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Streetcar Funding Agreement Protects M.U.D. Customers

Feb. 14, 2023, Omaha, Neb.–The City of Omaha and the Metropolitan Utilities District (M.U.D.) have reached an agreement resolving utility relocation costs associated with the streetcar, resulting in no gas or water rate increases for M.U.D. customers because of streetcar construction.

Mayor Jean Stothert, M.U.D. President Mark Doyle and M.U.D. Board Chair Tanya Cook negotiated the agreement.

M.U.D. will reprioritize work within the streetcar project area and contribute $7.6 million towards utility replacement and relocation costs, which are currently estimated at approximately $20 million. The City will fund the remaining utility costs. The cost will become part of the streetcar construction budget, managed by the Omaha Streetcar Authority.

“We pledged to work with M.U.D. to find a fair compromise,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “This agreement is the result of months of negotiation to develop a cost-sharing plan for the utility work along the streetcar route and protect M.U.D.’s customers from a rate increase. “I am grateful to President Doyle and Director Cook for working with us to find the right solution for everyone.”

M.U.D.’s contribution will be paid through its existing Water Infrastructure Replacement (WIR) rate component. M.U.D. used its linear asset management plan and risk model to evaluate additional segments of piping that met criteria. Approximately 35% of the water and gas infrastructure along the Phase I streetcar route meets this definition.

“Through diligence and cooperation, we have found infrastructure that appropriately meets the guidelines of our risk assessment process. We always knew that likelihood existed,” said M.U.D. President Mark Doyle.

“This is a positive outcome for M.U.D. customers,” said Board Chairperson Tanya Cook. “Thank you to everyone involved in bringing this agreement together, including my fellow board members and the M.U.D. leadership team, as well as Mayor Stothert and her staff.”