Council votes down 23rd St. Expressway

The 23rd Street Viaduct project was put to rest last night, when the Fremont City council voted 6 to 1, to not have the Mayor sign the Draft Environmental Assessment.    After more than an hour and a half of discussion between City council members and the public, Councilman Mark Jensen called for the vote.   The 6 to 1 vote against,  means this ends the 23rd Street Viaduct project.  Many of the city council members cited cost, road closure at Linden, questionable desging and the fact that we now have apps that can tell us when the tracks are blocked,  as reasons not to proceed with the project.  The specific design of the viaduct seemed to be a bit excessive.  Only a few persons spoke in favor of moving forward with the project last night.

In other City Council action taken last night, New rate schedules for Sewer and Electric were approved on a vote of 5-2, with Councilman Brad Yerger and Glenn Ellis voting against.  Assistant City Administrator for Utilities, Troy Schaben broke down the information.  Currently, a typical home in Fremont pays $20.30 cents a month for sewer service.   Starting in November 2019, the sewer rate for a typical residential home in Fremont will increase 8.7 percent, or about $2.45 a month .  In November 2020, the sewer rate will increase 5.1 percent or about $1.29 a month.   When comparing these rates to other cities,  Hastings currently pays $33.12 a month.  Grand Island, $31.65 a month.  Arlington, $43.50.   Valley, $41.25.  Omaha, $53.85.

Electric rates will increase 3%, beginning in November of 2019.  Currently, a typical home in Fremont pays $90.96 a month, during the Winter.  $133.96 in the Summer.  So a 3% increase comes out to about $3.01 increase per month beginning in November 2019, then another $3.14 in November 2020.

When comparing Electric rates to other cities:

Electric – 1000 kWh Winter rates     Summer rates     Monthly

Hastings                      $99.49               $105.79

Grand Island              $110.64            $123.94

NPPD                            $118.85            $149.13

Omaha OPPD           $124.37             $132.90