City Council’s public hearing on new sewer rates — the plan that would lessen increases for big industrial users — didn’t include much criticism.
About a dozen people, including representatives from those big industries, and some smaller companies, told the council they support the revised rate ordinance. It would assess fees in part based on the size of customers’ water meters. And it would lump in the 19 big users who had been responsible for 5 percent of the $2 billion-plus sewer project bill with the other 13,000 or so commercial accounts in the city.
(The city has an online calculator that lets customers figure out their new rates.)
The council hasnt voted yet, but most council members seem to be on board. Said Chris Jerram: “Some of these businesses had been pitched other locations in other cities. This compromise provides a framework so they can expand right here in Omaha. I can’t underscore the importance of that enough.”
If approved, the new rates would go into effect Jan. 1. The current plan would cover increases through 2014. Another rate schedule, for 2015 through 2018, will likely be approved next year.