Selling MUD?

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Brad
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Selling MUD?

Postby Brad » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:37 am

How to pay for sewer project and pensions? Sell MUD, state senator says

http://www.omaha.com/article/20131231/N ... 39820/1685

Cody Winchester / World-Herald staff writer wrote:
Lautenbaugh said privatizing MUD could bring in $3 billion. Assuming the sewer project will cost $2 billion, the rest of the proceeds could be used to pay down pension liabilities and upgrade technology and security in Omaha Public Schools, he said.
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Omababe
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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby Omababe » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:09 pm

One thing that kind of surprised me about Nebraska is that most all utilities are public here.

I found the rates here, when compared to Con Edison and Brooklyn Union Gas (now Keyspan or whatever they are calling it these days) to be very reasonable by comparison.

I would think that by privatizing MUD we, as ratepayers, would see an impact in rising rates to cover the ROI and such.

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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby jessep28 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:47 pm

Something like this would likely trade rate hikes for reduced sewer taxes. This is assuming that a MUD sale would fully fund the separation project, pay down any debt currently issued for it, and sewer taxes would go down since there's no CSO debt to service.

Since Lautenbaugh's pushing for this, any extra money left over from a sale after paying off CSO should go towards DUI prevention.
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bigredmed
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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby bigredmed » Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:52 pm

MUD is a public utility and we enjoy better fees and local control of our system. No benefit in selling to a private firm where we would lose control. Lautenbaugh is wrong here.

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HR Paperstacks
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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby HR Paperstacks » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:32 pm

I personally think this is an incredibly stupid idea.

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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby bigredmed » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:10 pm

HR Paperstacks wrote:I personally think this is an incredibly stupid idea.



+1 a million times.

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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby HskrFanMike » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:34 pm

I see this as nothing more than an attempt to shift the bill. By privatizing MUD, we'll increase our utility rates. Big property owners who don't use a lot of gas/water will benefit, while smaller property owners who already struggle with their gas/water bills will have their problems exacerbated.

And I suspect that over the long run, the long term cost to consumers will be far higher by going this route.
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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby bigredmed » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:15 pm

HskrFanMike wrote:I see this as nothing more than an attempt to shift the bill. By privatizing MUD, we'll increase our utility rates. Big property owners who don't use a lot of gas/water will benefit, while smaller property owners who already struggle with their gas/water bills will have their problems exacerbated.

And I suspect that over the long run, the long term cost to consumers will be far higher by going this route.


Without a doubt. Can't believe that anyone who can read numbers and compare utility costs in Omaha to those in CB would even think of such a thing. These guys need to quit trying to get some "too clever by half" way out of the tax bill and get on with the building and we should just pay it and be done.

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jessep28
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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby jessep28 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:39 pm

Yeah, that $2 billion for the CSO project isn't going away for the taxpayers with a sale.
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Seth
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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby Seth » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:09 pm

Ask Chicago how selling off public infrastructure to private companies is working out. It's great for the first few years when you can spend that lump some on whatever feel-good projects that ask nicely (more money for schools? Sure, here you go!), but once the money is spent (which is quickly), we're all left with a decades of paying higher utility rates, tolls, parking fees or whatever fees associated with the public property that was sold off.

At it's effective level, this is just borrowing from the future, only it passes the financing cost directly off to the utility customers. It's no different than the boom of P3 (Private-Public Partnerships) contracts in infrastructure. The government has gone from paying as we go for infrastructure, or issuing it's own bonds (at low interest rates), to passing that borrowing directly to private institutions, which demand a higher rate-of-return.

The problem is, 2, 4, and 6-year election cycles encourage this short-sighted thinking.

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TitosBuritoBarn
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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:19 pm

Seth wrote:Ask Chicago how selling off public infrastructure to private companies is working out.  It's great for the first few years when you can spend that lump some on whatever feel-good projects that ask nicely (more money for schools?  Sure, here you go!), but once the money is spent (which is quickly), we're all left with a decades of paying higher utility rates, tolls, parking fees or whatever fees associated with the public property that was sold off.


Not to mention a shoddy product. I've had more power outages here than I had for probably a decade in Omaha.
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Re: Selling MUD?

Postby TLGJames » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:01 am

This sounds a lot like every privatization. Private prisons cost states more in the long run... This will cost consumers more in the long run.

Legalize Marijuana, use first years profits on infrastructure. Problem solved.


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