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The CSO Program is financed using a 30-year bond and funded through sewer use fees which will increase throughout the life of the Program. The unfunded federal mandate to reduce raw sewage overflows to our streams is scheduled for completion in 2037.
The 30-year revenue bonds will be issued in periodic increments as approved by the Mayor and City Council.
In June, 2018 the Mayor recommended, and the City Council adopted on a 7-0 vote, a new rate ordinance which will be in effect January of 2019 and continue through December 2023.
The sewer fee rate structure is developed with assistance from the City’s rate consultant and is necessary to finance Program projects and meet regulatory deadlines.
All residential, commercial and industrial rate payers in the Omaha metro and suburban communities who use the regional sewer system will help pay the estimated $2.2 billion (2018 Dollars) for the required improvements.
It was recognized early in the Program that rising rates would be a hardship for some residents. The City took a proactive role and along with the Community Basin Panel, formed a sub-committee to determine assistance options for fixed- and low-income residents.
A rate assistance program, is available for residential users who qualify for the existing state energy assistance program (LIHEAP) managed by the Metropolitan Utilities District. The District bills the sewer fees on behalf of the City.
When the Long Term Control Plan was approved, it marked the start of a ratepayer assistance plan to help low income and fixed income households with sewer rate increases necessary to fund the Program.
Ratepayers are eligible if they receive Low Income Heat and Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) from their utility. From January through September 2020, over $1,131,260 has been provided in assistance; for a total of $12,228,870 from inception through September 2020.*
To apply for Nebraska LIHEAP, call (402) 595-1258.