Lawmaker urges utility sale to cover Omaha bills

Jan 1, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A state senator is suggesting that the sale of the customer-owned Metropolitan Utilities District could raise money to help Omaha pay some of its big bills.

Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh says he'll introduce legislation in this year's session that would allow the sale.

Lautenbaugh estimates the district could fetch $3 billion. The district's interim president, Mark Doyle, says he doesn't think the district is worth that much. Doyle also says changing the district from public to private could make rates rise.

The 200-square-mile district provides water and natural gas to 420,000 customers in Omaha and other cities and rural areas of Douglas and other counties. It remains to be worked out how any sale proceeds would be divided if the district were sold.

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