Monday: Millions more in utility projects recommended, rates likely to rise
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Sunday, November 18, 2012
11/21/12 at 4:49 PM
Correction: Tulsa World photo captions accompanying a Monday story about Tulsa's capital improvement needs incorrectly reported where contractors are replacing sewer lines. The work is being done at 61st Street and Peoria Avenue. The captions have been corrected.
The consulting firm hired by the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority has recommended $150 million more in water and wastewater capital improvement projects over the next five years than was originally anticipated.
“Ideally, this is what we ought to do in the next five years,” said TMUA board member Jim Cameron. “It doesn’t mean it has to be done, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be done. ... To me, the sky isn’t falling. There is nothing alarming about this.”
Cameron said that although it is not yet known how many or which CIP projects would be funded in the next five years, there is no question that water and sewer rates will go up.
“Absolutely,” he said, “(but) we are going to do everything we can to mitigate those costs.”
The prospect of higher water and sewer rates come as no surprise to city officials, who have been clear that such increases would be needed to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements and mounting debt service costs.
Read more in Monday's Tulsa World.
Uvaldo Angeles, a pipe layer with Becco Construction, shovels a base as street crews work on a sewer replacement project at 61st Street and Peoria Avenue last week. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World