Photo by Keli Clark

Background

Much of Norman’s stormwater system is over capacity and can’t sustain the demands of our growing city. The Norman Stormwater Citizen Committee was created to develop options to fund solutions that are critical to address flooding and water quality in Norman.

The Committee developed a two-part proposal to repair and upgrade our aging stormwater system, reduce the impact of flooding and improve water quality in Norman. Part one includes a $60 Million Bond. Part two includes a Utility Fee. 
Download the full Proposal here 

This proposal was presented to Council on April 10, 2018.  Council then directed the Stormwater Citizen Committee to gather public input on their proposal.  After six open houses, eight Ward meetings, three focus groups, and several phone and online polls, the Council voted unanimously to move forward with the GO bond and a three-tiered residential and four-tiered non-residential stormwater utility fee as proposed by the Stormwater Citizen Committee for an April 2019 election.


Vision FOR Norman: Proposition 2

Stormwater bond

Norman’s stormwater systems are up to 100 years old and due for repairs, upgrades and expansion. A $60 million General Obligation bond will fund 33 critical stormwater projects with the aim of reducing flooding across Norman. A General Obligation bond is a low-risk loan that cities typically acquire to fund capital improvement projects. Work under the bond would include:

Repairs and Upgrades

  1. Replacing damaged culverts, pipes or channels

  2. Stabilizing damaged streambanks

  3. Acquiring properties in the floodway or floodplain

  4. Expanding existing detention ponds

  5. Incorporating green infrastructure such as rain gardens
    See full list of the 33 proposed bond projects here

Bond Repayment

The bond would be repaid by raising property taxes for residential and non-residential properties in Norman. The increases would be based on the property’s market value. Estimated increases are provided below. For properties that have a market value of more than $300,000, taxes would increase accordingly.  

  • $3.40 per month ($100,000 market value)

  • $5.25 per month ($150,000 market value)

  • $7.11 per month ($200,000 market value)

  • $10.82 per month ($300,000 market value)

Lindsey St Bridge over Imhoff Creek before capital improvement - 2016

Lindsey St Bridge over Imhoff Creek before capital improvement - 2016

Lindsey St Bridge over Imhoff Creek after capital improvement - 2017

Lindsey St Bridge over Imhoff Creek after capital improvement - 2017


Vision FOR Norman: Proposition 3

STORMWATER utility

The City currently spends approximately $3 million from the General Fund and has employs fewer than 20 employees in the City’s Stormwater Division to manage:

  • Norman’s vast Stormwater system of 197 miles of existing stormwater channels, 150 miles of stormwater pipelines, two high hazard dams, 73 major bridges, and more than 500 culverts and bridges

  • Water quality improvement projects in Lake Thunderbird and the Canadian River

  • Efforts to minimize stormwater pollution across the entire city as detailed in the Stormwater Management Plan and required by ODEQ and EPA

In order to adequately address the stormwater needs listed above, the Committee believes an annual budget of approximately $7.4 million is needed.

In addition to the $3 million from General Fund, the Committee recommends a utility fee to help raise a portion of the funds needed to reach the budget goal. This would increase a) daily operations and management of existing stormwater infrastructure and b) projects that improve the water quality of Lake Thunderbird. 
See a list of proposed projects and activities here 

Projects to improve water quality in Lake Thunderbird include:

  1. Detecting and eliminating illegal dumping in storm drains

  2. Preventing or reducing runoff from construction sites and municipal operations

  3. Controlling soil erosion in our local creeks and streams

  4. Monitoring water pollution levels in the Lake

  5. Inspecting discharges from industrial and municipal facilities

Learn about the water pollution reduction activities required in Lake Thunderbird here 

The stormwater utility fee rate structure put forward under Proposition 3 is as follows:


Residential Utility Fee Structures

A three (3) tier Residential rate based on living area of each property’s house:

  • Includes all developed parcels with four or less dwelling units on a single parcel

  • Living area is a dwelling unit’s first floor square footage minus garages, porches and other spaces that are not commonly heated or cooled. This information was obtained from the Cleveland County Assessor

  • Undeveloped parcels will not be charged a stormwater utility fee. This includes farmland with only barns, sheds, or other outbuildings that are not dwelling units or businesses.

Tier 1: less than

Non-Residential Utility Fee Structure

A four (4) Tier Non-Residential rate based on each property’s parcel size:

  • Includes residential parcels with more than four dwelling units on a single parcel and all other property types, such as commercial or industrial

  • Parcel size information comes from the Cleveland County Assessor and the City of Norman GIS map

  • Undeveloped parcels will not be charged a stormwater utility fee. This includes farmland with only barns, sheds, or other outbuildings that are not dwelling units or businesses.

non-res tiers.JPG

Available Credits

There are two credits available to residential customers.  One is a 30% low income credit, and the other is a 30% agricultural credit.  Only one credit can apply to a single parcel, i.e. you can't receive both a low income credit and an agricultural credit.

In order to receive the low income credit, you must qualify as low income as defined by Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937, as amended by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.  If you are already receiving a discounted rate for water, sewer, and trash services, this credit will be applied automatically.  If you do not currently receive a low income credit for other services, you will need to submit a Low Income Credit Application form.  An Annual Income Certification form will need to be submitted once a year to continue to receive this credit. 

The agricultural credit is only available for residential customers with parcels zoned A-1 or A-2.  This credit will be applied automatically


'Lake McGee' before capital improvement, 2015

'Lake McGee' before capital improvement, 2015

'Lake McGee' after capital improvement, 2018

'Lake McGee' after capital improvement, 2018