Omaha Public Radio News
12:30 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Omaha Mayor testifies at Congressional hearing on clean water projects

Omaha, NE – Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle says a local and federal partnership is needed on combined sewer overflow projects.

Mayor Suttle testified before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Wednesday morning about clean water and infrastructure. Omaha's combined sewer overflow project will cost $1.7 billion over 15 years.

Mayor Suttle says that'll put a significant financial burden on Omaha's homeowners and businesses. "I have 11 industries threatening to leave Omaha at the present time, and one of those would see its sewer bills raise over the next ten years from roughly $50,000 a year to $1.8 million dollars a year."

Suttle identified five issues with the CSO projects, including a lack of federal funding and no flexibility to incorporate green technology. His testimony was on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.